Thinking about buying a home?

By Benalla Ensign

Buying a home can be one of the biggest financial transactions you will ever make.

The purchase of a home involves a number of complex decisions, so it is important to appoint a professional who understands your needs and situation and who will negotiate the best possible outcome for you.


Conveyancing is the transfer of real estate ownership from one party to another.

It is a complex area of law, and unfortunately, small mistakes during conveyancing can lead to larger problems down the track.

The best way to avoid any problems is to work with a qualified and experienced property lawyer.

Unlike other service providers in this area, property lawyers are up to date on all state, local and federal requirements and are best placed to support you to understand the complexities for the purchase and sale of property.

Buying a property can affect other matters, such as taxation, Wills or family matters.

If you are buying an investment property you need to know your rights and obligations as a landlord, negative gearing and GST.

Estate agents

Most properties are sold by estate agents or vendor advocates on behalf of the vendor (the seller).

Estate agents are legally required to communicate any offer you make and must provide you with a copy of the vendor’s statement (Section 32) prior to receiving an offer on a property.

The agent has a responsibility to act ethically in their dealings with you; however, the agent’s contractual responsibility is to the vendor.

If purchasing a property at auction, obtain all relevant documentation from the selling agent.

Have your lawyer check the documentation and answer your queries before the auction day.

If you buy at the auction or within three days of the auction, you lose the right to a cooling-off period.


When buying a property, you need to calculate the total cost of the transaction, not just the purchase price.

There are various fees and charges you need to pay which can add thousands of dollars including: valuation fees; stamp duty; transfer of registration fees; bank charges; other professional fees; moving costs; inspection fees; mortgage insurance; and first home owners grant and stamp duty concessions.

You may be entitled to government assistance under the First Home Owners Grant assistance scheme or a stamp duty concession if you purchase a property that will be used as your principal place of residence.

‚óŹMore information is available from the State Revenue Office:

— Law Institute of Victoria