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Buying a Property

What is a Section 32 (also known as a Vendors Statement)?

When buying a property, the selling agent will give you a Vendors Statement. 

A Vendors Statement is a document that sets out certain information about a property. It details information such as the property's title description, the planning detail (including zoning and overlays), council rates, utility company rates, building permits, notices receives, owner's corporation information (if applicable) and more. 

It is important however to remember that the basic legal principal of "Caveat Emptor" (meaning Buyer Beware) is still the starting point in Victoria and a Section 32 does not contain all information about a property which may be relevant to your decision to buy. 

You need to be sure that you have made all the relevant enquiries and investigations about before you sign a contract (or ensure that a special condition is included in the contract that the sale is subject to these further inspections.)
Some of these checks include:
  • Get a building inspection
  • Make sure all the applications are working and all the fixtures and fitting are in good shape. It is a good idea to write these down. 
  • Measure the properties boundaries as per the plan attached tot he titles search in the Section 32 Vendor Statement.
  • make sure the property complies with all the local building regulations
  • Arrange for a pest inspection
 
If in doubt, contact us and we can point you in the right direction BEFORE you sing a contract. 

Contract Note and Contract of Sale

Once the agents has helped you negotiate a sale price with the vendor, the offer must be put in writing, either by way of a Contract Note or a Contract of Sale. 

In Victoria a contract of sale of land is not enforceable unless it is in writing and signed by both the vendor and the purchaser. This is regardless of whether a deposit has been paid, or a verbal agreement reached. 

Either the vendor's estate agent, or the vendor's solicitor will prepare the contract for signing. We suggest that you bring any proposed contact of sale to our office for our review prior to signing to ensure there are no nasty surprises. 

We will be pleased to take you through the terms of the sale to make sure you understand not only what you are buying, but also what your obligations are pursuant to the contract. 

What's next?

Once the contract is signed there is a lot of work to be done prior to settlement. 

You will usually have to:
  • Arrange any building or pest inspections
  • Contact your financial institution to apply for finance and provide them with all necessary documentation to ensure finance as approves by the contracted date
  • Arrange a removalist for the big day
  • Get the electricity, telephone, and gas connected (as applicable)
  • Take out insurance for the property. 
We will generally:
  • Touch base with your financial institution
  • Conduct the necessary searches and obtain all relevant certificates
  • Lodge a caveat if you require
  • Prepare the transfer documentation including Lad Titles Office Transfer and State Revenue Office Forms
  • Contact your financial institution to book in settlement
  • Prepare the statement of adjustments
  • Advise you of a settlement time and any funds required directly from you to effect settlement
  • Notify council and water authorities of the change of ownership
We will prepare a detailed letter to you setting out details about the property, stamp duty and lodging fees, and settlement matter, You should always remember that we are only a phone call away, so if you have any questions please call us. 

Adjustments

Adjustments are the financial statement of the property transaction which we prepare for you and forward to the vendor's solicitor/conveyancer for approval prior to settlement. 

This will show the purchase price, deposit paid, pro-rata adjustment of rates such as council, water body corporate charges and, if applicable, rent. 

Once these adjustments are confirmed as correct we will liaise with you lender (if applicable) and you to make final arrangements for settlement. 

Money for Settlement

If you are required to provide money for settlement we will advice you of the amounts in due course. Generally this will be approximately 2-5 days prior to settlement. 

You will need to ensure that you have your money available by this time. You can also deposit your funds to our solicitors trust accounts if needs and once settlement is close we will arrange for the cheques to be drawn. 

Before Settlement

A purchaser is entitles to conduct a final inspection once in the seven days prior to settlement. We always advise our clients to conduct a final inspection 2-3 days prior to settlement. 

You are entitled to recieve the property in the same condition it was when you inspected it, fair wear and tear expected. You should therefore be looking for damage. The vendor is not however required to repair any damage to the property that was there when you first inspected it (whether you noticed or not).

You should also be looking to see that there are signs that the vendor is moving out (you are entitled to vacant possession at settlement unless there is a tenant in the property or an agreement has been reached with the vendor).

Unfortunately a vendor is not required to clean a property for you (although it is obviously polite to leave the property in a clean state).

If you have any questions following your final inspection that the selling agent has not been able to satisfy for you, please feel free to discuss this with us. 

Settlement

Our office will attend settlement on your behalf, you are not required to attend. 

Settlement is where all stakeholders (or their representatives) attend to exchange documents and money.

Once the transaction is complete we will call you to advise you of the good news. If you are moving into a new property you can then go to the real estate agents office to collect the keys. 

After Settlement

We will inform council and the water company that you are the new property owners. We also prepare out final summary of the transaction to complete you matter. 

Questions?

We hope this answers some of the question you may have about what we do. If you do have a question which has not been answered here, please contact one of our friendly staff who will be more than happy to assist you on (03) 5440 2900 or alternatively email on info@osjlaw.com.au.
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