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Frequently Asked Questions

These frequently asked questions have been prepared to help make buying and selling a property simple and stress free for you. I’ve also prepared a Glossary of standard terms. If you still have questions about the process, feel free to get in contact.


While it is always nice to meet you in person, I acknowledge that you may not live nearby, and life can be busy. I can assist you with any purchase or sale in Queensland, remotely or in person. Our tech-led world means we can complete your transaction virtually and our forms can all be completed on your mobile phone/tablet/computer. However, we do need to verify your identity and if this can’t be done in person, we will require you to complete a remote Verification of Identity which is relatively simple.

A VOI (Verification of Identity) is a requirement of Titles Queensland, Pexa, the Queensland Law Society and your bank (if you are purchasing). We need to verify who you are and that you are entitled to transact (ie sell or purchase) the property. Your entitlement to sign is easily verified by using a title search or the Contract. Your identity needs to be verified by provision of the following documents:

  • Category 1: Passport and Drivers Licence; or
  • Category 2: Drivers Licence, Birth Certificate, Medicare card and Marriage Certificate.

If you are local to the Sunshine Coast, we prefer you to come into our office so we can complete your VOI in person. If you do not live in the area, we have two options for completing your verification of identity:

  • Remote link: Cost is $13.75 per person. Each person needs to have their own mobile number and email address.
  • In person at Australia Post. Cost is as directed by Australia Post (currently $50.00 per person).

Settlement Options

A “paper settlement” is the traditional method of settling a conveyancing matter. Settlements can sometimes be difficult with getting every party to attend on time and are often delayed by hours or days due to cheques or documents containing a minor error.

Pexa is an electronic settlement platform which allows us to lodge completed Titles documents electronically with settlement funds disbursed electronically and routed via the Reserve Bank. It’s efficient, secure, and instant.

Pexa charges a fee to use their platform (currently: $123.97). The cost to settle a physical transaction can depend on the location and funding requirements. If settlement is delayed on a physical settlement there can be extra fees for re-attendance and/or re-drawing of cheques. Pexa provides peace of mind on the fee upfront whereas with a physical settlement sometimes we can only estimate until the transaction has been completed.

I prefer to settle by Pexa. I’ve found that the banks are far more responsive to settling on Pexa than with a physical settlement. This means there is a higher likelihood of your settlement being completed on the nominated Settlement Date and less risk of delays. We are always happy to discuss with you the difference between the two options.

For a Buyer, Pexa gives peace of mind that the transfer is registered on the same day as settlement (rather than what could be 2-3 weeks in a physical settlement).

For Sellers, it means your settlement funds will be available to you within a few hours of settlement rather than a few days.

Buying a Property

  • Lawyer professional fee – this fee is payable to your lawyer for them to handle all aspects of the transaction.
  • Disbursements / outlays – there are minimum searches that you should conduct on a property to ensure there are no defects in title or money outstanding. We do not charge a markup on the fees that we are charged to order your searches. The search fees may vary as each Council has their own fees. 
  • Transfer Duty (formerly stamp duty) – transfer duty is a tax charged on the acquisition of property and is based on the purchase price. We can discuss the various concessions available.
  • Registration fees – the fee payable to Titles Queensland to transfer the property into your name. This fee is also based on the purchase price.
  • Finance – your bank will charge you loan application/processing/settlement fees. Each bank varies so you should check with your banker/broker directly.
  • Building & Pest Inspector / Electrician / Plumber / Soil Test – depending on what inspections you want to conduct on the property there will be a fee for each tradesman.
  • Insurance – you need to arrange insurance as soon as the Contract has been signed by both parties.

There are minimum/standard searches that are required to ensure there are no defects in title or money outstanding on the property. There are additional searches available and may depend on your particular use of the property. I will provide you with a list of all the searches available and cost per search and discuss your particular property with you.

I request a retainer to our trust account at the commencement of your contract to cover searches. The balance of our fees, outlays and other government charges can be paid by you prior to settlement or by your bank at settlement depending on how your finances/loan are structured.

Post-covid and with the recent increase in the property market, banks have been slower to process finance applications and we now like to allow 21-28 days depending on your personal circumstances. In general, allow 14-21 days from your conditions being approved to settlement to allow time to organise your bank and settlement. This time frame can depend on your personal circumstances.

We can discuss timing of the conditions and settlement with you prior to signing the Contract to ensure you are able to meet your obligations.

When two or more parties purchase a property the Transfer has to nominate whether the property is to be held as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common. Joint Tenants means that if one party dies, their share in the property will automatically transfer to the other party, regardless of the contents of that person’s Will. This is the most common scenario for couples. When the property is held as Tenants in Common, the person’s share will transfer in accordance with their Will upon death. This is generally used when purchasing with a parent/sibling/friend.

We can provide further advice as to the best scenario and percentages for your particular circumstances.

Selling a Property

  • Lawyer professional fee – this fee is payable to your lawyer for them to handle all aspects of the transaction.
  • Outlays / disbursements – generally this is limited to a title search (if not provided by the agent) and verification of identity costs.
  • Agent’s commission – you will have negotiated your commission with the agent prior to engaging them. Their commission can be paid from the deposit or at Settlement.

Payment will be made to us as part of the settlement process before funds are disbursed to you.

Your bank will require a Discharge Authority to be signed in order to notify them that the property has been sold. Most banks require at least 14-21 days to process the Discharge Authority however we suggest that you sign the Discharge Authority as soon as the contract is signed. All too often settlements are delayed as the discharging bank is not ready to provide a Release of Mortgage at Settlement. I can assist you with completing the Discharge Authority.

The ATO requires a seller to provide a buyer with a Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding Clearance Certificate where the purchase price is $750,000.00 or more. If this certificate is not provided, the buyer may withhold funds at settlement and pay to ATO. The requirement to provide this certificate is contingent upon the purchase price and not a person’s residency status. I will provide you with a link to complete and authorise us to make the application for the certificate on your behalf.

Any other questions? 

Have another question about buying or selling a property with us? Get in contact, we’d be happy to help.