Buying a home is one of the most expensive and important investment decisions that most people will make in their lives. When you find your ideal property, contact us at Adams & Partners Lawyers to receive competent advice and explanation about the transaction.



Outside of finding the right property, finding the right finance package to suit your needs is the next most important task. For most people, you will need to borrow some or all of the funds required to purchase the property. Whether dealing directly with your funder (e.g. bank or credit union) or using a broker, always make sure that you are aware of the key commercial terms of your finance. Key issues such as interest rate, penalty interest rates, application fees, mortgage insurance and early repayment fees should be looked at and considered. If you are unsure about what is the best deal, you should consult a trusted accountant or financial adviser.


When you first agree on a contract price, the real estate agent will ask you to pay a deposit (the amount of the deposit depends on the way you exchange contracts). If you are exchanging without a cooling off period the agent may ask for a holding deposit. The key point about a holding deposit is that it does not guarantee that the Vendor will not accept higher offers on the property. Alternatively, if you are exchanging under a “cooling off”, the agent will ask you to pay at least 0.25% of the purchase price as your initial deposit. Please remember, that if you go “unconditional” on the contract, the balance of the deposit will need to be paid at the expiry of the cooling off period.

Enquiry Reports

At Adams & Partners Lawyers we strongly recommend that you order and review all relevant pre exchange enquiry reports. Please refer to our fact sheet on Enquiry Reports for more information.

Exchanging & Cooling Off

To secure a deal to buy a property, you must exchange contracts. Exchange of contracts is when you as Purchaser, and the owner as Vendor, both sign the contract for sale of land and a physical swapping (i.e. “exchanging”) of contracts occurs. If you are signing a contract with a real estate agent, you may be signing under a cooling off period. See our comments about “cooling off” in the section headed “Selling Your Property”.

Transaction Costs – Transfer Duty

A key point sometimes forgotten is that when you agree to buy property you must also pay the NSW Government transfer duty (commonly referred to as “stamp duty”). The amount of transfer duty payable depends on the value of the property.

Click here for the purchase process diagram.

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