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So you’ve received loan pre-approval and after shopping round and researching the market you’ve found a property you’re keen to buy – congratulations, you’re part of the way there to purchasing your new home. It’s important you’ve done your homework though before auction day so there are no surprises once the hammer comes down and you realise you’re the successful bidder.

Make sure you receive a copy of the contract of sale and if possible, get a solicitor to look over it for you. They will be able to pick up on any issues and concerns within it and give you advice. If it all sounds good, you can go to the auction with complete confidence knowing exactly what you could potentially be purchasing. There’s no cooling off period either at an auction like there is for a private sale, meaning that if you’re the successful bidder you don’t get a few days to change your mind and pull out of the purchase.

If you’re purchasing an apartment, unit or townhouse it’s a good idea to enquire about viewing a strata report. It costs a bit to get a copy but it’s an important document as it lists any past and present repairs undertaken in the building, monies in the sinking fund for maintenance and repairs, the likelihood of any special levies, or any building or structural issues. From this you can decide whether or not you want to proceed at auction. It may also be worthwhile taking some time out of your day to go to the strata office and request a review of the body corporate notes. This will give another comprehensive review of what it is you may be purchasing. If you’re buying a house a building inspection isn’t a bad idea either – again it may cost a few hundred to get it done but it’ll help with your decision.

On auction day make sure you take the copy of the contract with you along with a bank cheque for the deposit in case you’re the successful bidder. Take some form of identification with you for registration purposes and relax – auctions can be stressful but if you’ve covered all your bases and know your financial limit you’re in the best position possible to win.

What is a section 32?

Two of the most important documents in the property purchase process are the contract of sale and the Section 32 Statement

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