We take the worry out of buying or selling your home.

The Conveyancing team at Baldock Stacy & Niven have decades of experience and local knowledge and know how to navigate through all types of property transactions. We can expertly handle every step of your sale or purchase.

We do not take shortcuts or cut corners. We carefully prepare, review and handle all related documentation and scrutinise all details to ensure that your interests are completely protected.

We pride ourselves on our high level of client service. From the very beginning of negotiations to the final settlement we keep you informed every step of the way in easy-to-understand language. We react quickly to your queries and requests and will provide you with advice you can rely on — every aspect of the sale will be looked after efficiently and cost effectively.

Some conveyancing services offer “cut price” services. We offer cost-effective conveyancing services supported by full law firm expertise — expertise that can identify and resolve issues before they become problems.

If you want conveyancing services you can rely on – contact BS&N Conveyancing.

We can help you with:

Buying

The contract is prepared by the seller’s solicitor. Normally, contracts are made binding by the seller signing the original and the buyer – you – signing an exact copy of it, and those contracts being dated, exchanged and the deposit paid. Each party then holds a contract signed by the other party.

The “Small” Print

The form of contract is a multi-purpose one. It can be used with only small changes for the sale of vacant land as well as for the sale of a very expensive house or factory. Many of the clauses are there to protect both the buyer and the seller if something unexpected occurs. Very often they operate to prevent trouble. The basic printed clauses are
accepted as keeping a reasonable balance between the interests of both seller and buyer. It is most important that you have a solicitor review the sale contract early to ensure your interests are protected.

Vendor Disclosure

Vendor disclosure regulations require the seller of any land to disclose certain matters in the contract and to make certain warranties or promises such as proposals by government or other that may affect the property.
The regulations require the seller to attach the following documents to the contract:

  • zoning certificate under s149(2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979;
  • drainage diagram showing where the main sewer lines are in relation to the land
  • a copy of the Title Deed where the land is under the Real Property Act;
  • an official plan of the land
  • a copy of all documents creating easements over the land (right of way etc.) and covenants
  • if it is a sale of a Strata Title unit, a copy of the Strata plan showing all the lots, a copy of the Title Deed for the strata lot being sold, and a copy of the Title Deed for the common property.
  • If the building was built within the last 7 years, or is being sold by an owner builder, or if building work has been carried out on the property in the last 7 years costing over $12,000, a certificate of Insurance under the Home Building Act

If the seller does not provide these then the buyer has 14 days in which to withdraw from the contract.

Fixtures

All fixtures are included in the sale without having to be mentioned specifically. In law a fixture is something attached to the land or building that cannot be either simply lifted up and taken away, or unscrewed and taken away without doing any damage. Most electric stoves are wired in so they are fixtures, but most refrigerators are plugged in, so they are not. If there is any doubt about any fixture items, the safest course is to refer to the contract

It is usually a good idea to have your finance pre-approved before you locate or make an offer on a property. Some buyers decide on the house before seeking approval for a loan to buy it. If they make an offer and it is accepted they will then have only the 5 day cooling off period to finalise their finances. Sometimes the cooling off period can be extended, but that is not always the case.

The loan provider may require some documents and certificates be provided to them prior to approving finance — Baldock Stacy & Niven Conveyancing can help with any documentation required.

BS&N can also review your mortgage and finance documents and explain in plain english how the terms and conditions affect you.

Baldock Stacy & Niven can negotiate for you on your property purchase. We understand the rules and how agents operate — in many cases we have more experience than the agent.

We can also bid for you on auction day. We are experienced and can take away first home or nervous buyer’s worries by bidding on their behalf. We also provide historical information about the property and the surrounding properties — details like previous selling prices, to help you decide if  it is a “good” buy or not and what is the “right” price.

BS&N negotiators work hard to safeguard your interests and achieve the best outcome for you.

Reports and inspections should be carried out before you enter into any contract. It is important that you know as much as possible about any defects or problems that may exist with the property.

You should personally check the property you are interested in buying. Check exterior and interior walls for cracks and damage, doors, windows, floors, taps, plumbing, electrical, hot water system, roof and gutters to get a general idea of the condition of the property.

It is wise to get a Building Inspection Report completed by a qualified person like a builder or surveyor. As well as gaining advice about any problems and how they affect and will affect the property you receive a written report about the property’s condition. If problems are found you may be able to negotiate a lower price as you will have to fix the problems if you proceed with the purchase. A Pest Inspection Report is another report that will give you information about the property condition as regards pests like termites and other infestations.

It is also wise to obtain an Identification Survey Report when buying a house. It normally costs under $1,000 for a simple residence and shows where the house is in relation to the boundaries of the land, and whether there are any structures that encroach onto the land. It is different from a survey of land for a subdivision which shows only the boundaries and area. Most lenders require an Identification Survey Report. Often the property seller already has one and supplies it to you. (Most sellers will attach a copy of the Building Certificate to the contract together with a copy of the Identification Survey Report on which the certificate is based).

BS&N can arrange all or any of your pre-purchase inspection reports for you.

BS&N Conveyancing make a number of other appropriate enquiries on your behalf to ensure that any proposals that may affect the property are identified. We also check with councils and authorities to ensure there are no outstanding fees or rates payable.
Our local knowledge is extremely useful in deciding which authorities to contact & what enquiries to make.

Typically we enquire about:

  • Roads and Traffic Authority: for any plan to resume land
  • Land Tax: If any Land Tax is owing, we ensure it is paid before settlement or at least arrangements made to pay it after settlement.
  • Drainage Diagram: shows where the sewer and the house connections are laid and important for any future house extensions or additions like a swimming pool.

Where appropriate we will also make other enquiries about matters affecting the property from:
Department of School Education
National Parks and Wildlife
Energy Authority of NSW
Department of Housing
Rural Lands Protection Board
Heritage Council of NSW
Department of Transport (Aviation)
State Rail Authority
Maritime Services Board
Environment Protection Authority
Local Electricity Authority
Department of Fair Trading
Pipeline Authority
Forestry Commission
Department of Mineral Resources
Soil Conservation Service
Lands Department
Department of Water Resources
State Pollution Control Commission
Mine Subsidence Board

We can also submit other questions on your behalf to the seller’s solicitor such as disputes with neighbours about fences, trees or any other disputes. The answers often reveal something that is of value to you to know and would not have been discovered by inspection of the property or contract alone.

Our local knowledge and careful, detailed preparation ensures you are fully informed about your property.

Stamp duty is payable on the price being paid for the property including any furniture listed in the contract. Stamp duty must be paid within three months of signing the contract or mortgage. However most lenders require you to hand over, at settlement, a stamped transfer, so the transfer and mortgage can be lodged immediately after settlement.

Please check with us for current stamp duty rates as there are variables depending on your circumstances and the property in question – eg: first home buyers, new home vs existing.

As a guide to the amount of stamp duty payable the Office of State Revenue on 30/10/17 advised the following:

Purchase Price Stamp Duty Payable
$250.000 $7,240
$500,000 $17,990
$750,000 $29,240
$1,000,000 $40,490
$1,500,000 $67,990
$2,000,000 $95,490

To buy a Strata Title unit, townhouse or villa is to buy into a small, democratically governed community of owners. When purchasing under Strata title you in fact purchase airspace in the building. The building itself and the common areas are owned by the Owners Corporation – all the owners in the strata plan are members of this Owners Corporation.
Normally the Owner’s Corporation appoints an agent or representative to run the stata plan and manage the building, common areas and surrounds. Each owner pays a levy to the Owners Corporation which facilitates the maintenance, building insurance and general running of the building.
Buying under strata title is much the same as purchasing other property but there are some other factors to consider – like the by-laws and conditions attached to the shared or common use areas of the building, quarterly levies and condition of the building structure and surrounds.

BS&N can arrange an inspection report which will detail the following:

  • Strata Roll – details of the owner and any mortgagee or tenant
  • records of Notices or Orders served on the owners’ corporation
  • books of account – whether they are kept properly, and details from the last balance sheets of the Administrative Fund (for recurrent running expenses) and the Sinking Fund (provided for long term maintenance of the building)
  • the amount of the current levies for the Administrative and Sinking funds and any special levies made for either fund or any information about proposals for special levies or increase in levies
  • details of all the insurance cover including fire, storm and tempest cover on the building, and public risk to cover injury and property damage, and workers’ compensation cover
  • by-laws – The by-laws including any special conditions, for instance about the keeping of animals.
  • managing agent – details of the managing agent
  • where the Title Deed for the common property and the Common Seal for the owners’ corporation are kept
  • minutes of meetings of the Council of the owners’ corporation

Baldock Stacy & Niven Conveyancing can prepare and review all the documentation relating to your purchase. We do that with your interests in mind and meticulously review all details so that they are prepared properly and inline with requirements.
We explain all documentation and conditions in easy to understand terms so you know fully and exactly how you are affected – this in turn allows you to make informed decisions.

BS&N Conveyancing take the worry out of buying property.

Every sale of property has a cooling off period for the buyer. During the cooling off period the buyer is able to withdraw from the sale for any reason but must pay the seller 0.25% of the sale price.
The cooling-off period ends at 5.00pm five business days after the contract is agreed and your decision to withdraw must be in writing. The five business days cooling-off period may be waived, shortened or extended, and different rules apply in each case.

There is no cooling-off period for a contract of sale of residential property if:

  • at or before the time the contract is made, you give to the seller (or the seller’s solicitor or agent) a s66W certificate
  • the property is sold by public auction
  • the contract is made after the property has been passed in at a public auction, provided the contract is made on the same day as the auction.

Council Rates

The usual provision in the contract is that yearly council rates should be adjusted by the seller and buyer at the date of settlement or possession.
We will calculate the proportion of rates payable by the seller up to settlement and the amount payable by the seller from settlement until the end of the rating period (typically 30th June). Outstanding rates become the responsibility of the buyer after settlement so it is important they are paid at settlement.

Water Service Charges

As with Council rates, the usual provision in the contract is that water service charges should be adjusted as at the date of settlement or possession. Water Authority charges start from 1 July each year and bills are issued quarterly. Outside the Sydney Water and Hunter Water areas, Local Councils are responsible for water rates.
We obtain a “Section 41 Certificate” that shows the service charges, the environmental levy and the water usage charges for the current quarter and if the account has been paid.
Usually water usage is adjusted on settlement on the basis of the average water used over the previous period.

Land Tax

A person’s privately owned principal residence is exempt from Land Tax (where the land value is less than $1 million) and so are lands used for primary production, provided they are not owned by a company or trust. If there is any Land Tax owing, we ensure it is correctly apportioned (similar to council rates) and is paid on or before settlement.

Being the buyer, you are entitled to complete a pre-settlement inspection to ensure that everything listed in the contract is there and the condition of the property is the same as when it was sold to you.
If you don’t complete a pre-settlement inspection and something is missing or not right when you settle, there will be little that can be done to rectify the situation.

Any anomalies identified in a pre-settlement inspection can be requested to be addressed or fixed.

Ideally the inspection would reference and be similar to your first inspection when considering buying the property and would cover exterior and interior walls, doors, windows, floors, taps, plumbing, electrical, hot water system, roof and gutters.

Many contracts provide that settlement take place within six weeks from the sale date. Sometimes settlement can be an agreed date that allows time for financial arrangements, inspections, searches and surveys etc to be completed.
Failure of either party to settle on the stipulated date or within a stipulated time can lead to a claim for damages for the loss suffered by the non-defaulting party.

When a date for settlement is known, the balance payable by you on settlement should be calculated. The usual practice is for us is to make the calculations and submit them to the seller’s solicitor for approval. Settlement normally takes place where the seller’s title deeds are located.
On settlement the balance of the purchase money (plus or minus adjustments for rates etc) is paid in exchange for the Title Deeds and transfer documents. The money is paid in such a way as to enable the seller’s mortgage debts to be repaid on settlement so that mortgage discharges can be handed over.
Usually the money is paid by bank cheque – that is, a cheque drawn on the bank’s own funds, as distinct from a private account. We can attend settlement on your behalf — you do not need to be there.

We will contact you to advise settlement has taken place.
You can then pick up the keys to your new property.

If not already provided to you, we will write to you setting out full details of the money paid over on settlement, and how it was calculated,
We also prepare a Notice of Sale that is lodged to enable the Transfer to be registered.
The Office of Land and Property Information uses that form to notify the Local Council, the Water Authority, the Valuer General and Rural Lands Protection Boards of the transfer and details of your address for service of notices.
We also attend to registration of the transfer of title and any other relevant documents.

Selling

A property cannot be advertised for sale until the seller (or their solicitor) has prepared a Contract of Sale which is available for any potential buyer to read.
A contract typically takes about 3 business days to prepare and has attached to it a title search, a zoning certificate and a drainage diagram.
Property inclusions/exclusions are also included and a statement regarding the cooling off period must be attached. The contract is to be made available for inspection by any potential buyer. It is important that you consult a solicitor about preparing the contract to make sure that everything is in order.

Normally, contracts are made binding by the seller signing the original and the purchaser signing and dating an exact copy of it. Those contracts are then exchanged and a deposit paid. Each party then holds a contract signed by the other party.

Many of the clauses (the fine print) in a Contract of Sale are there to protect both the buyer and the seller by keeping a reasonable balance between the interests of both.

Vendor Disclosure Regulations

Vendor Disclosure Regulations require the seller of any land (whether residential property or not) to disclose certain details and to make certain warranties (promises) in the contract . The regulations require a seller to attach the following documents to the contract:

  • a zoning certificate under s149(2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979
  • a drainage diagram showing where the sewer lines are in relation to the land
  • a copy of the Title Deed where the land is under the Real Property Act
  • an official plan of the land
  • a copy of all documents creating easements over the land (right of way etc.) and covenants
  • if it is a sale of a Strata Title unit, a copy of the Strata plan showing all the lots, a copy of the Title Deed for the strata lot being sold, and a copy of the Title Deed for the common property
  • If the building was built within the last 7 years, or is being sold by an owner builder, or if building work has been carried out on the property in the last 7 years costing over $12,000, a certificate of Insurance under the Home Building Act

If the required documents are not included a buyer may back out of (rescind) a binding contract.

Baldock Stacy & Niven Conveyancing can gather all the required documents and properly prepare a Contract of Sale that satisfies regulations and protects your interests.

Baldock Stacy & Niven can negotiate for you on your property sale. We understand the rules and how buyers and agents operate – in many cases we have more experience than both.

BS&N will work hard to safeguard your interests and help you achieve the best possible result.

Every sale of property has a cooling off period for the buyer. During the cooling off period the buyer is able to withdraw from the sale for any reason but must pay the seller 0.25% of the sale price.
The cooling-off period ends at 5.00pm five business days after the contract is agreed and the decision to withdraw must be communicated to the seller in writing. The five business days cooling-off period may be waived, shortened or extended through negotiation.

There is no cooling-off period for a contract of sale of residential property if:

  • at or before the time the contract is made, the buyer gives a s66W certificate to the seller.
  • the property is sold by public auction
  • the contract is made after the property has been passed in at a public auction, provided the contract is made on the same day as the auction.

Council Rates

The usual provision in the contract is that yearly council rates should be adjusted by the seller and buyer at the date of settlement or possession.
We will calculate the proportion of rates payable by the seller up to settlement and the amount payable by the seller from settlement until the end of the rating period (typically 30th June). Outstanding rates become the responsibility of the buyer after settlement.

Water Service Charges

As with Council rates, the usual provision in the contract is that water service charges should be adjusted as at the date of settlement or possession. Water Authority charges start from 1 July each year and bills are issued quarterly. Outside the Sydney Water and Hunter Water areas, Local Councils are responsible for water rates.
We obtain a “Section 41 Certificate” that shows the service charges, the environmental levy and the water usage charges for the current quarter and if the account has been paid.
Usually water usage is adjusted on settlement on the basis of the average water used over the previous period.

Land Tax

A person’s privately owned principal residence is exempt from Land Tax (where the land value is less than $1 million) and so are lands used for primary production, provided they are not owned by a company or trust. If there is any Land Tax owing, we ensure it pro-rated (similar to council rates) and is paid on or before settlement.

Many contracts provide that settlement take place within six weeks from the sale date. Sometimes settlement can be an agreed date that allows time for the buyer’s financial arrangements, inspections, searches and surveys etc to be completed.
Failure of either party to settle on the stipulated date or within a stipulated time can lead to a claim for damages for the loss suffered by the non-defaulting party.

Settlement normally takes place where the seller’s title deeds are located.
On settlement the balance of the purchase money (plus or minus adjustments for rates etc) is paid in exchange for the Title Deeds and transfer documents. The money is paid in such a way as to enable the seller’s mortgage debts to be repaid on settlement so that mortgage discharges can be handed over.
Usually the money is paid by bank cheque – that is, a cheque drawn on the bank’s own funds, as distinct from a private account.
BS&N can attend settlement on your behalf – you do not need to be there.

We will contact you to advise settlement has taken place and we will write to you setting out full details of the money paid over on settlement.
We also prepare a Notice of Sale that is lodged to enable the Transfer to be registered.
The Office of Land and Property Information uses that form to notify the Local Council, the Water Authority, the Valuer General and Rural Lands Protection Boards of the transfer.
We also attend to registration of the transfer of title and any other relevant documents.