Menu

close x
English French Spanish Chinese

Common Legal Mistakes When Buying a Home

Date Posted: Jul, 2016

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you can make, and (hopefully!) one of the best. Unfortunately, this means that it can be a big mistake if you get something wrong along the way.

Here are some common legal mistakes that people often make when they’re buying a home. Make sure you’re aware of these so that you can avoid them for yourself, especially if you’re a first time home buyer.

Don’t turn a blind eye to problems during the inspection

A property might be in the perfect location and have all the features you’re looking for, but you still need to scrutinise the details. Most of the issues that may affect your decision to purchase will be included in the Section 32 document, however, there may be other maintenance issues that you need catch during the inspection.

You need to check the fittings and fixture to make sure they all work. Things like the electric garage door opener that you may not think to check but can be quite costly to fix. Some other maintenance issue you should look out for include:

  • Sagging ceilings
  • Water damage and corrosion in and around bathrooms
  • Look for cracks and mould
  • Check that electrical fittings all work

If you do not find these maintenance issues until after the purchase has been finalised, you will end up having to pay for them yourself. Some of these could end up costing thousands of dollars to fix, and you likely won’t have any legal recourse.

Don’t overbid at auction

Auctions are incredibly exciting, but you still need to keep a level head. Remember that this is not the only property on the market, even if it ticks all of your boxes. If you overspend at the auction, you find yourself in a bit legal and financial hot water.

If you buy at auction and go way above your budget, you may not be able to secure a home loan. This means that you could end up losing your deposit if you have to back out of the contract of purchase. You need to set a budget and stick to it so that you don’t commit to something that you can’t afford.

Don’t skim read the paperwork

Buying a property can be a very complicated process, and there is a lot of paperwork involved. If you are not a legal expert or haven’t bought a home before, then this can be quite daunting. But you should never make the mistake of assuming that everything is in order and just skimming over the documents.

You should get a professional, like a property lawyer or conveyancer, to look over the documents for you to make sure that all the details are correct. Don’t forget that buying a property involves signing a contract and this come with legal obligations and responsibilities.

Do get expert advice from property professionals

In theory, you can go through the entire process of buying a home without getting professional advice, but it’s probably not in your best interests to do so. This is especially true for first time home buyers.

There are a number of property experts who can help you through every step of the property buying process. A property lawyer or conveyancer can review all of the legal documents, a buyers’ agent can help you find the best properties in the best areas, a qualified property inspector can look for maintenance issues, and a finance broker can help you secure a home loan.

Whatever part of the process you need help with, you can get it.