18 July 2023

What help can conveyancers offer with accessing schemes, grants and concessions?

| Dione David
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cheerful man and woman celebrating near house and board with sold letters

Before that new home is in the bag, make sure you know which grants, schemes and concessions you may be eligible for. Photo: File.

A property purchase is the single largest transaction most people will make in their lives, and the process can be a little nerve-wracking.

Aside from all the things that need to happen before it settles – from inspections to financing – we also want to ensure we’re getting the best possible deal. That includes finding out which grants, schemes and concessions we may be eligible for.

What trips most people up is that many of these things vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and all of them are moving targets, according to Velocity Conveyancing director Andrew Satsias.

“The timing and criteria of government incentives, grants, concessions and schemes change all the time,” he said.

“People who are buying homes typically are already juggling a lot of considerations; it’s not always on their radar to know what they may or may not be entitled to, what the current status is on a specific benefit or what the process involves.”

READ ALSO What is a ‘subject to finance’ clause, and do I need it included in my home purchase contract?

Mr Satsias said it was not uncommon for clients to be unaware of certain benefits they were entitled to, or which ones even existed – and it could cost them a great deal of money.

“The eligibility criteria varies greatly from one benefit to another… Is it means tested? Is it impacted by the type of property? The price of the property? Is there an upcoming cut-off date?” he said.

“We recently had a couple in a mad rush to close the deal on a home they wanted to purchase ahead of a benefit that was due to end on June 30 in NSW.

“It was based on a First Home Buyer’s Choice relating to their election on whether to pay stamp duty or land tax instead and was worth about $60,000 to them if they could get it done in time. It’s worth ensuring you’ve looked into the possibilities thoroughly and a good property lawyer can certainly help with that.”

Velocity Conveyancing director Andrew Satsias said some grants, schemes and concessions could save home buyers tens of thousands of dollars. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Home buyers who have a clear idea of which grants they’re eligible for, and what the process involves, may still need guidance on timing.

“Even understanding the sequence of events in the buying process and when to get the ball rolling on things can be confusing,” Mr Satsias said.

“Most of the time, even if you’re researching and getting your ducks in a row, you’re not making these applications before you purchase a house. But when should you get the ball rolling? You don’t want to miss out due to an avoidable thing like timing.”

READ ALSO Preparation, contingency the key to avoiding stress of property settlement delays

The majority of benefits are provided by the state or territory where a property is purchased. But no matter the jurisdiction, or whether it’s a First Home Buyer’s Grant, a stamp duty concession or a builder’s scheme, seeking guidance from an experienced property lawyer can provide peace of mind.

“It’s a function of our job to stay abreast of changes that could affect our clients, so we can show them what’s involved or, if it’s not a legal matter but related to a purchase, refer them on or point them in the right direction,” Mr Satsias said.

“At Velocity, it doesn’t matter which of our seven offices you sign on with, you’re getting someone who assists daily on all matters of the process. You’re getting someone who has their head in the game, and that’s a big relief when you’re taking the huge step of buying property.”

Visit Velocity Conveyancing to get more information on your conveyancing needs including guidance on which grants, schemes and concessions you may be eligible for.

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