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For most people, buying and selling property will be the largest financial transaction of their lives. Whether it be vacant land, a house, unit or farm, there are many aspects - financial, legal and practical that need to be taken into account.
It makes good sense for a person to be properly advised before signing any contract or entering a legally binding contract. To do otherwise may result in difficulties and financial costs that were not anticipated or indeed necessary. Ensure you speak to one of our experienced staff before proceeding to sign a contract or as soon as possible thereafter if you already have.
We can assist you with:
Commonly Asked Questions
What is a cooling off period?
A cooling-off period of 5 days applies to contracts for the sale of residential property. It will start the day the buyer receives a copy of the contract (signed by both parties).
- For contracts that arrive on a weekend or a public holiday, the cooling-off period starts on the next business day.
- The cooling-off period still begins if a representative (such as a lawyer) receives the contract on the buyer’s behalf.
- If there’s a dispute, the seller (or their agent) must prove when they delivered the contract.
- The cooling-off period ends at 5pm on the final (5th) day of the cooling-off period. After this, the buyer must follow through on the contract and buy the property. This remains subject to the terms of the contract.
If a buyer terminates the contract within the cooling off period, the seller is entitled to retain a termination penalty of 0.25% of the contract price from the deposit.
What are searches and why do you need them?
Searches are conducted with third party service providers to ensure your interests are protected and to gain information in relation to the property you are purchasing. Examples of some of the searches that can be conducted are:
- your local Council to check outstanding rates and water charges;
- the Titles Office to ensure the seller actually owns the property;
- the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure the land is not contaminated.
The range of searches that can be conducted is extensive and we will discuss with you the searches to be undertaken on your behalf.
How much will it cost?
The cost of conveyancing can vary depending on the property and the complexities and issues that it brings with it. Another factor in the variation of cost is the amount of searches you wish to undertake.
We have highly trained and experienced paralegals working closely with the supervising partner so that we can undertake the work competitively from a cost point of view whilst ensuring that our clients receive professional advice and guidance with any issues that may arise.
The cost of employing a solicitor is a minor outlay in comparison with other fixed costs of the transaction and the potential cost impact of decisions made without obtaining experienced legal advice.
What is stamp duty and how much stamp duty do I have to pay?
Stamp duty (called transfer duty in Queensland) is a tax levied by all state and territory governments in Australia on the purchase of a property. It is paid by purchasers and it usually needs to be paid on or before the settlement date of your property purchase.
The rate of duty you will pay is linked to the value or purchase price of the property. You can use the Queensland stamp duty calculator to find out how much duty you will be required to pay.
What is Electronic Conveyancing (eConveyancing)
The term “electronic conveyancing” refers to a conveyancing transaction settled electronically through a platform provided by Property Exchange Australia Limited (PEXA). The representatives of the parties and their financiers participate in an electronic workspace, where:
- registry instruments are prepared and electronically signed (transfer, mortgage, discharge/release of mortgage);
- duty may be paid as a settlement disbursement;
- the balance of the purchase money and its disbursement are agreed;
- the documents to be lodged for registration are checked pre-settlement at the Land Titles Office;
- at the agreed settlement date and time, provided the documents are in order for registration, the balance of purchase money is paid and proceeds of settlement are disbursed; and
- the relevant registry instruments are electronically lodged for registration.
Electronic conveyancing does not cover the whole of the conveyancing transaction, just the preparation for and execution of settlement and registration. In relation to the settlement itself, the platform is essentially a virtual settlement room.
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To make certain that your interests are protected, our conveyancing team works alongside our commercial, estate planning and commercial property experts to give you the most comprehensive legal advice tailored for your individual situation.
Wallace & Wallace Lawyers have been providing clients with advice and assistance in relation to residential and rural conveyancing for over 30 years.