‘Do you really need a solicitor to make an offer on a house’?
Making an offer and entering into a contract for sale without knowing your legal rights can have profound long-term consequences on your finances and your overall quality of life.
Buying a house can be one of the biggest financial investments you could ever make and so you want to make sure that you know the details, are aware of any hidden clauses and have all the necessary information at hand so you can make not only an informed decision, but also the right offer. To accomplish all of this, it is advisable to have a lawyer to assist you with this process.
BEFORE YOU BUY
Buying by private treaty
The most common way to buy in NSW is by private treaty. This is where a seller advertises the amount they’d like to achieve for their property and then negotiates with prospective buyers. The contract for sale becomes activated once you exchange contracts with the seller. At this time you’ll also have to pay the full deposit on your place (usually 10% minus any holding deposit you’ve paid).
Buying at auction
Auctions can sometimes seem daunting; not least because there’s no cooling off period. If the gavel comes down and you’re the highest bidder you’re usually bound to go through with the purchase, no matter how unfair the contract might be.
Before the auction, your solicitor will identify any terms that might not be in your favour and negotiate with the vendor’s solicitor to change them.
That way if your bid is the winning one, you can be sure the contract you sign will be in your interest.
Buying an apartment or townhouse
Most apartments and townhouses in NSW are strata title which means you’re not only buying real estate, you’re also buying into the rights and obligations of being a member of the
owners’ corporation (or body corporate).
Being a an apartment owner means you’ll need to pay strata levies and the way you can use your property will be restricted by by-laws. You may also need to contribute money for communal issues, such as plumbing, roof and window repair and property maintenance, even when you’re not directly affected.
Because this can affect the value of what you’re buying, it’s important you get a full picture of the owner’s corporation’s activities before you buy and that you know exactly what work is planned and whether there’s enough money to cover it.
5 features that rarely add value to a home
- Swimming pools – While you may like it, others possibly think ‘hassle’, ‘danger’, ‘expensive to maintain’ and the like
- Extravagant fittings and fixtures – Buyers appreciate a good finish and fresh presentation, but most won’t know you went for the most expensive bathroom or light fittings and the money you spent, will most likely not be a good ROI.
- Things you cannot see – If you can’t see it, it’s unlikely to boost your return. This includes wall and ceiling insulation, double glazing and new air-con systems.
- Fancy landscaping or no landscaping – When it comes to the garden, you need to find a balance. No garden is a big turn off, just as much as a highly manicured garden which means enormous upkeep for people.
- Sub-par DIY work – Doing a less-than-average job can cost you dearly. Dodgy tiling and painting is easy to spot at home inspections. Half-finished jobs devalue a house.
Things that increase your properties appeal
- Colour schemes should be warm and inviting; off-whites and other neutrals make rooms feel lighter and more spacious.
- Lighting should be balanced throughout, ensuring all rooms are well presented. Features should be highlighted by lighting and dull areas brightened up, thus drawing prospective buyers into each space.
- Flooring should be modern, mainstream and in good condition. Light fittings, switches, door handles and locks should be updated.
- Clutter should be removed so prospective buyers can see a clean palette of a home and can visualise their own belongings in the home. However, be mindful of making it too austere and sparse – some warmth is always appreciated.
Prevention is the best option
Tyler & Co understands that, for most people, the purchase or sale of a home or investment property is the biggest single transaction that they will ever undertake. We know the anxiety that accompanies it. We also understand that, even in apparently routine transactions, ‘the devil is in the detail’. That’s why we apply as much care to our conveyancing service as we do to the most complex commercial contracts.
If you would like assistance with your sale or purchase, call Tyler & Co on 02 9966 1799 to arrange an appointment.
Please note: This article provides general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice. The team at Tyler & Co are happy to provide advice that is specifically tailored to your situation.