Buying a property is a big investment, so to make sure you’re on top of the fine print we’ve created this handy checklist of some of the legal things you’ll need to do in order to make the transaction painless.
If this is the year you want to buy a home, it’s time to sit down and familiarise yourself with the process and going through the necessary steps to ensure you’ve covered off all basis when it comes to the home buying checklist. Here are the steps you need to take.
Make a shortlist of properties you like
Finding a new place is an important move so you are going to want to take the time to do the appropriate amount of research and shortlist a few places that ticks your boxes.
To start, narrow down the neighbourhoods you like. Somethings you might want to include on your “must have” list include:
Transport in the area
Access to schools
The facilities and features of the suburb like parks, cafes, restaurants and so on
Suburb profile including the people that live there and crime rates
Engage a conveyancer
Once you’ve made your shortlist of places, you need to check over the finer details of the properties of interest and this is where you need to engage experts.
The conveyancing process usually will be what kick starts your legal journey to property ownership so it’s important to engage a solicitor or conveyancer who will be able to take care of the legalities for you.
But what’s the difference?
“Registered conveyancers are experts who specialise in conveyancing work … Some conveyancers are qualified solicitors but many are non-solicitors who have completed specialist tertiary education in conveyancing. In fact, many law firms employ registered conveyancers to undertake their conveyancing work.”
The conveyancing process will be what kick starts your journey to property ownership.
While there are DIY conveyancing kits available, these are useful only for the most straightforward property transactions.
But even the most simple-looking transactions can become complicated by legislation and regulations, making DIY a riskier move on your big investment.
You’ll want your conveyancer to consider things like local or national planning controls, permitted uses, heritage overlays and body corporate constraints.
And like any transaction, if you have any concerns or additional knowledge regarding the property you’re buying, communicate them to your solicitor or conveyancer to ensure the best outcome.
Get to know the sales process
Conveyancing in Australia varies slightly from state to territory. And so does the sales process.
For instance, there’s no cooling-off period for auctions (which are popular in the big cities), but with private treaty sales it’s different. And it’s even possible to buy via ballot.
So make sure you know and understand the different sales processes before you start.
Check the title
Freestanding houses in Australia typically have a freehold Torrens Title. But other types of title exist for different property types and come with their own legalities.
Strata Title was introduced to Australia in 1961. It’s a system for handling the legal ownership of a portion of a building or structure including units, townhouses, villas, commercial offices, factories, warehouses, retail shops and more.
Before 1961 buyers used Company Title to effectively purchase shares in a building, and some older buildings remain under Company Title. Each system has its own pros and cons, as well as its own legalities.