(03) 9720 2922

Jansen Walsh and Grace


 


What we do
We understand that for most individuals buying their house is one of the biggest financial commitments they can ever make.  You want a firm which has the specialist expertise and resources to take the purchase of your new home through to completion with expertise. You do not want to be working with a firm where the conveyancer works one day a week or where the time taken to deal with the purchase of your new home can be far too long.  We know that buying your home can be a very anxious and stressful experience.  We provide personalised service with up to date property advice for residential property.  As we follow a logical sequence in a timely manner, you do not have to feel you have to push through on processes.  The information on this page is intended to help you if you are buying your own home.  We have separate pages with information if you are buying an investment property or your superannuation fund is buying a property.


Special offer
We offer advice on your Contract of Sale before you buy: normally $275, but only $150 (free if you retain us to assist you with your purchase) or $195 for off-the-plan purchases (also free if you retain us to assist you with your purchase).

"The estate agent will only submit my offer to the vendor if I use his conveyancer.  What can I do?"
Refusing to submit an offer unless you use his conveyancer breaches several laws.  The estate agent is attempting to earn a kick-back from the conveyancer.  At moment, referral fees paid by licensed conveyancers to estate agents is not illegal.  Consumer Affairs Victoria, in its Consumer Property Law Review, has expressed concern at the conflict of interests that may arise for licensed conveyancers who make a payment to an estate agent who has referred the vendor or purchaser to them.  It has been suggested, Consumer Affairs Victoria notes, that there should be a ban on the payment of referral fees or other commissions to estate agents as legal and ethical problems arise for the licensed conveyancer and also because the fee paid to the estate agent must be passed onto the client, resulting in higher overall charges for the client.  The Consumer Law Action Centre has made a submission that they should be banned.  Consumer Affairs Victoria is considering whether referral fees should be banned.

We do not pay any referral fees.  As we have 37 years' of experience, our legal work is repeat, recommended and word of mouth.

Vendors concealing information about the house you are buying
Legislation before Parliament will authorise the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria to make guidelines to assist vendors and their agents to understand what a “material fact” is which they must disclose to you before you buy  Those guidelines have not yet been published.  However, they may require revealing that a person had been murdered on the property or that it had formerly been used for making illegal drugs.

Tracking the progress of your settlement
We can reduce the stress of buying your house by instantly updating you on the progress of your property settlement (we cannot do this yet if you are borrowing and the vendor insists upon using the almost obsolete old-fashioned method of meeting face-to-face in the city).  This saves you the frustration chasing for updates.


First home buyers
Land transfer duty has been abolished for your first home if the purchase price is below $600,000.  There is a concessional rate of land transfer duty on homes valued from $601,000 to $750,000.  This will enable you to put more of your savings towards paying off your new home.  If the home you are buying is between $600,000 and $750,000, you will still be eligible for a concession on duty, applied on a sliding scale.  The duty exemption and duty concession applies to both new and established homes.  Australian Defence Force personnel are exempt from the residence requirements for the first home buyer duty exemption and concession on all transfers from 1 July 2018.


Principal place of residence concession
Even if you are not a first home owner, you are entitled to a concession on land transfer duty on a sliding scale if:
1.   the property is valued up to $550,000;
2.   you use the property as your principal place of residence within 12 months after settlement;
3.   you reside in the property as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 12 months.

If you are borrowing to fund part of the purchase price, your lender will calculate the land transfer duty and the transfer registration fee.  However, you can calculate the land transfer duty and the transfer registration fee, if you wish.  It does not deal with off-the-plan purchases.

Effect of the royal commission into banking industry
Since 1 May 2018, we have seen the banks' credit departments take much longer to approve loans, and, in addition, they are now applying stricter lending criteria.  This is a consequence of the hearings of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.  For this reason, we advise you to consider whether you should make your purchase subject to finance for a period longer than the usual 10 days and to extend the time for settlement until 60 days.  The usual 30 days might not be time enough for your lender.  Delays in loan approvals have also delayed building starts.



Being the ATO's unpaid tax collector for GST
If you are buying off-the-plan or a brand new property, you will have to collect the GST and pay it to the Australian Taxation Office.  Under the new legislation, the GST, or an estimate of the GST, has to be collected and paid to the ATO on settlement on each sale.  It applies where settlement occurs on or after 1 July 2018, even if the contract was entered into before that date, but subject to the exception for existing contracts entered into before 1 July 2018 where settlement takes place before 1 July 2020.

The ATO was concerned it was missing out on GST owed by developers.  Some developers had sold off their developments, paid the builder and the bank and wound the company up without paying GST.

The ATO’s solution is to put the obligation on you to collect the GST on the purchase price and pay it to the ATO.  You become the ATO's unpaid tax collector.

The process involves giving a notice to the purchaser (even where the sale of your property is not a GST supply because it is exempt from GST) and completing two on-line forms which have to be lodged with the ATO.

This adds an additional layer of red tape to your property transaction.  Without a doubt, these extra steps add to the time it takes to complete your conveyance.  In addition, some conveyancing lawyers and licensed conveyancers may pass on the additional cost by increasing their fee.  If that occurs, you pay for the privilege of being the ATO's unpaid tax collector.




Buying off-the-plan
Watch out!  Several of our clients have purchased from developers selling properties off-the-plan in order to show the pre-sales to the bank to get finance.   Once the developer gets finance and the dwellings are almost finished, they delay registration and use the "get out of jail" card in the Contract of Sale to terminate the contract and resell the same property at a higher price, often to the same purchaser, who must sign a new Contract of Sale to re-purchase the same property at a higher price.  Most contracts also allow the developer to make certain changes to the plan and you cannot object or complain.  Although only a minority of developers are rogues, the finished product often does not look as attractive as the photographs in the showroom.

Fortunately, legislation has been introduced into Parliament while will stop this.  It will provide that off-the-plan contracts cannot be terminated by a developer under a sunset clause unless ordered by the Supreme Court of Victoria or with your written consent.  This will apply not only to new off-the-plan contracts, but also to existing off-the-plan contracts.




Warning about paying Vendor's legal costs
Watch out!  Some vendors are tricking purchasers into unknowingly agreeing to pay part of the vendor's legal costs by disguising it in a special condition in the Contract of Sale.

We have also seen contracts signed by purchasers which allow the licensed conveyancer for the vendor to charge $1,150 for a default notice.  This is more than a lawyer would be allowed to charge and it is more than the major law firms charge for a default notice.  If you think this won't happen to you because you won't default, think again.  If you have a lender, then there is a real risk you will default.  A large number of banks, presumably because of the workload or because they do not have sufficient trained staff, are not ready to release the funds on the date fixed for settlement.  When that occurs, you will be in default.

Our advice: don't pay 16% interest to the vendor
We also see many contracts in which the vendor is entitled to charge the purchaser 16% per annum for each day of default.  This is higher than the standard rate, which is currently 12% per annum.  As mentioned, you could default because your lender is not ready on the settlement date.  Tell the selling agent you want it reduced before you will sign the Contract of Sale.

Measurement of land  — what you must do before you sign
A copy of the title for the property will be attached to the Vendor Statement along with a diagram showing its measurements.  It is important that you check these before you sign the contract.  You should also compare what you see and any plans the estate agent shows you with the shape on the title search attached to the Vendor Statement and check the shape of the land on LASSI.  If you subsequently discover that the measurements of the land do not match those shown on the title diagram, there may be nothing you can do about.  Where there is any doubt, a licensed surveyor should be engaged before you sign.



Building — what you must do before you sign
Another matter that should be checked before you sign the contract is the physical condition of any buildings on the property. There is unlikely to be any remedy against the vendor if you find out after you sign that the buildings have been constructed illegally, are infested by termites or defective in some other way.  The selling agent will tell you that you can have it subject to satisfactory building and pest inspection reports.  However, if you have already signed, then your rights are much more restricted.  The safest course of action is to have building and pest inspection reports before you sign the contract. 

Cladding

Service charges may be placed on land pursuant to a new Part 8B in the Local Government Act 1989 inserted by the Building Amendment (Registration of Building Trades and Other Matters) Act 2018.  The new part came into operation on 30 October 2018.



Borrowing to fund your purchase — what you must do before you sign
If you are borrowing in order to fund part of the purchase price, you should make the contract subject to finance.

Asbestos — what you must do before you sign
Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.  If the house was constructed before 2004, you should obtain a building report as to whether the construction materials include asbestos.

Rubbish — what you must do before you sign
Sometimes the vendors leave the property in a poor state and you must clean up and remove old tyres and other rubbish at your own expense.  We suggest that the contract include a special condition that the vendors have an obligation to remove all old tyres, rubbish, etc at their own expense at settlement. 

Options contracts

Legislation before Parliament will introduce protections for people who purchase options to buy land as part of land banking schemes, including requiring money paid for options to be held in a trust.

Specific terms contracts and rent-to-buy contracts
Legislation before Parliament will prohibit specific terms contracts and rent-to-buy arrangements.




Inspection of property before settlement
The agent will contact you to arrange a time for you to inspect the property before settlement.  That will happen a few days before the settlement.  

"I am buying a house.  Can hackers steal my money?"
The breach of security by a hacker successfully hacking the e-mail account of Sargeants Knox Conveyancing on 30 May 2018 and stealing money belonging to Dani Venn and Chris Burgess and transmitting it to another Commonwealth Bank account owned by the hackers was unfortunate.  There were three other frauds, two where the money was recovered and one which was not successful.  However, you must take it in perspective.  The number of successful frauds have been less in the new system with PEXA than under the old paper-based system.  This type of hacking, and a variant of it, has been quite ubiquitous in the United Kingdom for several years.  It has only started in Australia.  We expect it to get as bad as the United Kingdom.  There is also a US-based variant where the fraudsters tried to defraud our clients, but which we were successful in preventing.






 

 




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Do you need conveyancing in Ringwood:  Do you need conveyancing in Heathmont?


https://plus.google.com/114204235347582809341/about#114204235347582809341/about http://www.liv.asn.au/LegalPractice.aspx?Page=LegalPractice/lp_firm&id=206532
Conveyancing Vermont; Do you require conveyancing in Bayswater, Do you need conveyancing in Boronia, Do you require conveyancing in Croydon, Dandenong North, Do you need conveyancing in Ferntree Gully, Do you need conveyancing in Knoxfield, Do you need conveyancing in Lysterfield, Do you need conveyancing in Rowville, Do you need conveyancing in Sassafras, Do you need conveyancing in Scoresby, The Basin, Do you need conveyancing in Wantirna, Do you need conveyancing in Wantirna South, Do you need conveyancing in Belgrave, Belgrave Heights, Do you need conveyancing in Belgrave South, 
Vermont South lawyers; Bayswater lawyers; Boronia lawyers; Studfield lawyers; Knoxfield lawyers Do you need conveyancing in Chirnside Park, Do you need conveyancing in Kilsyth, 
Lawyers Vermont Do you need conveyancing in Lilydale, Do you need conveyancing in Mitcham, 
Do you need conveyancing in Montrose, Do you need conveyancing in Mooroolbark,
Do you need conveyancing in Nunwading, Do you need conveyancing in Mount Evelyn, Do you need conveyancing in Narre Warren East, Do you need conveyancing in Scoresby, 
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Do you require conveyancing in The Patch, Do you need conveyancing in Tremont, 
Do you need conveyancing in Vermont, Do you need conveyancing in Badger Creek, 
Do you need conveyancing in Chum Creek, Do you need conveyancing in Coldstream, Do you need conveyancing in Dixons Creek, 
Do you need conveyancing in Gruyere, Do you need conveyancing in Healesville, Do you need conveyancing in Steels Creek, Do you need conveyancing in Tarrawarra, Do you need conveyancing in Yarra Glen, Do you need conveyancing in Yering, Don Valley, Do you need conveyancing in Hoddles Creek, Do you need conveyancing in Launching Place, 
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Do you need conveyancing in Ringwood:  Do you need conveyancing in Heathmont?


https://plus.google.com/114204235347582809341/about#114204235347582809341/about http://www.liv.asn.au/LegalPractice.aspx?Page=LegalPractice/lp_firm&id=206532
Conveyancing Vermont; Do you require conveyancing in Bayswater, Do you need conveyancing in Boronia, Do you require conveyancing in Croydon, Dandenong North, Do you need conveyancing in Ferntree Gully, Do you need conveyancing in Knoxfield, Do you need conveyancing in Lysterfield, Do you need conveyancing in Rowville, Do you need conveyancing in Sassafras, Do you need conveyancing in Scoresby, The Basin, Do you need conveyancing in Wantirna, Do you need conveyancing in Wantirna South, Do you need conveyancing in Belgrave, Belgrave Heights, Do you need conveyancing in Belgrave South, 
Vermont South lawyers; Bayswater lawyers; Boronia lawyers; Studfield lawyers; Knoxfield lawyers Do you need conveyancing in Chirnside Park, Do you need conveyancing in Kilsyth, 
Lawyers Vermont Do you need conveyancing in Lilydale, Do you need conveyancing in Mitcham, 
Do you need conveyancing in Montrose, Do you need conveyancing in Mooroolbark,
Do you need conveyancing in Nunwading, Do you need conveyancing in Mount Evelyn, Do you need conveyancing in Narre Warren East, Do you need conveyancing in Scoresby, 
Do you need conveyancing in Tecoma, Do you need conveyancing in Upper Ferntree Gully, 
Do you need conveyancing in Upwey, Do you require conveyancing in Ferny Creek, Do you need conveyancing in Kallista, 
Do you require conveyancing in Kalorama, Do you need conveyancing in Macclesfield, 
Do you require conveyancing in Menzies Creek, Do you need conveyancing in Monbulk, Do you require conveyancing in Mount Dandenong, Do you need conveyancing in Olinda, 
Do you need conveyancing in Sassafras, Do you require conveyancing in Selby, Do you need conveyancing in Sherbrooke, Do you need conveyancing in Silvan, 
Do you require conveyancing in The Patch, Do you need conveyancing in Tremont, 
Do you need conveyancing in Vermont, Do you need conveyancing in Badger Creek, 
Do you need conveyancing in Chum Creek, Do you need conveyancing in Coldstream, Do you need conveyancing in Dixons Creek, 
Do you need conveyancing in Gruyere, Do you need conveyancing in Healesville, Do you need conveyancing in Steels Creek, Do you need conveyancing in Tarrawarra, Do you need conveyancing in Yarra Glen, Do you need conveyancing in Yering, Don Valley, Do you need conveyancing in Hoddles Creek, Do you need conveyancing in Launching Place, 
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