So, you’ve made the decision to buy residential property in New South Wales.
Before an unconditional exchange of Contracts is effected (following the expiry of a five (5) business days cooling off period or you have instructed your lawyer or licensed conveyancer to waive such period), you should have a satisfactory pest and building inspection(s) carried out by a qualified and trusted building inspector and you should be in receipt of an unconditional loan approval from your financier (if funding is required for the purchase).
You should also test all electrical appliances, motors, hot water service and plumbing as the pest and building report(s) will not cover them.
You should also have your lawyer or licensed conveyancer review the terms of the Contract. They will ensure that the terms are satisfactory, that all of the documents prescribed by law to be attached to the Contract are in order and that there is nothing adverse affecting the property that has been disclosed in the Contract.
Once you are satisfied with the reports, the terms of the Contract and the terms of your loan approval, you may proceed to an unconditional exchange of Contracts.
In the intervening period to the settlement date, which is usually 42 days from exchange, unless negotiated otherwise, you must pay stamp duty at an ad valorem rate. This means that the amount of stamp duty you pay is calculated on the greater of the value of the property and the purchase price. This is subject to any exemption or concession that you may be eligible for, such as the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme. If you qualify, we can apply for an exemption or concession (as the case may be) on your behalf to Revenue NSW as part of the conveyancing process.
The liability to pay stamp duty arises on the earlier of three (3) months from the date of exchange and the settlement date. A failure to pay stamp duty after three (3) months from the date of exchange will attract interest penalties.