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Conveyancing & Inspections

Before you buy


If you want to buy or sell a home, land or investment property, you will have to sign a contract. The legal work involved in preparing the sale contract, mortgage and other related documents, is called conveyancing.

Most people employ a conveyancer/settlement agent or solicitor to do legal work involved in purchasing a property such as preparing documents, giving legal advice on contracts and explaining the implications. The conveyancing process can involve the following steps:

  • Examining contract of sale.
  • Examining a strata inspection report if the property is part of a strata scheme.
  • Arranging payment of stamp duties.
  • Checking any outstanding arrears or land tax obligations.
  • Finding out if any government authority has an interest in the land or if any planned development could affect the property.
  • Finding out any information that might not have been previously disclosed, e.g. a fence dispute or illegal building work.
  • Calculating adjustments for council and water rates for the property settlement.
  • Completing any final checks prior to settlement.
  • Attending settlement.
  • Arranging payment of stamp duties.
  • Overseeing the change of title.
  • Exchanging contract of sale and paying deposit.
  • Arranging finance if necessary.
  • Arranging building and pest inspections.
  • Preparing and examining mortgage agreement.

Your agent can explain this process as it applies in your state or territory.


Before you commit to purchasing a property, several reports should be completed. The cost of a professional property inspection is minimal in comparison to the cost of buying a property requiring extensive and unforseen repairs. The most common reports requested are building inspections and pest inspections. A strata or company title report is important for people purchasing home units, as is a copy of the most recent body corporate minutes.

Building inspection
A building inspection will give you an expert’s opinion on the property’s condition and detect and identify any significant building defects or problems. The consultant will inspect:

  • Interior of the building
  • Exterior of the building
  • Roof space
  • Under-floor space
  • Roof exterior
  • Site

If problems are identified you can get specialist advice, ask the vendor to have the problems repaired, or try to negotiate a lower price.

Pest inspection reports
A pest inspection will detect whether there is any termite activity or any pests.

Strata and company title searches
If you are buying an apartment, townhouse, villa or any property managed by a company or body corporate it is important to arrange a strata or company title search. This search will show you the history of the property, identify any problems, list past repairs and proposed repairs to other units and common areas. This information is important as the cost of repairs to common property can be substantial and owners normally share the cost.