Purchaser checklist

Purchasing a property is an exciting event in anyone’s life. However, the conveyancing process can be quite daunting for those who are unfamiliar with it, and even ostensibly minor oversights can have drastic consequences.

We therefore recommend that new purchasers, and even those experienced in the housing market, familiarise themselves with the intricacies of a property transaction in order to simplify what can occasionally be a stressful process.

Below are some of the essential aspects of the property transaction that purchasers should ensure they have accounted for:

Purchaser Checklist

Item Why is this important? Completed? 
Review of land dimensions  

We recommend that prospective purchasers arrange for an appointment to inspect the property and ensure that the dimensions of land align with those as shown in the Plan of Subdivision.


Confirm if there are covenants on Title  

This is particularly relevant if you plan on completing any works to the property, as there may be restrictive covenants which limit the extent/type of works that may be undertaken.

This information will be contained in the Section 32.


Confirm if there are easements on Title  

This will be contained in the Plan of Subdivision and requires that permission be obtained from the relevant authorities if you wish to build on the easement.


Confirm zoning and overlays  

This affects the type and extent of building works that you may complete to the property.

The following interactive service can assist you in confirming these details: http://mapshare.vic.gov.au/vicplan/


Confirm your manner of holding  

Your elected manner of holding will affect the rights accorded to you in respect of the property. You will need to confirm whether you intend to purchase the property as a sole proprietor, joint proprietor or tenant in common.



Arrange for building and pest inspection and report


Building and pest inspections are essential to identify any defects in the building and any pest activity which may cause a loss of structural integrity to the property or otherwise require maintenance.



Arrange for the connection of services


The Section 32 will state which services are connected to the property. You will need to arrange with the relevant authorities for services to be connected in your name(s) from the date of settlement.


Apply for the First Home Owner Grant (if eligible)  

A First Home Owner Grant of $10,000 is available when you buy or build your first home (for homes valued at up to $750,000). The Grant is $20,000 if the new home is built in regional Victoria (until 30 June 2020). To see whether you are eligible for the Grant, visit https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/content/will-i-be-eligible-first-home-owner-grant



Claim Principal Place of Residence tax exemption (if applicable)


If you intend to reside in the property as your principal place of residence within 12 months of settlement, you may be eligible for a reduction in the amount of Stamp Duty you are required to pay.


Lodge a caveat  

As a purchaser, you have acquired an interest in the property you are purchasing and have the right to lodge a caveat on the vendor’s title. This is a precautionary measure recommended by the Law Institute of Victoria and prevents the vendor from dealing with the land contrary to your interests (e.g. attempting to sell the property to another purchaser for a higher purchase price).


Inspect the property prior to settlement  

You have the right to inspect the condition of the property at any reasonable time in the 7 days before settlement. We strongly recommend contacting the vendor’s agent to arrange for a time to inspect the property and ensure that its condition at settlement is the same as when you signed the contract.


Secure finance  

As a purchaser, it is essential that you secure adequate finance prior to settlement of the property. If you do not have sufficient funds to settle, you may forfeit your deposit and could potentially be liable for loss and damage suffered by the vendor, including the costs of readvertising the property.


The above items represent only a portion of the things that must be considered by prospective purchasers, which is why it is important to engage conveyancers that understand the process and can assist in making the transaction as comfortable as possible for you.

Merton Lawyers has significant experience in the conveyancing field and can lend assistance in the above areas as well as all other aspects of property transactions, whether you are interested in purchasing or selling a home.

If you would like to get in touch, please do not hesitate to call our office on 03 9645 9500, or email danielle.murphy@mertonlawyers.com.

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