Property law or real property law is the body of law dealing with the rights and obligations associated with land, especially in relation to its ownership, occupation, use and transfer.
Real property law can be split into two categories; private law, dealing with the relationship between individuals and their property; and public law, dealing with the relationship between a government and its subjects relating to property.
Step 1 – Assemble Your Professional Associates
You’ll want to assemble your professional associates together at one time. These will include: an attorney, who can help you with legal issues; a financial planner, who can help you learn about funding sources and other options available to you; and a real estate agent, who can help set up appointments for you to look at potential properties and negotiate on your behalf.
If possible, find an attorney that specializes in property law and real estate lawyers (they exist!). Not all attorneys do both.
Step 2 – Seek Pre-Approval for Any Loans
Before you begin looking for properties, you’ll need to first seek pre-approval from lenders. The banks or other lending institutions will look at your credit score, income and overall wealth to determine how much they are willing to lend you.
The better you’re rating and financial standing looks, the more money they’ll be willing to lend you. But because most banks will want to see that you can afford a large down payment as well, don’t expect them to come bearing gifts.
Step 3 – Apply for Pre-Approval from the Australian Government
Although home loans aren’t limited to first-time buyers, there are some benefits associated with them. Most notable among these are government incentives such as grants and tax deductions.
Before you begin your search for your next home, take time to apply for pre-approval through one of two programs: First Home Owner Grant or First Home Saver Account. The Australian government offers First Home Owner Grants (FHOG) on newly constructed homes worth up to $20,000 (depending on where you live). With an FHOG, you may be eligible for an upfront cash payment from the state.
Step 4 – Begin Searching for Properties
You’ll have to start by searching for properties. It may seem easy, but there are lots of things you need to keep an eye out for during your search. If you don’t understand something, it is the wisest choice to seek help from a professional attorney
Step 5 – Negotiate the Purchase Price
Once you’ve found your dream home, you and your real estate agent will work together to set up an offer on that property. In Australian law, there are two types of contracts: conditional contracts and unconditional contracts. Both have their own benefits but only an unconditional contract will legally obligate both parties to proceed with the purchase at all costs.
Most purchasers use subject-to-sale agreements, which allow for negotiation regarding price and conditions before signing a contract. Be wary though – these can be taken back if a seller has second thoughts or wants to deal with another purchaser instead! If you’re using an unconditional contract, expect it to take approximately 14 days from making an offer to signing a contract as your solicitor will need time to review everything before handing over any documents.
Step 6 – Finalize the Formal Loan Approval
Once your offer has been accepted, you’ll receive a contract. Read it carefully and make sure that it meets with your satisfaction before exchanging it for an actual contract. Once that’s done, pay your deposit and set up an inspection.
Inspections are informal visits to get a feel for what condition things are in at the property so you can make an informed decision on whether or not to buy it. If you have any questions about anything during this time, be sure to contact your Entry Conveyancing Geelong or attorney. If everything looks like it’s going well, it will soon be time to finalize!
Step 7 – Complete the Contract Exchange and Pay the Deposit
The steps involved in completing a property purchase include:
- Filling out an exchange of contracts;
- Paying a deposit;
- Arranging finance.
In order to finalize your purchase contract, both parties must complete and sign an exchange of contracts and pay each other’s deposits.
Once these tasks are complete, you may be able to close on your property within 14 days if there are no problems with mortgage approval or other issues.
Step 8 – Finalize Necessary Arrangements
The final stage to purchasing property in Australia is for you to meet with your conveyancer and ensure that all relevant agreements are finalized. This includes payment schedules, strata management service payments, documents required and any special instructions.
The information obtained from your lawyer will be put into a contract which will then need to be signed by all parties before you can continue with your home buying journey. In some cases, it may also be necessary for you to obtain finance approval before proceeding further. You should consult an expert or your mortgage broker as soon as possible if finance approval is required prior to signing contracts so that you do not lose valuable time waiting on approval.
Step 9 – Settlement
The buyer and seller agree on a settlement date. At that time, all conditions have been satisfied, including approval from any relevant government bodies (for example, local councils), sign-off from financial institutions and transfer instructions are signed over to buyers. The buyer pays their deposit to the seller’s lawyer who holds it until settlement.
On settlement day, when all conditions have been met and both parties are happy with everything, buyers and sellers swap their respective property documents at an official signing at which they receive title deeds or ownership certificates for their new home. There’s nothing physically moving; instead, these handovers are usually just recorded in paper records as part of property law.