03 May 2017

What you need to know when buying your first property

The purchase of property is one of the biggest financial decisions that we make in our lifetime.  Many people find the conveyancing process quite daunting or time consuming.  If you have purchased property within Cairns or surrounds, we would love to assist you with your conveyance.  At Miller Harris Lawyers we have an experienced property law team located in Cairns, who can work with you throughout the conveyancing process to ensure that your purchase is as stress free and smooth as possible.

Our top tip for purchasers of property is to engage an experienced property law solicitor before you sign the contract.  As conveyancing is usually a fixed fee service, it does not cost any extra to engage a lawyer from the beginning of the transaction.  By engaging a solicitor early, it enables you to receive advice on the terms of the contract and the critical dates prior to signing.  This reduces the risk of encountering surprises after you have signed the contract, and having to pay a penalty for terminating the contract.

Our second important tip is to take out insurance over the property at the time you sign the contract.  Under most standard form contacts, the risk of the property transfers to the purchaser the day after the contract is signed (not at settlement).

How our property law team assists you throughout the conveyancing process:

  • After we have given an initial letter of advice on the terms of the contract, we will keep you updated on each of the critical dates in relation to the conveyance such as:
    • when the cooling off period, which enables you to terminate the contract, expires;
    • what date you must obtain finance by; and
    • when to carry out building or pool inspections.
  • Carry out standard searches, and also recommend if you should undertake additional searches in relation to the property.
  • Calculate any stamp duty that you will be required to pay and any concessions that you are entitled to.
  • Complete, certify and lodge all documentation.
  • Review what is included in the purchase price.
  • Liaise with the seller’s solicitor, and your financial institution, to ensure that you know exactly how much money you need in order to complete the conveyance.
  • Book and attend settlement on your behalf.
  • Notify you as soon as you become the official owners of the property!

In addition to the above, our friendly and experienced property law team are available to answer any questions you may have about conveyancing.  Our property law team is led by Partner Nigel Hales, who is the only Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in property law in the Cairns area.  We have been operating within Cairns for over 25 years so we know Cairns, and we know the issues that impact our region.

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