Off-the-Plan Purchase

Ensure the Success of Your Off-the-Plan Purchase in Sydney

Purchasing a property before it is built is referred to as buying “off the plan“. Typically, this will be the case if you are buying a project home or a property under construction.

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An off-the-plan purchase comes with its own particular set of terms and conditions and is different from buying or selling existing property in Sydney. The clauses and conditions in the contract become paramount to the ultimate success of this purchase. Formulating the language properly can be a very involved and tricky task, which may require legal advice.

Tips for Buying Off-the-Plan in Sydney

The details of an off-the-plan purchase are specialised and highly technical. Some examples of the countless things to consider, include:

    • It is perfectly legal for the size of your ‘lot’ or property to change. But by how much is the critical factor to check.
    • Time frames for completing construction may vary, but how much can they vary and what happens when they do?
    • There will be a schedule of finishes, which refers to how the walls, floors, fixtures and fittings are ‘finished’. Appliances should be detailed, not just that there will be a washing machine, but what make and model?
    • It is also legal for the location of your property and the location of any car space you may be allocated to change. It is critical to have such an entitlement addressed.

Generally, the seller will aim for as much flexibility as possible. Developers need flexibility to accommodate changes in plans, council requirements and a host of other variables. At the same time, you, as the buyer, should aim for as much certainty as possible to minimise any risks or “unknowns” associated with the investment.

There are myriad considerations associated with an off-the-plan purchase, whether in Sydney or elsewhere. Purchasing property may be the single largest transaction you will ever make. With off-the-plan purchases, the investment potential is only matched by the risk if you are not careful and prepared.

Getting Legal Advice for Your Off-the-Plan Property in Sydney

It is important for buyers to seek out timely and meaningful advice as to the various terms, risks and pitfalls associated with purchasing off-the-plan. Visit our comprehensive Resource Centre to find our informative publications and handy checklist for off-the-plan purchases.

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