FAQ: How is buying a property in Victoria different to other States and Territories?
Conveyancing laws and proceedures are different in each State and Territory. That's why we can only assist with Victorian residential properties.
We have helped many interstate and overseas-based clients (Australian citizens and permanent residents) with purchasing property in Victoria. Here are three ways buying a property in Victoria is different to other juridictions in Australia:
Once the contract is signed, the deal is done
The contract contains all the terms and conditions about your property purchase, including any building and pest inspection clause, finance approval period and the settlement date. All of these items are up for negotiation between the parties, before they sign the contract. If it’s not in the contract, it’s not part of the deal. This is somewhat different to NSW, where the process and timeline are dictated by the law (outside of the contract). Never sign a contract without getting legal advice first: once you sign, it’s too late to negotiate any terms or add any special conditions.
Beware the cooling off period – if there is one
A purchaser has a three business day cooling off period, that starts from the business day after the purchaser signs the contract. The purchaser can pull out of the contract before the three days is up, provided they serve notice on the vendor’s lawyer/conveyancer. The vendor is entitled to keep 0.2% of the purchase price if the purchaser cools off. But there is no cooling off period if the property was purchased at an auction, or within three business days (before or after) of an advertised auction. If you buy at auction, there’s no going back.
Know what comes with the property, and what doesn’t
Anything fixed to the property (screwed, nailed, bolted or permanently attached) automatically comes with the property. This includes light fittings, window furnishings, floor coverings, TV antennas, air-conditioners, built in-kitchen appliances and permanent structures. For the avoidance of doubt, items that aren’t fixed to the property should be listed under the Goods Sold With The Land section in the contract, such as a freestanding dishwasher and oven, swimming pool equipment and portable kitchen island benches. If the vendor wants to take a fixture with them (such as a particular light fitting or built-in book shelf), they need to specify that in the contract too.
Note: the above is general information and should not be considered as legal advice.
Photo by Catarina Sousa