5 secret tips to ensure a seamless property exchange experience
Buying a property is one of the most overwhelming things one may do in their lifetime. Whilst each transaction requires no less than 3 professionals to ensure a smooth process (two legal professionals and a real estate agent), it is all too common for simple things to get missed, causing unnecessary panic at an already stressful time of your life. Surprisingly, it is often the insignificant and minimal things that are missed and are the cause of last minute havoc during the property contract exchange and settlement process.
Here are the top five things we have regularly seen get forgotten in property contracts. Make sure you chat to your conveyancer to ensure you have these items confirmed and/or locked into your contract and reduce the drama at crunch time.
Make sure the contract stipulates the actual number of keys that will be provided upon exchange. This includes keys to all the locks as well as sets of keys and number of remotes or fobs. We have seen many a disappointed customer upon being given only one key, and it is usually beyond our ability to help by that time. Formally request how many keys there are, and ensure that it is agreed they are ALL delivered.
You have the right to request the property to be left in a certain condition. Whether you request a professional cleaner to come in or expect the property to be left to a particular standard, don't forget, it is up to the seller to accept your request. At the very least, do ensure that your contract stipulates that all unwanted possessions, junk and rubbish are removed from the property before settlement.
Each state has different rules on when a buyer becomes responsible for insurance. In NSW, this is upon settlement. You can find a handy guide for other states on ANZ's website. We recommend starting your insurance from the date of exchange, just in case the seller does not have the correct insurance.
Land tax adjustment
If there is just one thing you should ask your conveyancer to check, ensure that it is 'land tax adjustment', as without careful attention this could cost you where it hurts - your pocket. Most purchasers are unaware that they could be liable for seller's land tax, so make sure you cover this off to ensure you are not expected to wear these costs.
Generally speaking, all fixed structures and items should be included in the cost of the sale however they still need to be listed and ticked off as “inclusions”. If the seller or real-estate agent has agreed to offer any free-standing items with the sale of the property, do ensure these are added on the front page as inclusions, to ensure no nasty surprises upon settlement.
Good luck with your property purchase! Wishing you a stress-free and smooth property transaction!