What First-Time Home Buyers in Melbourne Need to Know About Property

You can never be too careful when buying a property! Here’s a rundown of what you need to know before you buying in Victoria. 

Cooling off period 

For private sales, purchasers have a chance to change their mind about their property purchase within three business days from the day the contract is signed. Note that the cooling-off period is not available for properties bought at auction. Click here to learn more about contractual terms. 

Legal Representatives 

A conveyancers or solicitor is required for all property settlements. Your legal representative can advise you on contractual terms, conditions, and things to look out for regarding property details in the Section 32. The Vendor and Purchaser are restricted from communicating directly – their respective conveyancer/solicitor will do so on their behalf. 


A purchaser may conduct their inspection before signing the contract and before the settlement day. This is done to check if the property is just as it was when it was purchased. Purchasers can also hire someone to conduct a building and pest inspection to check for all types of damages to the property (particularly major structural defects).  

Stamp Duty 

Stamp duty is one of the most significant expenses when buying a property, yet many first home buyers remain unaware of it. Stamp duty is based on the contract price and imposed for all property transactions. However, exemptions or concessions may be available for a purchaser subject to their circumstances and property purchase history. Fortunately, stamp duty is a one-off payment to the government and is payable on the settlement day. 


Nomination is used when the purchaser wants to add another purchaser or nominate another person to be the purchaser on their behalf. For instance, if only 1 of 2 purchasers was able to attend the signing of the contract, the purchaser who signed may nominate the other purchaser to be put in the contract – in which case, once the nomination is complete, the contract will be under the two purchasers’ names.  

Electronic Settlement (PEXA) 

Almost all property settlements are transacted electronically via Victoria’s electronic platform, PEXA. This also means that the purchasers’ contribution to the settlement process can be made remotely, so there is no need to travel to meet with your conveyancer/solicitor. The best part about PEXA is that the bank also gets involved and can provide the loan funds within the electronic workspace to be distributed once the settlement is complete.

Contact Us

The W Legal Group team is experienced and trained to ensure you are looked after throughout the settlement process. Contact us at 03 9590 6180 to get started with your purchase. 

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Our response time is 2 business hours.

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