WOLLONGONG(02) 4221 9311
SHELLHARBOUR(02) 4295 8400

Buying Your Property

At Kells we offer a premium conveyancing service at a fixed price and will ensure your property purchase will go smoothly as possible. 

Whether you are a sophisticated investor or a first home owner, our team can guide you throughout the purchase process and help you avoid hidden risks. Steps Involved:

  • Pre-purchase enquiries
  • Exchanging contracts
  • After exchange of contracts
  • Completion of your purchase (settlement).

Step 1: Pre-purchase enquiries

Prior to proceeding with exchange of contracts or the expiration of any cooling-off period, there are three primary aspects of the purchase we will review and discuss with you.


If you need a loan to purchase the property you will need to make a formal application through your bank or broker, and obtain unconditional loan approval.

State and condition of the property

When you purchase a property, it is bought “as is” in its current state of condition and repair as at the date of exchange of contracts.

There are a range of enquiries that can be obtained to help you discover any potential issues with the property. The main reports that can be obtained are pest and building inspection reports and a strata inspection report if you are purchasing a strata title property. Our staff may also recommend additional reports depending on the property being purchased including, but not limited, to survey reports, building certificates and outstanding orders searches. We can also search Council’s records to obtain evidence of approval and certificates issued in relation to structures on the property.

Contract for sale

We will meet with you to discuss the contract. Not all contracts are the same and it is important to have a professional review the document thoroughly to make sure your rights are protected. Reviewing a contract will generally include consideration of the following:

  • The items that are included as part of the purchase price. These may include curtains, air conditioning units and other items agreed upon
  • The deposited plan showing the location and size of the land and any restrictions, easements or covenants that may apply
  • If the property is strata title, we will also review the restrictions applying to the common property and the strata by laws which set out the rules that must be followed
  • The zoning certificate issued by the local Council detailing how the land can be used and any restrictions on development
  • The sewer diagram showing the location of the sewer main
  • If you are buying the property with someone else, we will also discuss with you the type of ownership you will have
  • We will also confirm with you the stamp duty payable and whether you are eligible for any exemptions or grants.

Step 2: Exchanging contracts

Exchange of contracts is a term used to signify the creation of the legally binding relationship between you and the vendor.

Until contracts are exchanged, the vendor can sell the property to someone else if they choose.
There are two ways that exchange of contracts can take place:

Option 1: Exchange of contracts by the real estate agent

You sign the contract with the real estate agent at their office and pay a holding deposit of 0.25% of the purchase price. In most cases this happens shortly after your offer is accepted.

Once contracts have exchanged, the vendor cannot sell the property to any other party. You as the purchaser, however, have a 5 business day cooling-off period. This means you can pull out of the contract for any reason. If you do pull out of the contract, the 0.25% deposit you have paid will be forfeited to the vendor.

During the cooling-off period you will finalise the pre-purchase enquiries outlined in Step 1 above.

Option 2: Exchange of contracts by the vendor’s solicitor

You discuss and sign the contract with your lawyer or conveyancer at our office and we will send the contract to the vendor’s solicitor for exchange.

In most cases, exchange of contracts will only take place when you have conducted all pre-purchase enquiries as outlined in Step 1 and are ready to proceed without having a cooling-off period.

Step 3: After exchange of contracts

After exchange, you will need to sign your mortgage documents for your lender. These mortgage documents must be returned to your bank in a timely manner to ensure there are no delays to settlement.

We will contact various government departments including the Local Council, the Water Authority and Roads and Maritime Services as well as the manager of the Owners Corporation (if applicable), to make sure they do not have any plans that will affect the property and there are no outstanding rates or levies owing on the property.

Prior to settlement you will complete a final inspection of the property to make sure it is in the condition it was when you agreed to buy it.

Step 4: Completion of your purchase – settlement

Completion, or settlement as it is sometimes referred to, is the day on which you pay the balance of the purchase price, take possession of the property and have legal title transferred to you.

We will make arrangements with your lender and provide you with a statement showing the total amount needed to pay for the property. This statement will include your share of rates and levies, our legal fees and stamp duty.

Once completion takes place, the property will be transferred into your name and any mortgages will be registered. We will arrange for the Local Council, the Water Authority and the Valuer General to be notified that you are the new owner.

When settlement has been completed we will notify you and the real estate agent. After notice of settlement has been provided to the agent, you can collect the keys and take possession of your new property.

Buying property or a home is one of the most stressful and expensive things you will really ever do.

It is vital that you seek legal advice from someone experienced in conveyancing and who knows the area. At Kells, we can talk with you and be beside you as you take the steps towards owning your home or property.


Need help with a legal issue?
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