Contact your lawyer prior to signing any contract for the purchase of a property, to have them look over the proposed contract and make any recommendations regarding the terms, timelines or the need for special conditions. Pre-contract advice is crucial in off-the-plan purchases and strata-titled units. Your lawyer can also give you an estimate of transfer duty, registration fees and other costs, to help with your budgeting.

Once the contract is signed, consideration needs to be given to lodgement of a caveat and whether title insurance should be taken out. Searches need to be undertaken and specific advice sought where issues such as adverse possession, boundary issues or contaminated land are relevant. In those circumstances, there is no substitute for experience and a keen eye for detail.

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