Are you buying a property? No matter the property is for residential or investment purpose, Ascent Lawyers care about the purchase as much as you do. Sometimes conveyancing can be complicated. That is why we believe that the experience in conveyancing is the key to a smooth settlement leading you to your dream home.

Conveyancing Procedures and FAQ

Step 1: Decide the suburb
Step 2: Determine your budget and affordability

You can purchase a property by arranging finance or paying the full amount. If finance is required, you should contact the bank or broker for a finance pre-approval confirming your budget and affordability.

Please bear in mind that apart from arranging funds for the property itself, you should have extra funds for legal fees, transfer duty, etc.

2.1 Does my conveyancing solicitor assist in arranging finance with my bank or broker?

Your bank or broker can assist you with finance. You should communicate with them directly regarding your queries on affordability and budget.

You have to notify us, your conveyancing solicitor, once the finance application is approved so that we could prepare for settlement.

The most important thing is that the property price is within your budget and Ascent Lawyers will take care of the rest ensuring a smooth settlement.

2.2 How much does a conveyancing solicitor charge? When is the payment due?

There will be legal fees and disbursements involved in the conveyancing work. The fees are normally payable upon settlement.

Legal fees

Legal fees may vary depending on the type of property you are going to purchase. We suggest that you fill out the enquiry form below to obtain an accurate quotation from us.


During the conveyancing process, solicitors will incur costs when conducting various searches. These will include searches such as obtaining various certificates from relevant authorities. Our conveyancing solicitor can give you an estimation on the disbursements after we have more details about the property you are purchasing.

2.3 What is transfer duty? How much would it be?

Transfer duty is a government tax on transactions involving dutiable property. The amount of stamp duty that applies to a transaction varies depending on the followings:

  • Whether you are purchasing a residential or investment property
  • The value of the property
  • Whether you are a first home buyer
  • Whether you are an Australian or overseas resident

Our conveyancing solicitor can advise you the accurate payable stamp duty for your budgeting purpose.

Step 3: Make an Offer

Based on the results of the finance pre-approval and your budget, you can make an offer on your targeted property.

Step 4: Review and Sign the Contract

Generally, your real estate agent will prepare a contract for your execution. It is recommended that you retain a solicitor to review the contract for you before execution.

4.1 Why is it important to retain a solicitor to review the contract?

Your conveyancing solicitor will review the contract and advise you on the critical terms and conditions to ensure that you understand your contractual obligations.

4.2 Can I do my own conveyancing?

There is more to conveyancing than filling out a few forms. A conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer is an integral part of a smooth and straightforward property transaction because they have the skills and experience to manage the process from start to end. By handling the transaction yourself, your lack of expertise could lead to expensive fines or breach of contract.

4.3 What are the critical clauses in the Contract?

The following clauses should be highlighted:

Subject to Finance

This clause allows the buyers to terminate the contract with no penalty when they are unable to obtain sufficient finance.

Subject to Building and Pest Inspection

Second-hand houses may have hidden issues such as building structure and termite infestation. If your contract is subject to building and pest inspection, you should engage licensed inspectors. Investing in a building and pest inspection report could save you a fortune if it means you end up buying an issue-plagued property. You may also be able to negotiate down the purchase price using the report’s findings.

Subject to FIRB Approval

Overseas residents must obtain FIRB approval when purchasing a property in Australia. The Contract can be terminated if a FIRB application is not successful.

Step 5: Follow the critical dates in the contract

The contract will become legally binding after execution by both the buyer and seller. Our conveyancing solicitors will guide you through the critical dates and get things underway such as:

  • Deposit due date
  • Cooling off period
  • Building and pest inspection due date
  • Finance due date

5.1 What is a cooling off period?

Most residential property sales in Queensland are subject to a cooling-off period of 5 business days commencing on the date the buyer or their lawyer receives a copy of the contract signed by both the buyer and the seller.

If you, the buyer, decide not to proceed with the purchase within the cooling-off period, you must give written notice to the seller by 5 pm on the 5th day. The seller may deduct a penalty of up to 0.25% of the purchase price from the deposit.

5.2 If my contract has a building and pest inspection clause, do I have to arrange a building and pest inspection? Can I terminate the contract if the building and pest inspection report is not satisfactory?

You should obtain a building and pest inspection report from licensed inspectors and tell us whether or not it is satisfactory. If we do not notify the Seller that the building and the pest inspection report is satisfactory or waive the condition by 5 pm on the due date, the Seller has the right to terminate the Contract.

5.3 When should I organise home insurance?

The property is at your risk from 5 pm on the first business date after the Contract Date. As the Property is at your risk, we recommend you arrange property insurance cover for the house.

Step 6: Settlement

Settlement must be effected on the settlement date.

6.1 Do I have to attend settlement?

We will attend settlement on your behalf and let you know once the settlement is effected. You may then collect the keys from the agent.

6.2 Can the settlement date be brought forward?

Yes, you may request to bring forward the settlement date from the seller. However, the seller is not obligated to agree to your request.

6.3 What happens if the settlement cannot be effected on time?

If the settlement is delayed due to the buyer’s fault

If you fail to settle on the due date, the Seller may terminate your contract, forfeit your deposit and sue you for damages. Even if the Seller agrees to an extension of the settlement date, the Seller may require the Buyer to pay default interest in accordance with the terms of the contract.

If the settlement is delayed due to the seller’s fault

The Buyer has the right to terminate the contract and claim compensation from the vendor.

General Questions:

I am an overseas resident in Australia. Am I able to purchase property in Queensland?

Regardless of the residential status, you can purchase property in Queensland. If you are an overseas resident, please keep in mind the followings:

FIRB Approval

You have to apply for FIRB approval before purchasing a property in Australia. The application fee may vary depending on the value of the property.

Additional Stamp Duty

Additional stamp duty may apply when you are purchasing a residential property in Queensland as an overseas resident. Our conveyancing solicitor can work out the exact amount for you.


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