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OFF THE PLAN PURCHASE

Off the plan purchase is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, as the property market is quite strong, people are purchasing off the plan to ensure they acquire a certain property.
off the plan purchase

Out of all the Conveyancing cycles, off the plan purchase typically spans the longest time. With this in mind, there is more inherent risk and should be carefully planned. We recommend people identify a professional legal firm to guide them on this endeavour. This page is designed to educate readers if they are planning to purchase off the plan and familiarise them with the Conveyancing process.

What our clients say about us

Stacey Sullaphen
Stacey Sullaphen
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Nothing but praise for HLC who handled our purchase right on the border of NSW & QLD, making it tricky indeed. Sue & her team kept on top of everything and informed us every step of the way! Would not consider using anyone else for our conveyancing or legal needs.
Rick M
Rick M
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I cannot begin to say how easy purchasing a home was with the help of Hunter legal and conveyancing. Sue and the team made a difficult task simple. I will definitely be using HLC for my next house.
Shane Nevin
Shane Nevin
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I couldn't have asked for better service than what i received from Dawn when purchasing our block of land last year. Very helpful, extremely professional, service with a smile. 🙂
Karen Fenning
Karen Fenning
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Highly recommend Hunter Legal & Conveyancing , Sue and her Team went above and beyond for us they came to our home to sign our new House Contract when it was difficult for us to get out and about with our disabled son.
Leanne McDonnell
Leanne McDonnell
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The Team @ Hunter Legal & Conveyancing are exceptionally great @ what they do as a team, their excellence to detail and support were outstanding, Thanks to Sue and The Team, from the front desk to beyond you all went out of your way to help me achieve the purchase of my new property. I would highly recommend Hunter Legal & Conveyancing. Thankyou ALL again. Leanne. Kurri Kurri.
Steven Sales
Steven Sales
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No mucking around, they just get in and get the job done. Friendly staff Made the process of buying a house less stressful
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Vicki Hobbs
Vicki Hobbs
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I have found them most helpful, with the sale of my house. You would be happy with their service if you went with them.
Mathew Sefian
Mathew Sefian
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Incredible work. I needed people on the ball, proactive and experienced enough to navigate a settlement in 5 days after an exchange. Any one who knows property, banks and sollicitors knows this is a big ask. Hunter legal were all over it !!! And we did it. Great work cant say enough about this team.
Brad Driscoll
Brad Driscoll
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Erin and the team from Hunter Legal and Conveyancing were a pleasure to work with. Made the process straight forward and easy to manage.
Toni Walsh
Toni Walsh
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I work with Hunter Legal on a daily basis and always find them easy to communicate with, always friendly and happy to help any way they can. Would happily refer them to anyone who is wanting to buy or sell real estate.
Chris Lyttle
Chris Lyttle
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The team at hunter legal are very helpful and where able to sort everything out while I was working away. Ebony done an excellent job with the sale of my house and buying my new house.
Darren Doyle
Darren Doyle
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The staff have been awesome right from when I called to get there help in buying our home, highly recommended HLC to everyone looking for professional help in anyway. Thank you so much Susanne you made our job easy. Keep up the great work.
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Kathie Morris
Kathie Morris
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Big thank you to Ebony, Erin and team for handling both property sales and purchases for us recently. All transactions were delivered professionally and thoughtfully, considerate of our time and availability.
Ryan Drury
Ryan Drury
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Fantastic service. Went above & beyond with my recent home purchase. Highly recommend this professional crew. Special shout out to Jasmine for her fantastic efforts. Thank you so much.
Trevor Laker
Trevor Laker
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Sue and Ebony were amazing after having a bad experience with another Conveyancer, a pleasant and easy transaction and nothing was to much trouble for these girls. We would have no problem recommending them they at least sell peace of mind when they take you on as a client.
Terry Bradley
Terry Bradley
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Having moved from interstate and not knowing anyone, Sue was recommended by the real estate agent. She was very friendly and pleasant to deal with especially when we had dramas. Would highly recommend their services.
Kasey Williams
Kasey Williams
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Ebony and Erin assisted me in purchasing my first home. They were incredibly professional and guided me through every step of the process, answering all of my questions and providing valuable assistance along the way. Thankyou so much!
Steve Jarmain
Steve Jarmain
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I have engaged Sue and the friendly team at Hunter Legal twice in 12 months on conveyancing and purchasing realestate. its a pleasure dealing with such professionals. They are very efficient, have great communication and are very approachable. I highly recommend Hunter Legal and will continue to use their services in the future. Again well done to Sue and your proactive team.... Thank you...
Danielle Fox Harland
Danielle Fox Harland
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Sue Mosley and her team at Hunter Legal and Conveyancing were a pleasure to work with. Sue and Jasmine have a straight forward approach to conveyancing and legal matters which made the process of purchasing a property stress free and easy. Her honesty, expertise and in depth knowledge enabled us to achieve a property settlement in a short amount of time. Sue and her team went above and beyond our expectations in all areas of customer service and legal representation. We would highly recommend Hunter Legal & Conveyancing.
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GENERAL GUIDELINES

The below diagram represents the course a person will go through when selling a property.

Advantages off the plan purchase

  • Choosing exactly what property you want
  • Possible capital growth between the time you purchase and settlement
  • Possible depreciation for taxation purposes

Disadvantages off the plan purchase

  • Possible capital loss between the time you purchase and settlement
  • Possible oversupply
  • The final construction is impossible to perfectly conceptualise (i.e. natural light or views)
  • The developer can make certain changes without your consent (to negate this, the contract should be itemised and very detailed (i.e. bench top material, fly screens type, color schemes, fittings)
  • Not clearly knowing what body corporate fees will be long term
    By listing more disadvantages than advantages, we are not intending to discourage people from purchasing property off the plan, rather educate them towards a safer transaction.
off the plan purchase | buying off the plan

These inherent risks are always present when purchasing off the plan, as mentioned, partnering with a professional legal firm will be your best course of action. In addition to this, people purchasing off the plan can also perform the following to set themselves up for success

  • Researching the construction company. How long have they been in business? Are they well known and have a proven record delivering high quality projects?
  • Maintaining awareness of the Contract of Sale. Namely, the sunset clause and how this can be executed (more info in the FAQ below)
  • Understanding the sale is typically unconditional. Meaning, the Contract of Sale is binding, and people must ensure their financial and employment circumstances are able to satisfy obligations in the future.
  • Understanding you can negotiate on the price

OFF THE PLAN PURCHASE IN IN NSW - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

off the plan purchase

To further protect vendors and buyers in this scenario, in 2015 the New South Wales Government passed an update to the Conveyancing Act, the update addressed the situation where some developers may deliberately wait for a sunset clause to be activated, and re-sell the property for a higher purchase price, thus negatively impacting the original buyer (time wasted, Conveyancing fees and potentially unable to enter the market).
People are able to view the Legal protections for off the plan property purchasers on the NSW LRS website here, the main features are:

  • A vendor must provide at least 28 days notice prior to rescission under a sunset clause. Additionally they must provide an explanation to why this is occuring.

Should the construction not be completed by the sunset date, the buyer is able to withdraw from the purchase without repercussion. In the event the buyer wishes to wait for the construction to be completed, they must provide written consent to extend the settlement.

Read our article about off the plan purchase property for more detailed information.

FAQ

In short, a sunset clause is a statement in the contract that allows a buyer to rescind the contract if the construction of the property is not completed by the sunset date.
There may be additional terms allowing the sunset date to be extended, so be sure to review the contract carefully.

This is a variable situation as it depends what is written in the original contract.
In the contract, there are usually conditions which provide the vendor different timeframes for extenuating circumstances. The vendor may also request the buying party to consent to the extension of the settlement.
Should the development take longer than the agreed sunset date, the purchaser can terminate the contract without repercussions.

Yes, first home buyers in NSW can receive a discount.
In terms of concession eligibility towards buying off the plan, there are some complexities that should be considered. According to the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme, a person must satisfy the following:
“At least 1 eligible purchaser must occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of 6 months, commencing within 12 months of completion of the agreement.”
We recommend you liaise with a Conveyancer to ensure the timing of settlement synchronises with your movements and you can move into the property at an appropriate date.

The Contract of Sale should be explicit and state your prospective property (i.e. Apartment 32, Lot 4, 123 Smith St, NSW) and not simply the construction of the entire building.

HOW WE CAN HELP

  • Preliminary advice and planning
  • Reviewing the Contract of Sale in detail
  • Helping you understand your rights in regards to sunset clauses, defects, building size, inclusions and quality assurance
  • Helping you understand potential changes to property management, ongoing fees and insurances
  • Resolving disputes with the developer

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