When you are ready to purchase a property, be it:

  • vacant land to build
  • an established “dream home”
  • an investment property
  • a beach house for family vacations
  • commercial premises

Contact us BEFORE you sign a contract, so you can receive independent advice to protect your interests, relating to:

Contract Conditions

We can advise and assist in contract clauses that will protect your interests. Remember, should things not go as planned, everything comes back to what is contained in the contract. So it’s best to ensure the contract covers you and your unique situation.

Contract conditions to be considered:

  • Finance – If you require finance from a lending institution, the contract must be made “subject to finance”.
  • Pre-purchase inspection – This is not a standard clause in South Australian contracts and therefore this needs to be included specifically if you wish to inspect the property before settlement occurs
  • Sale and/or settlement of an existing property
  • Building and/or Pest Inspection past the cooling-off period
  • Any works to be completed by the Vendor prior to settlement
  • Consider any specific items to be included/excluded from the sale. Is the dishwasher included? Don’t assume, ask the Agent/Vendor and have non-standard items specified in the contract to avoid any misunderstandings.

Form 1 & 'Cooling-off'

You have already signed a contract to purchase a property. Has your ‘cooling-off’ period finished? Your cooling-off commences when the contract has been signed by all parties AND you have received a correctly prepared Form 1. A Purchaser’s right to cool-off is required under the Land & Business (Sale & Conveyancing) Act 1994 and is independent of any contract conditions. The Form 1 is a disclosure statement signed by the Vendor and provided to you, the Purchaser. It will advise you of such things as:

  • Any mortgages, easements and encumbrances registered on the Title.
  • Council approval for any developments on the property that have conditions still applicable, eg. land division applications or approval to build a second dwelling, shed or carport.
  • Any government notices issued against the property, eg. environmental protection, heritage listing, fences, etc.

If you wish to cool-off, you are required to provide written notice to the Vendor, specifically in the manner as set out in the Form 1. We can advise you on providing notice of your right to cool-off.

A cooling-off period does not exist for a Purchaser in the following circumstances:

  • you have waived your cooling-off rights by receiving independent legal advice and provided a certificate from your legal practitioner stating to that effect;
  • the sale occurs at the auction of the property;
  • the sale occurs following the auction and you bid at the auction;
  • you are purchasing the property as a company and is not residential land;
  • the purchase is part of a purchase of a business; or
  • in certain circumstances where the sale involves a tender or option to purchase.

It is critical you understand your rights in relation to cooling-off. Please contact us as soon as possible after receiving the Form 1 so we can provide you with independent, professional advice.

It is also a good idea to contact the local Council before your cooling-off concludes to enquire about any current or future plans for the area in which you are purchasing.


Is there an encumbrance currently registered on the Title or are you required to execute and register a new encumbrance and pay the associated fees? We can advise you what it all means and if any costs apply.


Standard SA contracts provide that the property is at the risk of the Purchaser from the date of the contract. We advise that you arrange building insurance cover from the day of signing the contract.

First home owners

We understand that being a first home owner can seem very daunting and overwhelming. We will assist you through every step and explain in plain terms what the process is.

The First Home Owners Grant may be applicable if you are purchasing or constructing a new residential property. Find out if you meet the criteria and how much your grant will be:https://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/grants-and-concessions/first-home-owners

Forms of ownership

Property can be owned by one person (sole ownership) or by two or more people, for which there are the following two different types of joint ownership:

  • Tenants in Common:. Tenants in Common may hold property in equal or apportioned shares to reflect each owner’s contribution. Upon the death of one proprietor, that person’s interest will vest as per the deceased proprietor’s Will or Letters of Administration. Tenants in Common is often used where the buyers of the property are friends, business associates or relations and they have pooled their funds to purchase the property or if an investment property, there may be tax benefits for a couple to hold a certain percentage each.
  • Joint Tenants: Joint Tenant ownership is more commonly used by married/defacto couples when buying a residence. Joint Tenants each have an equal interest in the whole of the property and upon the death of one owner, the survivor is automatically entitled to become the owner of the deceased’s interest in the property.
  • Property can also be owned by a company or on behalf of a Trust. We will discuss with you your options about forms of ownership and provide an information sheet. You may also wish to discuss with your Accountant if there may be tax benefits in owning property in a certain way, which may be particularly applicable if buying an investment property.