Are You Putting Your Property Transaction At Risk?
Buying or Selling your Home is a big decision and a significant matter for most people. The Legal Elements is a Brisbane law firm offering substantial experience with Brisbane conveyancing matters and have represented both buyers and sellers of property for all legal matters. This brings peace of mind to our clients.
Our Solicitors Can Offer Assistance With Property Law In The Following Ways:
- Help you fully understand the issues involved in purchasing or selling property in Australia
- Assistance with Buying A House or Selling Your House at public auction/private treaty
- Advice for your Contract for Sale
- Advice in regard to the ‘cooling off period’ and deposits
- Negotiating terms and conditions for the sale or purchase of property
- Advice in regard to sale or purchase of vacant land, units, strata and community title, rural land and purchases ‘off the plan’
- Advice for meeting lender requirements
- Arrange title searches and land enquiries
- Help you with execution of contracts, settlement and completion
- Help with the legal requirements for subdivisions and property developments
- Advice in regard to building contracts
- Advice and negotiation in regard to neighbourhood disputes including dividing fence disputes
- Representation in dispute resolution and at Court
- Sustainability Declarations, Disclosure and Warning Statements
- Cost appraisal including stamp duty, and disbursements such as search and registration fees
- Property tenancy including joint tenants and tenants in common
- Seller’s Statement, general conditions, and special conditions
- Retirement Village purchases, leases and service contracts
- Liaison with financial institutions in regard to deposit bonds, loans, mortgages and discharges of mortgages
- Adjustments to the purchase price in regard to rates and allowances
- Preparing and registering Powers of Attorney
- Advice in regard to easements and covenants on title searches
The Legal Elements are registered with the Office of State Revenue and can provide ‘in-house’ duty stamping on transactions and are also a lodger with the Department of Environment & Resource Management (Queensland Titles Office).
Purchasing a house should be a happy and exciting time for individuals and families. At The Legal Elements, we are committed to keeping it that way by helping you through every step of the process and ensuring that all legal requirements—including unforeseen, potentially serious complications—are seen to by our professionals who deal with property issues every day.
After all the thought you’ve put into finding the right house, the conveyance process itself may seem like a mere formality. Yet buyers are often caught off guard by complicated questions and requirements that can arise along the way.
- Do you know how you want the purchase, including survivorship, to be structured in order to best meet your needs?
- Have all the details of your financing been secured?
- Are you fully informed about all fees and future tax liabilities as well as property insurance requirements?
Along with our expertise in all Brisbane conveyancing matters, we pride ourselves on providing personal service and making ourselves available to address your concerns through every step of the process. Whether this is your first house purchase or fifteenth, every purchase comes with questions and details that need to be addressed.
From day one,
- we will always be here to answer every question;
- closely review every contract and recommend changes where needed;
- conduct property-related searches to avoid any surprise problems down the road; and much more.
Our experience with Queensland conveyancing laws takes the pressure and worry off of you to make sure nothing goes wrong before, during or after the sale so there is no extra stress—and no buyer’s remorse.
In short, we’re here to protect your rights. Our goal is to make the process stress-free, so you can focus on what’s really important—your plans for enjoying your new home to its fullest.
Most people will first see a contract when dealing with a property agent. The contract you sign is your offer to purchase the property on your terms such as the price, amount of deposit, finance period, building & pest period, any special conditions and length of settlement (settlement date).
Remember that the more terms in the contract, the more protected a buyer is in the process (with potential “get out” opportunities) and the less terms the better the offer looks to the seller in regards to acceptance.
It is up to the seller whether or not they accept your terms or make a counter offer on price or terms. The negotiation sometimes can go back and forth a few times until an agreement has been reached and the contract has been signed by both parties. The contract is then dated and is “on foot”.
You may have lined up a solicitor before the contract entering into the contract with the seller. If this is the case it is normally a good idea to have the agent send a copy of it to your solicitor before signing to make sure there are no issues.
In some contracts it may be prudent to have a number of special conditions which may benefit the buyer or the seller or both. An example is that you may need to sell a house you currently live in or may have sold your current house but still need it to go to settlement before you can complete settlement on the new house you are buying.
Likewise a seller may need a special condition where they need the approval of their mortgagee (lender) that the security (mortgage) will be released for settlement. Often the agent will have “model” special conditions they will insert for you or otherwise contact our office and we can assist you further.
Cooling Off Period
For consumer protection there is a 5 business day cooling off period on the conveyancing contract as required under legislation. The cooling off period commences on the day that the “seller signed contract” has been received by the buyer or buyer’s solicitor and then ends at 5:00pm on the fifth business day.
During the cooling off period you can end the property conveyancing contract with no reason given, however you may have to pay a termination penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price which the seller is entitled to claim under legislation.
Sometimes to sweeten the offer to a seller, the cooling off period can be waived in writing (current PAMDA requirement is for a Form 32a solicitor certificate to be used). This is the buyer’s choice to waive and it is also their right to keep a cooling off period in place.
The deposit amount on the contract can be any amount offered by the buyer as part of their terms. Generally there will be an initial deposit then a balance deposit (usually after finance has been satisfied). There can be no deposit at all, both deposits or one or the other deposit, it depends on the offer made by the buyer.
Normal practice is that the total combined deposit amounts do not exceed 10% (this will extended up to 20% under POA commencement for “off the plan” contracts in the near future). Remember that a seller may have their mind set on a certain deposit being offered as your commitment. Brisbane Real Estate Agents will normally look for a deposit amount that shows your genuine interest in the property and usually sufficient to cover their commission with the seller at settlement.
Deposits are refundable to the buyer where contracts have been ended under a clearly worded special condition to the same effect, finance or building & pest provisions. Where special conditions have not been clearly worded in relation to termination and return of deposits, a dispute can arise between the parties.
A finance period may be inserted in the contract, this can be any period as part of your offer to purchase the property. Commonly in Queensland we see 14 or 21 day finance periods. If you are not pre-approved with your lender for finance we recommend the longer period.
The Buyer must reasonably take steps to obtain finance. Some contracts will create an obligation on the Buyer to provide evidence of finance rejection in order to terminate the contract pursuant to finance.
In Queensland, where finance has not been approved to your satisfaction by the due date, the seller may grant an extension. There is no guarantee that an extension will be granted and the seller has the right to terminate after the expiry of the finance approval date.
Conveyancing for Brisbane property transactions:
Your solicitor will do all things normally required to conduct the conveyance of the property such as briefly exampled below:
Advise on contract terms & conditions
Confirm relevant contract dates such as cooling off, building & pest, finance, any special condition dates and settlement date
Obtain your instruction on relevant contract dates such as building & pest, finance, any special condition dates before acting to satisfy or terminate
Conduct property searches during the conveyance
Liaise with your lender/finance broker
Calculate settlement figures including duty payable
Attend to duty assessment and any documentation required to claim a reduction (where entitled)
Prepare Transfer documentation
Lodge a settlement notice (where required)
Direct you on equity funds required into a trust account (where required)
Arrange cheque directions with your lender
Finalise and attend settlement
Notify the agent that settlement has been completed so that you can collect the keys (usually the agent will hold the keys)
- whether you want to up-size or downsize,
- relocate to another area
- or for any other reason—is a major decision.
Then there’s the matter of finding a buyer and negotiating the price. It’s no small undertaking, as anyone who’s been through the process will tell you (or as you remember yourself, if you’ve been through this before).
We generally recommend the hiring of a good real estate agent to help you through this part of the process—from showing the property to potential buyers to negotiating the best possible deal.
But the sale of property is never as simple as one party writing a cheque to another and closing the deal with a firm handshake. In order for the sale to take place efficiently, transparently and to the satisfaction of all parties involved, you need the services of a professional who is experienced with every aspect of the sale and dedicated to seeing you through the process successfully. We are experts at understanding Brisbane Conveyancing regulations and issues.
Typically your real estate agent will draw up a sales contract based on the terms you’ve negotiated with the buyer. (If you do not use a real estate agent, our office can also prepare contracts for a small fee.) Before conveyance takes place, we will review the contract closely to be certain all terms of the sale are to your satisfaction. We’re also here to answer any questions you have to ensure you fully understand the terms of the contract.
If the house or apartment has been your primary residence, selling it can represent a major life change, and you’ll likely have a lot of details on your mind about making the move. We provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing that our Brisbane based Legal Elements Conveyancing experts have your back from the start of the process to the very end.
In addition to residential purchases and sales, The Legal Elements team also specializes in meeting all of your conveyance needs for commercial property. These needs can vary greatly depending on the nature of the property itself—including commercial/industrial and Crown leasehold properties—and the type of transaction you’re conducting.
With so many details at stake, even the most seasoned businessperson is wise to take the counsel of an experienced commercial property conveyancing solicitor to make the deal as beneficial to you and hassle-free as possible.
Because our services are highly personlised, we will talk with you at length to understand your goals for your commercial property transaction and how best to achieve them.
- Are you concerned about asset protection?
- Do you have questions about the best structure of your financing?
- Most importantly, are you certain you are being treated fairly?
Having someone on your side who understands commercial property deals in the Brisbane market is a must in order to avoid problems before, during and after a deal while maximising your advantage in the process.
Our services are not limited to the sale, purchase and development of Brisbane commercial property. We also assist many clients with
- easements and subdivision of property;
- creating or dealing with property-holding trusts or other entities;
- registering, making changes to or removing easements;
- dealing with building contracts;
- subdivision of land
- leasing issues and put-and-call options.
We understand that the laws regarding commercial conveyancing in Queensland can be particularly complex and can also change. We take pride in providing our clients with the most up-to-date, specialized information and advice pertaining to your situation. We also pride ourselves on taking the long view of your commercial conveyance matters so that the final deal will continue to meet your needs in the future. We look forward to working with you!
Investment properties in Brisbane and throughout Queensland can be among the most stable investments individuals and families can make while also providing excellent growth opportunities. And while investing in property is often associated mainly with developers or large-scale investors, more and more individuals are looking at property as simply another avenue for investing their money and, ideally, turning a profit.
Along with the wide range of investment property conveyancing services we provide with any property purchase or sale, we are also highly experienced in the specific codes and regulations that govern property investment in Queensland.
The types of property in which people choose to invest vary widely—from a single rental home to large commercial spaces and even rural lots—so you need a professional who understand these types of deals inside and out.
Our first responsibility to you as a buyer or a seller of investment property is to make sure that you understand all the nuances of the prospective deal.
- Are you well informed about local tax considerations?
- Is the deal properly structured to fit with your wealth creation goals down the road?
We’ll also go above and beyond to help with wills and estate planning in order to leave nothing to chance. And regardless of the size of the investment, all of our clients require and receive the same attention to detail when it comes to making sure the investment property is structured wisely for their purposes.
Finally, most people who purchase investment property do so with plans to lease the property to other parties, including residential or commercial tenants. We can help with leases; building contracts if you plan to develop or improve the property’ and all other legal needs related to property investment. You’ll benefit from knowing we’re here to look after your needs and will always be available to answer your questions.
Many real estate agents have their own preferred solicitor they typically refer—many, in fact, recommend us to their clients—but it doesn’t mean you have no choice in the matter. Always make sure your conveyancing matters are handled by someone you trust and you feel is giving you the best price.
In fact, in addition to real estate agents, many of our referrals also come from satisfied customers who recommend our conveyancing Brisbane firm based on the professional, attentive service and advice they received from us—as well as a competitive rate that helped them save money in the process.
In particular, our clients appreciate the fixed-fee policy we offer for almost any type of transaction that applies from the start of the process to the finish. If a purchase falls through and you have to start over with the next prospective buyer or seller, we will not charge you additional fees. And while we consider it part of our job to foresee and eliminate potential problems that can cause a deal to fall apart, we also know that some things are outside of our—and your—control when it comes to real-estate deals. Our fixed-fee policy helps to remove some of the stress that comes with a drawn-out purchase or sale that involves unforeseen complications.
Call us any time on 07 3844 2200 for a free, personalised conveyancing quote with no obligation or pressure. We look forward to hearing from you!