What happens next? – A Property Buyer’s Guide to the Settlement process in Brisbane

So you have just secured your dream home or investment property in Brisbane.…the contract is signed…. so what happens next?  Brisbane Buyers Agent, Your Property Hound provides some advice to assist you through the settlement process in Brisbane.

Insurance

Under Queensland Law, the property that you have just purchased is at the buyer’s risk from 5pm on the first business day after the contract date. It is therefore important to arrange building, contents and/or landlord insurance ASAP after entering into a binding contract. (For unit or townhouse purchases, insurance is normally provided by the Body Corporate. Details of the insurance be found in the body corporate disclosure statement.)

Legals

Nominate your preferred solicitor or conveyancer on the contract of sale and check that they have received a copy of the executed contract. Your conveyancer will help you to meet your legal obligations and perform due diligence on your behalf.

To find a good conveyancing solicitor, ask for a referral from any friends or colleagues that have recently purchased property in Brisbane. Your buyer’s agent or mortgage broker can also provide recommendations. Expect to pay between $1,000-1,500 for most purchases (includes professional and search fees).

Pay your deposit!

The deposit amount and timeframe for payment can be found on the contract of sale. It is critical that the deposit money is received on time. Take into account that payments made by cheque or funds transfer usually take 48hours to clear. Deposits money is usually paid into the sales agent’s trust account.

Finance approval

If your purchase is ‘subject to finance’ you should contact with your bank or broker immediately after receiving the executed contract. Advise them of your purchase and alert them to important timeframes.

Building and Pest inspections

Structural problems or damage caused by termites can be expensive to remedy and is of particular concern for many Brisbane property purchases. It also provides an opportunity for purchases to ask about any opportunities for extension or renovation, as well as any ongoing maintenance.

Make sure the inspector holds a current licence from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission and is appropriately insured.

If possible you should always attend the building and pest inspection in person. It is much easier and more helpful to talk to the inspector on the day than it is to interpret their 40page report! You can expect to pay $500 – $600 for a standard, 3 bedroom home.

Swimming Pool inspection

Brisbane’s warm climate means that many properties have in-ground pools. Organizing a specific pool inspection is recommended to ensure that there are no leaks, and to check that the pool equipment is working. Inspections are usually arranged at the same time as the building and pest inspection, and typically cost between $170 – $350.

Appoint a Property Manager

If you are buying an investment property in Brisbane, it is important to appoint a property manager and begin advertising for tenants as soon as the contract becomes unconditional. This will help to minimise the vacancy period after settlement.

Perform a Pre-settlement inspection

A pre-settlement inspection can be arranged on the day of settlement. The purpose of the inspection is to make sure that the property is left in the same condition as when you inspected it. It is particularly important to check that all furniture items and any rubbish has been removed.

Settlement Day

You finally take possession of your new Brisbane property. It is recommended that champagne is served chilled and pizza is delivered to the front door. Welcome to property ownership – let the mortgage payments begin!

Matt Reeves is the founder and principal of Your Property Hound buyer’s agents – a service that assists investors and homeowners to purchase property in the Brisbane area. Your Property Hound offers a range of services to local, interstate and overseas buyers including property searching, inspections, negotiations/ auction bidding and managing the settlement process in Brisbane.