Buying off the Plan - Legal Considerations

John Gallagher from Argon Law steps you through the key considerations to know when buying a property 'off the plan'. This process, although often a great way to get started with property or build an investment portfolio can also be filled with many traps for inexperienced or ill informed investors. 

John shares his key tips and things that you need to understand to make your property investment and real estate purchase safer and to ensure all legal aspects are considered properly.

Always ensure you seek professional advice for your specific circumstances, the above is intended to be general in nature.

More Information

When entering into a contract to buy an apartment or townhouse before construction has finished it’s known as buying “off the plan”.

It’s a good idea to research the developer and the location and try to get as clear a picture as possible of the dwelling you will actually receive and how it fits into the rest of the complex.  Study all plans, drawings and schedules of finishes and even ask an architect for an opinion about them.

Get a good understanding of how the body corporate will be structured and how much you can expect to pay each year in levies to that body corporate.

Beware of rental guarantees. They can give you a false impression about the return you can expect to receive.

The proposed contract of sale and associated disclosure statement from the developer should include copies of the plans and schedules provided to you earlier as well as provisions specifying a sunset date by which the development must be completed.  The contract should also include a provision requiring the developer to rectify any defects that may become evident during the first few months after you settle.

Experienced lawyers will ensure that these and many other important matters are properly covered if they are asked to review the documents before you sign.

In summary:

  • do you research and get a very clear picture of how it will all fit together;
  • beware of rental guarantees;  and
  • get the contract reviewed by a lawyer before you sign.

There is obviously a lot more to off the plan property transactions so if you have any queries please contact us on 07 5443 9988 or[email protected].

Argon Law is a Sunshine Coast law firm based in Maroochydore.  We are commercial lawyers and property and body corporate lawyers and are eager to assist you in any way we can.


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