Off the Plan Purchase

Buying off the plan doesn't come without its risks. CM Lawyers' award-winning conveyancing team ensures your contract has you covered. Here is what to know when making an off the plan purchase.

The excitement of buying a brand new home or unit before it is complete can turn into a financial nightmare. It's important to consider the multiple risks in purchasing an off-the-plan property before you sit down and sign your contracts. Our legal and conveyancing team can help you discover whether or not you are dealing with a reputable developer; whether or not the price is reasonable; potential market fluctuations that may affect your property profits; and whether or not you can get financing. Here's a list of some of the most important things to do when buying an off-the-plan property:

  • Check the display unit closely and ask lots of questions. Ask to see the property on site if construction has already commenced.
  • Look over plans, are there displays showing the inside and outside of the completed property.
  • Ask what options are available in regards to layout, size, colour scheme, materials, fixtures and fittings.
  • Where is the property located in relation to views, high noise common areas such as entry areas, lifts, stairways, garbage chutes etc?
  • Has the developer a good history and are they financially viable?
  • Have council approvals been obtained (as the plans may change)?
  • Are there any other developments proposed nearby.
  • Is there a chance of losing your views in the future?
  • How close are you to important amenities such as reliable transport, schools, shopping, medical centres etc?
  • What are the proposed levies and rules for the development?
  • Have your accountant or financial advisor review the figures. Ask if a depreciation schedule is available?

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So why do you need legal advice on your contract prior to buying an off-the-plan property? Below is a summary of just some points to consider:

  • What happens to your deposit if the development is not completed?
  • Sunset date, is the time to complete the property reasonable? Do you have a “get out” clause? You can read more about the dangers of Sunset Clauses on our blog: Sunset Clause Draws the Curtain on First Home Buyer's Dream
  • Is the contract subject to pre-conditions for development to go ahead?
  • How will the builder deal with defects? Read more about the recent amendments to the Home Building Act and the definition of "major defects"
  • Can you sell before completion?
  • Can the developer substitute finishes and fittings?
  • What quality of finishes can I expect?
  • Are the finishes and fittings outlined and accurately described in the contract?
  • Is home warranty insurance being provided?
  • Can the builder change the plans? Will they notify me? What rights do you have?
  • What happens if you have a dispute with the developer? What provisions are in the contract to avoid costly litigation?
  • What happens if the size of the property is smaller?
  • What are the rules in living in the development? Can I keep a pet?
  • Are there any management contracts in place?
  • What are the unit entitlements to your property?
  • Are there are any other costs, charges and adjustments you are liable for in the contract?
  • What happens if I do not obtain finance?

At CM Lawyers we have years of experience in dealing with off-the-plan purchases all over Sydney from boutique developments to large community schemes. We take pride in providing advice that's understandable and actionable.

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Feel free to call us for an obligation free quote today. Or take the time to read about the pros and cons of off-the-plan purchasing before contacting us. 

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