We are experienced conveyancers and property lawyers and can help with all aspects of Queensland property transactions, including:
- buying or selling a home, unit, vacant block, strata title, or rural property
- legal advice regarding real estate contract law
- drafting and reviewing contracts
- negotiating terms and conditions for the sale or purchase of property
- advice regarding the ‘cooling off period’
- disclosure and warning statements
- auction contracts and purchases off-the-plan
- commercial property including commercial and retail leases
- retirement village purchases, leases and service contracts
- advice regarding building contracts
- preparing and registering powers of attorney
- advice regarding easements and covenants on title searches
- help with the legal requirements for subdivisions and property developments
Buying a home can be one of the most stressful and expensive things you will ever do. It’s vital that you seek legal advice from someone experienced in property law and who knows the area.
Making an offer
If you are happy to proceed, you can make an offer. It does not mean that the property is yours yet either, as the agent can take other offers.
Signing the contract
If your offer is accepted, you should take the contract you have been given to your lawyer or conveyancer and discuss your situation with them. There may be several things that can be negotiated in your favour, and you need to be absolutely clear on your rights and responsibilities before signing.
When you do sign the contract, you will need to pay a deposit of up to 10% of the Purchase Price. This is held with the real estate agent and released to the seller after the property is settled. The amount of the deposit is a “negotiated” amount and is intended to be a “sign of good faith” and also be large enough to be a “dis-incentive “for any Buyer to consider “walking away” from a contract by not completing.
After the contract has become binding, your lawyer or conveyancer has a number of tasks to perform including:
- arranging payment of stamp duty
- liaising with the lender regarding the mortgage
- checking with various government authorities to see if they have a vested interest in the property
- checking to see if there are any outstanding debts to local council
- calculating adjustments for council, water and strata rates
- making final checks on the title
Conveyancing transactions were traditionally completed when the legal and lending representatives met to exchange title documents and bank cheques. Settlements have now moved to an electronic platform through Property Exchange Australia (PEXA). Electronic conveyancing enables lawyers, conveyancers and financial institutions to lodge documents and complete settlements online providing greater convenience and faster access to settlement funds.
The decision to sell a property, whether it’s your family home or an investment is a big one and may come about for various reasons.
The first step is to have a contract for sale of land prepared setting out the terms of the sale. There are certain disclosures which must be made when drafting a contract. Each property is different, and you should obtain advice specific to your property and personal circumstances.
After accepting a buyer’s offer, contracts are signed, and the deposit is paid to the agent to be held in trust. The contract may be subject to pre-conditions such as final approval or satisfactory building reports. Once these are satisfied and any cooling-off rights expired, the contract becomes binding, and the buyer is obliged to complete the purchase.
We will then start the process to ensure the sale is completed in accordance with the contract terms. We will:
- if there is a mortgage over the property, help you with the relevant forms to provide your lender so arrangements can be made for repayment of the loan and discharge of the mortgage ready for settlement
- liaise with the agent to confirm the amount of deposit held
- liaise with the buyer’s lawyer to ensure that their legal obligations are met
- handle any enquiries from the agent / buyer’s lawyer regarding the property
- check transfer documents and witness signatures
- check settlement figures received from the buyer’s lawyer
- confirm the balance of loan with the lender
- prepare for and attend settlement
In preparation for settlement, you should arrange for disconnection of electricity and other services. The buyers are entitled to a final inspection just before settlement and you will need to ensure that the property is left clean and tidy, vacant and with all personal items removed in time for completion.
The settlement statement will show the balance of money to be received from the buyer on settlement. This will take into account the purchase price, the deposit held by the agent and adjustments such as council rates, water rates and strata fees.
After settlement the agent is authorised to release property keys to the buyer and account to you for the deposit held, less their agreed commission / selling fees.
We have extensive experience in conveyancing and property matters which enables us to provide timely, cost effective and appropriate advice. We work closely with our clients to develop, negotiate, and document deals, and to guide them through the many issues arising throughout the course of their property transactions.