real estate questions



Why there might be a difference between the conveyancing prices for buyers and sellers?

There are more complex and comprehensive searches performed when purchasing a property. There are also more stakeholders involved with respect to lenders/brokers, loan approval documentation, stamp duty, negotiations with the vendor etc  Hence both the professional fee and search fees might be higher to reflect the work involved.

What is transfer duty and do I need to pay it?

Transfer duty (known as stamp duty) is a tax imposed by the Government on the purchase of property. Under the standard contract of sale, transfer duty is payable by the buyer. It is determined by the purchase price of the property together with any concession you may be entitled to such as First Home Owners Grant. Please use our stamp duty calculator or go to the Office of State Revenue website within your particular state. The NSW Office of State Revenue Transfer of Land or Business Calculator is linked here.

What are Strata Levies?

Strata levies are the fees payable by the owners of each lot which cover the expenses of administrative tasks carried out by the strata scheme. This involves both daily operational expenses (administrative fund) and future expenditure (sinking fund). The strata levy amount is determined at each annual general meeting which is decided by a majority vote and the strata levy which you will be required to pay is calculated on the unit entitlements of each lot. Strata levies are generally paid every 3 months.

What are disbursements?

Disbursements are the expenses that are incurred by us in the course of the matter. In a standard residential sale, disbursements are normally made up of the costs of obtaining the documents required to be annexed to the Contract, including the section 149 Certificate, title searches and sewer diagrams.

What is First Home Owner Grant?

If you are buying your first home, or you are building your first home, or buying a vacant block of land to build your first home, you may be eligible for the First Home Buyers Government Grant. You should consult the Office of State Revenue to confirm that you qualify for the Grant.

Why Insure?

Insurance risk passes on settlement day. All building insurance should be put in place before the purchase is settled. Your lender will want a copy of the policy before they agree to settle so this will need to be done a couple of weeks before settlement.

What documents do I need before I can sell my property?

Certificate of Title also known as Title Deed. If there is a loan still attached to the property then you must notify your bank of your intention to sell to arrange for discharge of mortgage documents. Any other documentation you may have with respect to pool compliance, survey report, extensions and renovations would also be helpful but not necessary.

When do I receive my deposit?

On completion of settlement. However, it is possible to negotiate and insert a special condition into the contract for the transfer of that deposit in the purchase of another property by the vendor.

Can the purchaser change their mind after signing the Contract of Sale?

In certain circumstances the purchaser has the option not to proceed with the Contract. This can vary from state to state but essentially the contract may have a special condition stating “Subject to Finance”. This means that if a purchaser is not able to obtain finance approval by an agreed date then they have the option to withdraw from the Contract. Other special conditions which may be included are subject to building inspection, pest inspection and the cooling off period and all each may allow a purchaser not to proceed with the Contract. Once finance has been approved for the purchaser and the contracts have been exchanged then both parties are legally bound by the contract.