For Buyers


Thinking of buying a property? Click on any of the headings below to find more information on areas of interest to buyers.

If you’re buying or selling real estate anywhere within Western Australia – whether it’s an investment property, commercial property, vacant land or a strata titled property – I’m here to help you.  I can also assist with subdivisions, deceased estates and related party transactions.

Signing the Offer and Acceptance Contract

Signing the Contract is the first stage of buying your new property. Whether you are buying an investment property, a commercial property or a property to reside in, I can assist you with your settlement.

If you are buying a property privately (ie. without the involvement of a real estate agent), I can assist you with preparation of the Offer and Acceptance Contract including drafting of any special conditions which you may want included in the Contract (eg. building inspection report and white ant report conditions).

The fully signed Contract (whether it has been prepared by me or by a real estate agent) should then be forwarded to Absolutely Settlements so that I can start preparation of your settlement documentation and ensure that you meet your obligations of the Contract.

Information for First Home Owners

As a first home buyer, you may be entitled to concessions or exemptions of stamp duty. In May 2014 the State Government announced changes and restrictions to the First Home Owner’s Grant which took effect from the 3rd of October 2015.    Any first home buyers entering into a Contract after this date will no longer be eligible for the first home owner’s grant, unless it is for the purchase of a new home.  The grant of $10,000.00 is still available for the purchase of new homes, provided all other qualifying criteria is met.

Contracts that are dated after the 3 July 2014 may have the First Home Owner Rate of Duty applied to transactions with a purchase price of up to $530,000 for a house and land, or $400,000 for vacant land.

If you are qualified as a first home buyer, by the Office of State Revenue, and you are buying an established home, to the value of up to $430,000.00 then, you will be exempt from payment of stamp duty. Reduced rates of duty apply to buyers that qualify as first home buyers, by the Office of State Revenue that have a purchase price of between $430,001.00 and $530,000.00.

Please contact us to discuss your stamp duty rate or for full details, click on the link to be take to the Office of State Revenue  First Home Owner Guide

In addition to the First Home Owner’s Grant (if you fulfill the qualifying criteria), you may also qualify for the First Home Buyers Assistance Fund. This is a government fund that assists first home buyers with the costs of settlement. Such costs include your settlement fees, Landgate registration fees, building inspection fees, timber pest inspection fees and loan application fees.  The grant is currently up to a maximum of $2,000.00 and is paid after settlement, into your home loan account.  Conditions apply and you should contact us to discuss whether you are likely to meet the qualifying criteria.

Qualifying criteria includes, but is not limited to:

  • The purchase price of your property being up to $400,000.00
  • You purchasing the property through a licensed real estate agent
  • The property being built or partially built

For further information on the qualifying criteria you can contact us or visit the Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety website at First Home Buyer’s Assistance Grant

Stamp Duty

All real estate property transactions that occur in Western Australia attract a state tax known as stamp duty. Stamp duty can be a large financial strain on your budget and before you enter into a Contract to purchase a property, we recommend that you investigate the total cost of your transaction, including stamp duty.  Contact Absolutely Settlements so that I can advise you of the stamp duty costs in relation to your purchase.

All Contracts are required to be lodged with the Office of State Revenue within two months of acceptance, otherwise penalties will be imposed by the Office of State Revenue. Stamp duty must be paid at settlement or within 12 months of acceptance (for standard transactions) or 24 months for “off the plan” transactions, whichever event occurs first.

Wherever possible we will use the Revenue Online (ROL) system for lodgement of your Contract for assessment of stamp duty.  The ROL system allows for stamp duty to be collected and paid at settlement. This means that you do not have to pay for your stamp duty prior to settlement.

We will calculate the estimated stamp duty and include this amount in your settlement quote.

Payment of Council Rates, Strata Levies, Water Consumption and Land Tax

Buyers are liable for council rates, water rates, strata levies and occasionally land tax (on vacant land and commercial properties) from the day following settlement to the end of that adjustment period. These accounts will be adjusted on a pro-rata basis and a Settlement Statement showing adjustment of these accounts will be issued to you in the lead up to settlement.

The enquiries that I make on your behalf are conducted once the Contract is unconditional. These enquiries do several things, including:

  • Change these accounts into your name following settlement, so that all future rates accounts issue in your name, to your preferred address
  • Tell me what the rates, levies or land tax are so that we can adjust these accounts as part of settlement
  • Tell me what is currently outstanding (including any arrears) so that we can ensure that these accounts are fully paid at settlement
  • Tell me if there are any outstanding orders issued on the property so that these orders can be rectified prior to settlement
  • Tell me what building licences there are on the property
  • Tell me if the pool or spa (where applicable) complies with current legislation, when it was last inspected and when it is due for re-inspection
  • Tell me about any upcoming strata meetings, special levies or changes to by-laws in relation to any strata property that you are purchasing.

Each of these enquiries attracts a fee and these fees vary between local authorities and strata managers. I will include a provision for these enquiry fees when I issue any quote to you.


Landgate Property Interest Report

Landgate offers a “Property Interest Report” service. This search costs $59.00 and is not conducted as part of my enquiries, unless specifically requested by you. This search includes information such as interests that may or may not be noted on the Certificate of Title (eg. heritage interests, contaminated sites information, clearing of vegetation and up to 75 other interests).  You can also conduct this search yourself by visiting Landgate at Landgate Property Interest Report

This enquiry cost is not included in any quote that we provide to you.

Title Insurance

Title insurance is a product available to buyers of commercial, residential, vacant and strata properties. This type of insurance covers a buyer (upon payment of a one time premium) for certain issues that impact a buyer’s use and enjoyment of a property, including, but not limited to undisclosed encumbrances, unapproved structures and incorrect boundaries. This type of policy is separate to building and contents insurance. Title insurance is not arranged unless you request us to arrange title insurance on your behalf.

Costs of title insurance vary between insurers, the type of property that you are purchasing and the purchase price of the property.  There are two main Title Insurance companies in the market place; Stewart Title and First Title. 

Further information about Stewart Title can be obtained at Stewart Title

Further information about First Title can be obtained at First Title

This insurance is not shown in any settlement quote that we provide to you.

Building Insurance

As a buyer, it is your responsibility to arrange building insurance for the property that you are purchasing. Any bank that is providing you with finance to assist with this purchase, must be noted as an interested party on the insurance policy. You must provide a copy of the “Certificate of Currency” of your insurance to your bank before they will permit me to arrange settlement. I recommend that you arrange this no later than a week before settlement.

Some strata titled properties have joint insurance which covers all units, villas or apartments and in some instances, common property. In such cases, I will obtain a copy of the policy from the strata manager and provide it to you and your bank.

Leased Properties

You are entitled to vacant possession of the property that you are buying, unless it is specified in the Contract that the property is subject to an existing and ongoing tenancy.

If the property that you are buying has a tenant, then it is important that you advise me so that I can ensure that the seller fulfills their obligations to you under the Joint Form of General Conditions. The seller is required to provide you with a copy of the Lease, Property Condition Report and notification to the tenant that the property has been sold.

Rent may also need to be adjusted and the bond transferred to your control. I can assist with the smooth transition from any outgoing property manager to your selected incoming property manager and adjust rent where required.

A great source of information for landlords can be found at the Department of Mines, Regulation, Industry and Safety website at DMIRS Landlord Information

Residual Current Devices and Hard Wired Smoke Alarms

Legislation requires that all residential properties must have at least one hard wired smoke alarm (which is less than 10 years old) and two residual current devices before the property is transferred. It is the seller’s responsibility to ensure that the property meets the current legislative requirements. Failure to do so may render a seller liable for a substantial fine. You will be provided with additional information regarding RCDs and hard wired smoke alarms, so that you can check that these items have been installed.

Further information regarding hard wired smoke alarms can be obtained by visiting DFES Hard Wired Smoke Alarm Information

Further information regarding residual current devices can be obtained by visiting DMIRS Residual Currency Device Fact Sheet

Where possible, we will provide you with a copy of the Electrical Safety Certificate (issued by a licensed electrician) if one is provided to us.

Final Inspection of your Purchase Property

You are entitled to one final inspection prior to settlement to :

  • ensure that the seller has met any special conditions of the Contract
  • ensure that the property is in the same state and condition as it was when you made your Contract.

There are strict conditions surrounding your final inspection including arranging a time for your inspection and who can attend the final inspection.  I recommend that you contact your real estate agent to arrange for the inspection to take place approximately three business days before settlement.  I provide you with an authority form to sign and return to me as confirmation that the final inspection has been satisfactorily completed. You should contact me if there are any conditions that you believe have not been fulfilled.

Keys and Possession

If the seller resides in the property as their primary place of residence, they have until midday the day following settlement to provide the keys to the real estate agent.

Please ensure that you consider this when making arrangements for removalists. For all other improved properties (other than a primary place of residence) the seller must surrender the keys and other access devices immediately following settlement.

Keys are available via the real estate agent after settlement has taken place.

Connection of Services

I attend to changes in respect to your council rates, water rates, strata levies and lax tax accounts where applicable.

You will be required to arrange changes to the accounts for gas, electricity, internet and telephone services.  Most of these changes can be completed online with the relevant authorities.

Who Do I Need to Notify about my Change of Address?

When you move house, it is important to arrange forwarding of your mail where applicable. This can be done through Australia Post for a minimal fee and for varying periods of time. We recommend that you have the change in place for a minimum of one year so that you can ensure that any accounts that you receive on an annual basis are forwarded to you.

You can arrange this by visiting an Australia Post outlet or their website at Australia Post Mail Re-direct Service

Australia Post gives you the option of amending your address with various organisations when completing your “mail forwarding application”, however there are a number of parties that you should notify, including but not limited to:

  • Your Doctor
  • Your Dentist
  • Your Optician
  • Medicare
  • Your newspaper delivery person
  • Centrelink
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Licensing Division (for driver’s and marine licences)
  • Electoral Commission
  • Your employer
  • Your insurers
  • Your bank
  • Your superannuation company
  • RAC or other roadside assistance company
  • Your mobile phone service provider
  • Health insurance provider
  • Schools
  • Your mechanic
  • Your pet’s veterinarian
  • Your library
  • Your sporting clubs
  • Social clubs
  • Committees
Verification of Identity (VOI)

Due to successful and attempted property frauds, Landgate now requires all sellers and buyers be identified prior to the property being transferred. In most instances, I visit with my clients to have the Transfer of Land signed.  I can conduct verification of your identity at this time, at no further cost to you.  Alternatively you can complete your VOI by :

  • presenting 100 points of identity and a VOI form (that I provide to you) at a participating Australia Post outlet
  • making an appointment to complete your VOI at my office
  • contacting ZipID online to make an appointment with a representative from ZipID to visit you at a time, date and venue that is mutually convenient.

If you believe that you will have difficulty producing 100 points of identity, I ask that you contact your conveyancer as soon as possible.

Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)

The Personal Property Security Register (PPSR) is an online register that allows people to check if personal property is encumbered.  This can include items such as cars or boats and was formerly known as a REVS check (Register of Encumbered Vehicles). 

The PPSR doesn’t state whether land or buildings are encumbered.  That’s what the Certificate of Title is for. 

The PPSR extends to any property, that may be the subject of an interest from another party.  This may include, but is not limited to, items such as solar panels or vehicles and any other items that may be re-possessed.  These items may be the subject of a personal loan, which may not be satisfied at the time that the property is transferred and therefore may give rights for a lending institution to re-possess these items, leaving you out of pocket. 

PPSR checks are attract a nominal fee of $2.20, including GST.

For more information visit Australian Financial Security Authority