Common mistakes home buyers can avoid

When buying a house conveyancing is a key aspect of the transaction. As Adelaide conveyancers for more than 45 years we have seen many problems arise for purchasers in that time and have become adept at foreseeing and mitigating those issues.

Signing a contract to purchase a property is a big financial decision so when buying a house, it is important to be aware of several potential pitfalls that could lead to financial loss, legal issues, or dissatisfaction with your purchase. Here’s a breakdown of some of the problems we have seen arise in more than 45 years of conveyancing, and why they matter.

  • Choosing the wrong conveyancer

    Your conveyancer or solicitor assists in handling all legal aspects of buying or selling property and the transfer of ownership from the vendor to the purchaser. Choosing the wrong conveyancer can lead to delays, errors in paperwork, or even failed transactions. It is crucial to select a reputable, experienced conveyancer with the capacity to deal with your matter and who communicates clearly and efficiently. Choose an Adelaide conveyancer with a great reputation and you will likely find one who may not be the cheapest but will have the foresight and knowledge to anticipate issues and deal with them before it is too late.

  • Not getting a property survey

    When you sign a contract to buy a home, you are also signing up for any defects or problems with the property. While a property survey is not required by law, it is worth considering so you know the exact physical characteristics and the legal boundaries of the property you are buying. In certain circumstances, not getting a property survey can lead to unpleasant surprises after purchase, such as boundary disputes. You might also consider taking out title insurance to provide added protection.

  • Not doing market research

    Without thorough market research, buyers may end up paying more than the property is worth or buying in an undesirable location. Understanding the local property market, including prices, trends, and future development plans, can help you make an informed decision. Both and can provide research and suburb profiles to assist you with your purchasing journey. Consult with a real estate agent who specialises in your suburbs of interest. They are usually very happy to share their knowledge and insights about the area.

  • Not getting professional advice

    Buying a house involves complex legal contracts and obligations. Not seeking advice can result in misunderstanding the terms of sale, potential liabilities, or specific legal requirements in your area, leading to costly mistakes. You should consult an Adelaide conveyancer to assist you in reviewing the proposed contract and the Vendor Disclosure statement (Form 1) before you commit to buy. If buying at auction you need to do this before bidding because there is no cooling off period. If you are buying by private treaty, you will have two full business days during which you can choose to withdraw from the contract. Therefore, you need to use those two days to ensure you are clear on what you are purchasing and your obligations under the contract.

  • Not conducting a property inspection

    Failing to conduct a thorough building and pest inspection can mean missing critical issues like electrical problems, plumbing issues, or pest infestations. An inspection helps ensure the property is in good condition or identifies what repairs may be necessary so that you are buying with eyes wide open. An unsatisfactory building report might not stop you from going ahead with your purchase, but it will inform you of just what you are in for.

  • Failing to calculate the hidden costs

    Beyond the purchase price, there are various additional costs involved in buying a house, such as stamp duty, Land Services SA registration fees, conveyancing fees, moving costs, ongoing maintenance, bank fees, utilities set up, mortgage and interest payments, council and other rates. Underestimating these can place significant strain on your budget so it is important to map them out and be clear of your affordability position.

  • Inadequate understanding of legal requirements

    Each state in Australia has its own legal requirements for property transactions, including contracts, disclosures, and title transfers. Not fully understanding these can lead to legal complications or failure to comply with regulatory requirements. It is important that if you are considering engaging buying a house conveyancing, that you look for a conveyancer who specialises in the state in which you are buying.

  • Not obtaining loan pre-approval

    Without pre-approval, you might not know exactly how much you can borrow, putting you at risk of committing to a property you cannot afford. Knowing how much you can borrow, and which institution is willing to lend to you will give you much greater confidence. Pre-approval also strengthens your position when negotiating the purchase price. If you enter a contract only to find that you are unable to borrow enough to meet your obligation to purchase, you could be in for some nasty surprises in terms of penalties.

  • Overlooking hidden charges

    Like hidden costs, hidden charges refer to expenses that might not be immediately obvious. This can include things like strata and management fees, future property tax increases, or the cost of necessary improvements that were not initially apparent. To avoid such surprises, it is essential to conduct thorough due diligence, seek professional advice, and carefully consider all aspects of the property and the purchasing process.

There are many potential snares for property purchasers, and it is important to ensure you have the right team on your side. Seek advice from professionals and make sure you choose an Adelaide conveyancer who is experienced in the nuances of the real estate market in South Australia. Being thoroughly prepared before you begin your property search will place you in a solid position from the start.

It’s never too early to speak with your conveyancer. Call Eckermann Conveyancers on 8366 7900.