Buying FAQs

  1. What are the costs of buying a property?
    A real estate transaction is associated with many costs and expenses. A prior understanding of the costs can help you plan your budget smartly. Some of the common expenses you must account for when buying property are:

    • Stamp duty
    • Fees and charges related to obtaining a mortgage
    • Search costs
    • Registration fee
    • Conveyancing fee
    • Moving costs
    • Taxes and rates over the period for which you will own the property
  2. Who is a buyer’s agent?
    A buyer’s agent acts exclusively on your – the buyer’s – behalf. The agent helps you identify properties suited to your needs, organizes inspections, negotiates the selling price and contract, and monitors the contract from sale to settlement.
  3. What is a Strata Title?
    Strata Title is a type of ownership where the individual (buyer) owns part of the property (a lot, townhouse or apartment) and shares ownership in the rest (common property comprising gardens, driveways, etc) through a community association or owners corporation.
  4. What is a cooling-off period?
    After the contracts have been exchanged, a provision called the cooling-off period allows the buyer to have a change of heart and cancel the contract. During this period, the seller is forbidden from selling the property to another buyer. A cooling-off period does not apply if you have successfully bid at a property auction.
  5. Should I hire a conveyancer or do the job myself?
    While you are permitted by law to do your own conveyancing, it is a specialized job best left to a professional conveyancer. Make sure you know what you are doing or you risk delaying the settlement.
  6. Do I have to pay GST on my home purchase?
    You don’t have to pay GST if you have bought an already established home. However, in case of a newly-built home, GST would have been applicable to the goods and services used in constructing the home, which will reflect in the overall cost of the building. Building and pest inspections, and property valuation may attract GST.
  7. What special conditions can a contract contain?
    A contract can contain different types of special conditions. These include a financial penalty in the event of a delay and soil and termite tests.
  8. When should I organize insurance?
    While it is not necessary to have insurance until settlement, it is best to organize insurance from the time of exchange. If you move into the property before settlement, the seller may want to make an arrangement where you are responsible for insurance starting from the time you take possession.
  9. What problem can first-time home buyers face in an auction?
    Real estate auction sales are unconditional, meaning you cannot cancel the contract if your loan application is rejected. They are typically intended for buyers who have ready cash to complete the purchase. For a first-time home buyer who almost always seeks financing to purchase, an auction can be a huge risk if the home loan is not approved.
  10. Can I buy a property with another person?
    Yes, there are two types of shared/co-ownership you can consider. Joint tenants is one, where you and the other individual (spouse or other) own equal shares of the property. Tenants in common is another form of co-ownership, where the two owners can hold equal or unequal shares of the property.

Still have more questions related to buying property? Get in touch with our experts at Professionals Real Estate today.