There are only a few purchase decisions which even come close to finding the ideal home, holiday or investment property. A purchase which suits your needs and lifestyle can be one of the most daunting and difficult tasks and there is sometimes stress, tension and discomfort with the uncertainty of making such a large commitment.
So it makes sense to be prepared. To assist you we have prepared a checklist of some of the important points on finance, legal, ascertaining your highest price and gaining the right legal advice.
1. Organise your finances
It is imperative you have your finances approved prior to committing yourself to purchasing a property. We recommend that you have a preliminary chat to a financial advisor prior to beginning your property search, so that you know your financial limitations. We can assist in recommending to you local banking and financial authorities who will be able to help you. Normally you will be required to place a 10% deposit on any property you wish to purchase. This deposit may be cash, cheque, a deposit bond or transfer of deposit moneys. This will need to be discussed with your agent as to what suits your needs and what the vendor's requirements are. Also remember when you are calculating your finances to allow for the cost of solicitor/conveyancing fees and also searches and inspection reports.
2. Identify your needs
It is a good idea to discuss with your partner, family or a friend what you are really looking for in a property. Write this on a piece of paper so that when you start your searching by the net, by newspapers or by talking directly to an agent, it acts as a reminder so that you don't get carried away by pretty pictures or sales pitches.
3. Find out what's available
4. Legal representation
We always suggest you use a solicitor or conveyancer who you trust. We can help you with who is available in the local area. Your solicitor will advise you on the contract and it's contents. His/her advise is invaluable and this knowledge of contract law is essential to his/her profession.
At all times it is best to do your homework rather than be sorry afterwards. You may have fallen in love with a property however you don't want to find out after you have moved in, that it has uninvited guests such as white ants, or that it is sharing the neighbours property, or even that it might be about to fall down with the next strong wind. Your solicitor will be able to arrange for the thorough and professional inspections that carry the appropriate warranties.
6. The process of purchasing
You have found the property of your dreams and you wish to purchase. What do you do? First of all make an offer. Once your offer has been accepted it is time to act. Your aim is to have exchange of contracts as soon as possible. For this to occur, you must sign the contract and pay the required deposit and the vendor must also sign the contract. After exchange of contracts there is normally, unless otherwise stated or unless a property is sold by auction, a five day cooling off period in which time your searches and inspections can be carried out. After a property is exchanged the vendor cannot accept another offer - if this happens, this is what's known as gazumping. The time between exchange and what is known as 'settlement' can vary greatly. Most contracts allow for a 42 day settlement period but depending on your requirements and the vendor's requirements, this can be changed. Use this time wisely in arranging your move.