Buying Your Property

Whether it is your first purchase or just one step in building a portfolio of investment properties, buying a property can be an anxious and tense period.

Our professional and support staff can help you to complete the transaction quickly and with minimal stress by:

  • Providing clear, straightforward advice on the contract for purchase
  • Assisting you in dealing with your finance provider
  • Properly informing you as to the impact of taxes and duties, where they apply
  • Assisting you on investigations of the property before committing to the purchase
  • Keeping you informed throughout the transaction
  • Completing your purchase in an efficient and timely manner


If you are the successful bidder at an Auction there will be no cooling off period and you will be legally bound to proceed with the purchase. Unless both parties agree prior to the auction, there will be no power to negotiate any of the terms of the Contract following the auction. It is for this reason that it is important that you are satisfied with the terms of the Contract prior to bidding and you have sufficient funds or a written loan approval. We can have a look at the proposed Contract and give you some advice before going to the auction. 

During the transaction our enquiries only deal with investigations into the title to the property. They do not extend to matters such as the physical condition of the property. You need to satisfy yourself on this issue. Therefore, we always strongly recommend that these reports be obtained prior to the Contract being exchanged.

An "exchange of Contracts" means that we hand the Contract signed by you to the vendor's representative and receive the form of Contract, in identical terms, and signed by the vendor. The deposit must be paid or the Deposit Guarantee Bond handed over at this time (if not already done). The Contracts are then dated. Once this has occurred you are bound to proceed with the purchase of the property in the terms as set out in the Contract.

The amount of stamp duty payable is dependent upon the purchase price of the property. The Office of State Revenue offers an online service to allow for calculation of stamp duty. Simply click here, enter the purchase price and select calculate. You will need to add $20.00 to this total which is stamp duty on the duplicate copy of the Contract and for the accompanying Transfer of title.

New South Wales Stamp Duty is payable on the Contract after it is exchanged.

If you are borrowing money to purchase the property, and settlement is, or around, the usual 6 weeks from exchange, then Stamp Duty will need to be paid usually at least 2 weeks prior to completion to avoid any delays with completion of the purchase.  If necessary, Stamp Duty may be paid at settlement, particularly if you are borrowing funds for the payment of Stamp Duty.

If settlement is longer that the usual 6 weeks payment of Stamp Duty can be delayed until nearer completion provided that it is, in any case, paid within 3 months of the date of exchange, otherwise interest will accrue.

If you are not borrowing money to purchase the property, payment of Stamp Duty can be delayed until the time of completion provided that it is, in any case, paid within 3 months of the date of exchange otherwise interest will accrue.

If you are purchasing an "off the plan" residential unit that will become your principal place of residence, Stamp Duty is payable within 15 months of the date of the exchange of Contracts or at completion of the Contract, whichever occurs first.  

If you are purchasing an "off the plan" commercial unit, residential unit which will be used as an investment, or vacant land which is subject to a subdivision, Stamp Duty must be paid within 3 months of the date of exchange or at completion of the Contract, whichever occurs first, otherwise interest will accrue.

All you need do is let us know as soon as possible that your stamp duty will be paid from your mortgage. We will then liaise with your financier to arrange for a stamp duty cheque to be drawn on completion and we will attend to stamping the Contract and Transfer on your behalf.

Of course, you need to be aware that the stamp duty generally must be paid within 3 months of the date of the Contract otherwise interest will accrue.

We will liaise with your financier to arrange payment of your mortgage advance.

Your financier will either contact you directly to arrange for signing the Mortgage documents or will send the Mortgage documents to you or to us. We will contact you to arrange signing the Mortgage documents, if they are sent to us.

If your financier is one of the major Banks (ANZ, NAB, Westpac, Commonwealth, St George), then your financier will usually contact you to go to their branch and sign the Mortgage. We always recommend that, if you have not been contacted by your financier within two weeks of exchange of the Contracts, then you should contact them directly and advise us if you believe there may be some delay on the part of your financier in finalising the Mortgage documents.

If your financier is other than one of the major Banks, then the Mortgage documents may be either sent to you or to us. An appointment may then be made for you to come in and see us to sign the documents. 

A final inspection should be carried out immediately prior to settlement. This inspection is to ensure that:

  • the owner or tenants of the property have moved out or are in the course of moving out;
  • the property has been left in the condition that it was in when you first inspected it;
  • the inclusions stated in the Contract have been left in the property; and
  • the property has generally been left free of any rubbish.

You should be aware that the vendor of the property is not required to leave the property in an absolutely clean and pristine condition. The responsibility is for the vendor to vacate the property and remove their belongings.

Settlement or Completion is the time at which the property becomes yours. At this time the balance of the purchase price must be provided to the vendor by way of bank cheques (personal cheques, company cheques and cheques issued by a Building Society or a Credit Union are not acceptable). We will provide you with details of what bank cheques will be needed approximately one week prior to settlement.

In most instances we arrange for the vendor to leave the keys with the agent on the settlement day. Once we advise you that settlement has occurred, you can then attend the agent’s office to collect the keys to your new property. 

Land tax is charged on land owned by you as at midnight on 31 December each year. There is no land tax payable on your principal place of residence as at that time. However, land tax is payable on your principal place if the land value exceeds the premium threshold value.  The current land tax threshold may be found here.

For further information in respect of Land Tax please contact us or click here to visit the Office of State Revenue's Land Tax page. 

In the case of a house or vacant land, "Land Value" is the value of the land, ignoring the value of the house. In the case of a unit, "Land Value" is the value of the land upon which the building has been erected. That value is then apportioned among the units in the Strata Scheme using the unit entitlement. In all cases, the land value is not the purchase price of the property. 

In the event you contract with a builder to do any home building work on your property which exceeds the value of $20,000.00, you should ensure that the builder provides you with a certificate of insurance which covers the work for defects as required under the Home Building Act, 1989. This certificate of insurance should be retained by you for seven (7) years and should be attached to the contract for sale of your property if and when you decide to sell.

If you choose to do any work as an owner/builder which exceeds the amount of $20,000.00 we strongly recommend that you obtain, at the time of undertaking the work, a certificate of insurance covering the work done pursuant to Section 95 of the Home Building Act, 1989.

If you sell the property within seven (7) years from the date of undertaking the work and do not attach the insurance certificate to the Contract, the Purchaser will have a right to rescind the Contract. Whilst you are not required to take the insurance out at the time of undertaking the work, it may be very difficult, if not impossible, for you to obtain the required insurance at a later date. This will mean that you may not be able to sell the property until the expiry of seven (7) years.