The purchase of a property, particularly your home, is most likely to be the most important and largest financial commitment of your life. It is a time when you need advice that is reliable and accurate and from a source that you can trust. The team at Cluff & Associates will support you throughout and ensure the entire process runs smoothly.

Similarly when you sell your home or property, often an emotional time, Cluff & Associates will make certain that your contracts are binding, your personal interests cared for and your sale problem free.
Our full conveyancing service includes:

  • Selling or buying a house or investment property
  • Property development
  • Refinancing
  • Mortgage contracts
  • Assisting with council Development applications

Gary Cluff has over 34 years experience in dealing with all matters of conveyancing and property law. So whether you are an individual, a family or a business we will provide you with reliable advice and a complete service to ensure your rights are protected, your transaction problem free and your interests considered at all times.

Why trust your biggest investment decision to a firm less experienced or qualified, let Cluff & Associates look after all your conveyancing needs today.

Terms Utilised by Solicitors

There are a number of terms that are utilised by Solicitors in the conducting of your conveyancing matter. We seek to provide some guidance in relation to those terms as follows:

a) Exchange of Contracts

This is when a deal or Contract is made between the parties. There must be two identical Contracts one signed by the Vendor and one signed by the Purchaser. At the time of exchange the Vendor’s Contract is provided to the Purchaser’s Solicitor and the Purchaser’s Contract is provided to the Vendor’s Solicitor. The Deposit should be paid on the same day as the date of exchange. Unless a Cooling off Period applies (see below) then the parties are bound. A Cooling off Period does not apply in certain circumstances including when a Solicitor provides a Section 66W certificate which is a certificate that confirms that the Purchaser waives his/her rights to a Cooling off Period or that the property being sold is not covered by the Cooling off Legislation. Properties that are not covered include commercial, industrial and properties with an area exceeding 2.5 hectares.

b) Cooling off Period

On most residential matter a Purchaser is given a Statutory right of five (5) working days after exchange of Contracts to cool off. If a Purchaser seeks to cool off then he has no further right or obligation under the Contract but a Purchaser will forfeit to the Vendor 0.25% of the sale price. During the Cooling off Period it is usual for a Purchaser to obtain written finance approval, Pest and Building Reports and a Strata Report if the matter is under Strata Titles Act.

c) Stamp Duty
Stamp Duty is a State Government fee payable on all transactions unless an exemption applies. Usually Stamp Duty is payable within three (3) months from the date of exchange or at the time of settlement whichever shall first occur. Stamp Duty is on a sliding scale depending on the price.

d) Stamp Duty concessions

There are a number of concessions currently applying including a First Home Buyer exemption. Others deal with purchasers of vacant land where a home is to be built or the purchase of a home that is yet to be constructed. There are a number of limitations and we are able to assist you in providing full details of these concessions.

e) Joint Tenants/Tenants in Common

When two or more people buy a property the Title can be held as to either Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common. Joint Tenants means that the property is held jointly by each person and on the death of one of them the property automatically passes the remaining party irrespective of any intention in a Will. Tenants in Common means that each party owns a share in the property and on the death of that party that share is bequeathed in accordance with the terms of his/her Will. Shares held as Tenants in Common do not need to be fifty fifty and can be ninety nine to one. If the property is being purchased for investment purposes accountancy advice should be obtained as to what percentages should apply to maximise taxation benefits. We are able to provide some assistance and also draft a Will if required.

f) Deposit Bond

It is usual practice for a 10% Deposit to be paid at the time of exchange. However there is no obligation to pay 10% and lower Deposits can be negotiated between the parties. Further some parties have little funds and a Vendor maybe asked to accept a Deposit Bond. A Deposit Bond is similar to a Bank Guarantee and no money actually changes hands but the Deposit Bond is a promise by a Bank or Insurance Company to pay a Deposit to the Vendor if called upon (usually if the Purchaser defaults).

g) Settlement

At Settlement there is a meeting between the Vendor’s Solicitor, Purchaser’s Solicitor, Vendor’s outgoing Mortgagee and Purchaser’s incoming Mortgagee for the purpose of transferring the funds to the Vendor and the transferring of the Title documents to the Purchaser. When settlement is completed then the Purchaser owns the property, subject to registration of the required Title documents and the Purchaser is entitled to be provided with the keys to the property from the Agent. The Vendor must usually provide Vacant Possession at this time (unless the property is sold subject to existing tenancies) and the insurance risk to the purchased commences on the date of settlement.

Phone: 02 9633 9455

Fax : 02 9635 7058

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