Buying property is an exciting time and likely to be one of the biggest purchases you’ll make. It can be a complicated and daunting process, especially for first time home owners.
Be it your first home, an upgrade or taking the plunge into property investment, CS Legal can assist you with your next purchase.
A Guide to Buying Property in Perth
Buying property in Perth and throughout WA is a detailed process and there are a number of steps you must take as a buyer to fulfil your legal obligations and ensure a successful transaction.
At CS Legal we aim to ensure the experience of buying property runs as smoothly and as stress free for you as possible. Here we’ve outlined the key steps involved in buying a property.
Step 1 – Making an offer
Found the perfect property? The first step is to submit an offer to the seller or their real estate agent.
If the seller accepts your offer, a binding contract is formed, subject to any conditions in the offer.
The seller may counter your offer. A binding contract is only formed once you have accepted the seller’s counter-offer. If you do not accept the counter-offer, there is no contract.
You should be aware there is no cooling-off period for the purchase of real property in Western Australia so you need to get your offer right before submitting it to the seller or their agent. Property and land are one of the biggest assets you will own and its best to get it right from the start. If you have any questions or concerns, we can help by reviewing your offer before you submit it.
When preparing your offer, you will be asked to nominate a conveyancer, lawyer or settlement agent. Whilst you do not have to nominate a conveyancer at this time, we recommend you do so. This will ensure a copy of the contract is provided to your conveyancer who will assist you with keeping track of crucial compliance and payment dates under the contract.
Your conveyancer will notify you once they have received a copy of your contract.
Step 2 – Obtaining Finance
You have two options regarding the payment of the purchase price:
- Make a cash offer.
- Make the contract subject to finance approval from a lender. If you choose this option, the name of lender and the amount to be borrowed should be specified. The date by which finance approval should be obtained must also be specified.
Once a subject to finance contract has been entered into we recommend you contact your nominated lender as soon as possible to obtain finance approval and ensure your lender is ready to proceed to settlement as per the contract.
Step 3 – Pre-Settlement
If your contract is not subject to finance or once finance has been approved, your conveyancer will submit enquiries to the local shire, Water Corporation, Office of State Revenue and strata company (if required) for information on the rates and service fees payable on the property and status of the seller’s account. Any adjustments regarding these accounts will be made by your conveyancer at settlement and outlined on your settlement statement.
If your purchase is financed, your conveyancer will liaise with your lender to make sure they are ready to complete the settlement. If the purchase is not subject finance, you will be asked to deposit the balance of the purchase price into your conveyancer’s trust account ready for settlement.
Please make note of any other conditions you need to fulfil on your contract and the date they are required to be satisfied, such as obtaining a building and pest inspection. Your conveyancer will also remind you of due dates to ensure plenty of time for completion.
The real estate agent will also make arrangements with you to conduct a final inspection of the property.
Step 4 – Settlement
At settlement, all required legal documentation and funds will be exchanged. If the purchase is financed, your bank will lodge the transfer of land and their mortgage and if the seller’s mortgage is being discharged, the discharging bank will be given the discharge of the mortgage.
Your conveyancer will attend settlement on your behalf and will notify you and the real estate agent once settlement has gone through.
Step 5 – Post-Settlement
The real estate agent will make arrangements with you for the transfer of keys to the property.
Your conveyancer will provide a final statement of account for your records.
You may also want to consider opening any required utility accounts, obtaining insurance and notifying people of your change of address (if required).
What are the conveyancing costs for buying a property?
Along with your conveyancer’s fee, you will also responsible for disbursements and government charges, including stamp duty, registration fees on the transfer, local government enquiry fees and title searches. Your conveyancer will provide you with a reasonably accurate estimate on the expected fees and charges.
At CS Legal, we are up front with our costs, offering fixed fees and comprehensive quotes so you won’t get any surprises and can budget accordingly for your property purchase.