I have made an offer and it has been accepted! What’s next?
When you have an offer accepted, the Agent will ask who will be acting on your behalf. A sales advice will be forwarded to the respective legal representatives. Your Solicitor/Conveyancer will contact you to discuss any requirements which you may have. At this time, you will need to advise your Solicitor/Conveyancer who your Mortgage Broker or Bank will be so that they can satisfy any requirements which your lender may have. You should then consider ordering any pre-purchase inspections such as Pest and Building reports, a Survey report, Electrical Wiring report or any other report which may be necessary. The Vendor's Solicitor/Conveyancer will issue a Contract for Sale in accordance with the sales advice received from the Agent. Please note - at this stage, neither you nor the Vendor are bound by the terms of the Contract. The property is still on the market and the Vendor can accept other offers.
When do I pay the deposit?
The Contract calls for a deposit to be paid which is equal to 10% of the purchase price. This can of course be negotiated and you should speak with your Solicitor/Conveyancer about this should you not be in a position to pay a full 10% deposit. The deposit can be paid at any time before exchange of Contracts. This is seen as a "sign of good faith" but is not binding until the exchange of Contracts.
The vendor wants me to waive the cooling off period, what does this mean? In NSW a purchaser is entitled to 5 business days to "cool off" following the signing and exchange of Contracts. It is not uncommon for a Vendor to require a Purchaser to waive their rights under the cooling off period. This will mean that you will be locked into the Contract straight away and you should discuss this aspect with your Solicitor/Conveyancer.
Contracts have exchanged,what does this mean?
Your Solicitor/Conveyancer by now will have discussed with you the contents of the Contract. They will ensure that you have formal approval of finance in place, the deposit is paid and that any other concerns you had have been addressed. This means that both parties will be legally bound by the terms of the Contract. You will notice that the "SOLD" sticker is now placed over the "For Sale" sign.
How long is the settlement period and what happens?
Each contract varies, however, the general time frame is 6 weeks from the date of exchange. This time frame can be shortened if all parties are in agreement. In this time, your Solicitor/Conveyancer will complete all relevant statutory searches and enquiries and ensure that all loan conditions have been satisfied. They will make any necessary adjustments for local Council rates, water usage and other outgoings. As the date of settlement approaches, it will be necessary for you to ensure that you have home and contents insurance in place. You will also be required to carry out a final inspection of the property and this can be arranged through the Real Estate Agent. You should note the condition of the property as at the date of exchange of Contracts. If there is any damage other than fair wear and tear then you should immediately advise your Solicitor/Conveyancer prior to settlement.
Congratulations! The date of settlement is the day that you become the legal owner of the property and the balance of the purchase price is paid to the seller. Once settlement has been completed, you will be able to collect the keys to the property from the selling Agent and move into your new home.