AUSTRALIAN PURCHASING PROCESS
Purchasing an investment property in Australia is a simple and streamlined procedure. The following diagram outlines the full purchasing and settlement processes.
Property Purchasing Process
- Finance discussions
- Reserve a Property
- Engage a Lawyer
- Contract Signing and transferring deposit money
- Exchange of Contracts
- Regular Construction Updates
Property Settlement Process
- Arranging your Mortgage
- Transferring Monies
- Pre-Settlement Property Inspection
- Insurance Options
- Property Management
- Settlement Date
Talk to your finance consultant about property investment. Look at how much you feel comfortable borrowing and discuss how to structure the purchase. (E.g. Who’s name to purchase the property in to maximise any potential tax benefits.)
Reserve a property
Depending on which property you have selected, you may need to transfer a holding deposit of AUD$2,000 – $5,000 into a trust account. This transaction will ensure your preferred property is taken off the market and no one else can purchase it during the reservation period, usually 14 – 21 days.
Engage a lawyer
You will need a lawyer who is located in the Australian State (Victoria/New South Wales/Queensland/Western Australia) you are purchasing property in – to review the Contract of Sale/Sales & Purchase Agreement and to give you advice. Your lawyer will first review the legal documents on your behalf, then mail or courier the relevant documents to you for signing. We can recommend a local lawyer in the Australian State of purchase, if required.
Contract signing and full deposit
If you wish to purchase a property oversees, you will normally need to place a 10% deposit on the property and sign the Contract of Sale. Australian Property Solutions will have negotiated an extended amount of time for you to sign and return the Contract of Sale. (This extension takes into account the need to send the documents internationally.) The timeframe is clearly detailed on the Contract of Sale, but is normally 10 – 21 days. Generally, the deposit can be made by transferring funds into a lawyer’s trust account.
Exchange of contracts
Once you and the vendor have signed the contract, it is then deemed that you have “exchanged” on the property and you are legally committed to the purchase. Your lawyer will notify you at this point.
Regular construction updates
If you have purchased a property off the plan, with settlement some time away, we keep you fully informed through quarterly construction updates, including photos of how the build is progressing. We stay in regular contact throughout the build phase and are available at any time, should you have any questions.
PROPERTY SETTLEMENT PROCESS
The settlement date is the day when the purchaser pays the balance of the full purchase price and takes ownership of the property, including receiving the keys. In the case of an off-the-plan property, settlement can only take place once the build is complete.
There are several steps which need to be arranged in advance to ensure settlement goes through smoothly. Australian Property Solutions will assist you through the entire process. This diagram describes the steps you need to be aware of.
Arranging your mortgage
We recommend organising your mortgage about three months prior to settlement date. Several off-shore banks offer multi-currency lending and are prepared to lend up to 70% of the value of the overseas property. If sourcing a loan from an Australian bank, the loan-to-value ratio can be up to 80% of the property’s value.
In Australia stamp duty is payable by the purchaser at settlement. In this case, the stamp duty amount should be transferred to your solicitor’s trust account prior to settlement.
The balance of your cash input should be transferred to your lawyer’s trust account, pending payment on the settlement date. If buying property internationally, there are several ways to transfer funds. Foreign exchange companies specialise in this area and are generally regarded as having the best exchange rates for transferring funds. Your Australian Property Solutions consultant can provide more background.
Pre-settlement property inspection
It is recommended that a qualified building inspector undertake a pre-settlement property inspection. This will provide comfort and peace of mind that your property has been built to the high specifications set out in your purchasing contracts. The building inspector will review your property in full and send you a detailed report.
A qualified valuer may need to carry out a market valuation, if you are taking out a loan to purchase the property.
The main types of insurance cover required for an investment property is home contents, building and landlords insurance. We advise you to organise your insurance prior to settlement.
Property managers are the most convenient way for an overseas investor to deal with day-to-day property management queries. Property managers promote and advertise your property, find and approve tenants and manage the rental payments. They also look after any maintenance issues and take the hard work out of maintaining your property. Prior to settlement, a property manager can be engaged to commence marketing your property to prospective tenants. Ideally, there will be a tenant moving in, as soon as settlement takes place.
Settlement date is the day that the final payments are made and the purchaser takes ownership of the property. The last stage of the settlement process is the registration of title, whereby the property needs to be transferred from the vendor’s name to the buyer’s name by the Registrar of Titles. Your overseas lawyer will manage this process for you.
After the settlement of your property, you will have a direct relationship with your Property Manager. This will be for the more day-to-day property or tenant-related issues. Alongside this, your consultant will maintain an on-going relationship with you – answering any questions you may have and supporting you, as an owner of an Australian investment property.