Real estate

Knowing the Process

Purchasing a property, whether it be a home, off-the-plan, or parcel of land is a big decision that involves a complex documentation and procedures. Similarly, when you are selling a property, you are responsible for preparing documents including contract of sale of real estate, Section 32 Statement, zoning, planning restrictions and council rates. In general, you must step through five broad stages: negotiating the terms of transaction, reviewing contract of sale of real estate, exchange of contracts, post-exchange and settlement. We will identify and explain key issues that may be relevant to your purchase to make your transaction as
smooth and risk-free as possible.

Understanding Particular Risks and Regulations

Depending on the type of property you are buying or selling or the transaction you desire to undertake, there are particular risks and regulations you must consider : 


One of the most common methods of property purchase these days is the ‘off-the-plan’ purchase, that is, buying a house or unit before the construction is completed, relying on sketches and blueprints to make purchasing decisions. It is an attractive option for many buyers because the purchase price is locked in at today’s value and they can pay less stamp duty compared to purchasing a completed property.
However, not knowing how the property will actually turn out, the uncertain completion date, market volatility, complex contracts and limited options for resolving disputes with the builder are all risks inherent to an off-the-plan purchase.

Commercial Property

While the conveyancing process for commercial property including retail stores, industrial buildings, factories, etc are similar to that for a residential property, the terms of contract are generally more complex and there are often additional documents to review. Due diligence requirements must be tailored for each transaction, and further consideration must be given to tenancies, building or
planning permits, stamp duty, CGT and GST. Many of these can directly affect the price of the property, so careful review is crucial.

Property Transfer

Property transfers, generally between spouses and domestic partners, can have different consequences on land transfer duty and capital gains tax depending on various factors. Key considerations include the date of transfer, what the property is used for, and whether it is a main residence.

Foreign Investment

Australia generally welcomes foreign investment in real estate, and foreign investors can purchase most types of property, including established or new residential property, vacant land, etc. However, foreign investors must apply to the FIRB for government approval prior to the purchase.

Knowing the Process

Land transfer duty (formerly Stamp Duty) and land tax are State government taxes, for which detailed provisions vary between the States. Understanding how these taxes are calculated and what exemption and concession benefits you are eligible for is crucial at the moment of making your property purchase. Rivers Lawyers currently offers comprehensive and practical advice to clients buying property in every State and Territory of Australia.

Sale and Purchase

of Property

Sale and Purchase

of Commercial Property


Property Transfers

Foreign Investment

Stamp Duty

and Land tax

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