The process of buying a house in Queensland has several differences from that followed in other Australian states. The buying and selling of real estate in Australia is governed by the legislation of each state, and there can be significant differences therein.
When you are buying a house in Queensland, you cannot make a verbal offer to the seller. You must make your offer on a signed contract. You must also submit a holding deposit with your written offer. The holding deposit can range in price from AUD 50 to AUD 500. The amount depends on how well you negotiate with your real estate agent. All the bargaining negotiations and the offers you make to the owners must be done in writing.
For example, let us say that you are interested in a house that is being offered for AUD 330,000. You want to buy it for around AUD 300,000, so you offer them AUD 270,000 initially. You must do this in writing on a contract which you must sign.
You real estate agent will take your contract to the house owner, who will then make an offer, let’s say, of AUD 320,000. In order to do this, the seller will cross out your figure of AUD 270,000 and replace it with their new figure of AUD 320,000. The agent will then bring the contract back to you.
This negotiating process goes back and forth, in writing on the contract, until an amount that both sides agree upon can be reached. Once both parties agree upon a price, a Sale Contract document is drawn up. This document is signed by both the parties, and it is then forwarded to their solicitors for examination.
The result of this process is a very untidy contract form. In the case where the parties are unable to reach upon an agreement, the buyer is required to withdraw their offer, again in writing. The buyer can then seek their deposit money back from their agent, minus the various inspection and other fees.
Another thing that you should know is that the sale contract document does not provide any information about the house that is being sold and bought. The only way for a buyer to ascertain the negatives of the property is by having it done by their solicitor. Contracts in Queensland are drawn up by basing them on the REIQ standard.
The contract should contain the building inspection date and the title encumbrances. The building inspection date can be set at anything from a week to two weeks from the date of the contract. The title encumbrances are aspects that can affect the property’s clear title. This should always be “Nil” or “None Known”, which is a little less preferred.
The contract has a section for Special Conditions, as well as pest inspection, pest inspection date, name of the pest inspector, and the purchase offer. Usually, a copy of the contract is sent across to the buyer’s solicitor in order to be examined and approved by them, before the buyer signs it.
Be advised that the solicitor, the pest inspector, and the real estate agent will all levy fees. There may be additional fees for searches your solicitor will perform in order to check the house’s history and plans. All in all, buying a house is Queensland is a straightforward process with little complications.