Buying and Selling Property – Tasmanian Consumer Affairs Advice

Buying a home or investment property will probably be the most expensive thing you ever do, so it’s important to understand what is involved in the process.

The following should be considered before you commit to buy:

  • Solicitor or conveyancer

Consider engaging a solicitor or conveyancer – doing your own conveyancing is risky, because you can’t get the same insurance available to a licensed conveyancer or solicitor.  That means if you make a mistake, and suffer loss as a result, you will be unable to get financial compensation.  If you use a solicitor or conveyancer and suffer loss as a result of their negligence, you may be able to taken action against them;


  • Independent financial advice

Get your own independent financial advice about insurance, getting a mortgage and the fees you are likely to have to pay.  It is illegal for real estate agents to give financial advice;


  • Tools and information

Use the tools and information available to help you, eg MoneySmart which has mortgage and other calculators;


  • ‘Cooling off periods’

Be sure the property you are buying is what you want.  ‘Cooling off’ periods do not apply to the sale of property in Tasmania;


  • Qualified inspector/surveyor/architect

Have a qualified building inspector, surveyor or architect inspect the property to determine whether there are any faults with the property, or any unsafe/unauthorised renovations or extensions;


  • Contracts

Make sure you read and understand all the terms, conditions and ‘fine print’ before you sign a contract.  Keep a copy of all documents you sign;


  • Auctions

If the property is being offered for sale by auction, you should be aware that there are strict rules about how an auction must be conducted and those rules and an Auction Information Statement (which sets out the law in relation to auctions in Tasmania) must be on display prior to  and during an auction.  If you buy a property at auction, you cannot make the contract subject to any conditions, such as getting finance, and there is no cooling off period.


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