Buying a home can be a stressful and exciting experience for prospective property owners and the recent surge in the Queensland property market has seen even seasoned buyers break a sweat. Recently, a misplaced focus on getting a signed contract of sale means buyers are becoming less careful and exposing themselves to undue risk.

Mistake # 1 Buyers Not Reading the Contract

Often buyers sign contracts without reading more than ‘sign here’. This leads to many being unaware of their contractual obligations and risking defaulting on their contract.

Mistake # 2 Opting Out of Key Conditions

Many buyers opt out of building & pest and finance conditions in an effort to make a more appealing offer. However, these conditions provide key protections for the buyer and thus should be included if finance is required or there are building/pest issues with the dwelling.

Mistake # 3 Failing to Organise Finance

There is a common misconception that preliminary, conditional, or verbal approval is all that is required to purchase a property with finance. Potential purchasers must receive unconditional loan approval and complete their mortgage documents diligently to ensure on-time settlement.

Mistake # 4 Buyers Not Being Aware of Key Dates

Inspections, deposit payments and finance approvals require adequate time to be arranged. Buyers who fail to plan ahead and fail to take note of key dates find themselves in a last-minute panic to get things organised and the risk of the seller not agreeing to an extension.

Mistake #5 Not Completing a Pre-Settlement Inspection

Those who fail to complete a pre-settlement inspection have no guarantee the property is in the same condition as at the initial inspection (e.g., burst water pipes, or missing fixtures may remain undiscovered until after settlement).

How to Avoid These Mistakes:

  • Engage a conveyancing solicitor before signing anything
  • Mark key dates in your calendar, and prepare well beforehand
  • Speak with your bank or broker about their requirements and settlement timeline
  • Ensure you are contactable leading up to settlement – provide your email and phone number to your conveyancer, broker, and agent
  • Return documents and paperwork on time
  • Book a pre-settlement inspection for the morning of settlement with your agent, allowing for sufficient notice to arrange the inspection.

By Aspen Roggeveen