Residential Conveyancing – Buying a Property in QLD

Property Law

Helping you ensure your property purchase is smooth and settles on time

Purchasing a residential property can be a complex process and one of the most significant financial transactions you may ever make. There are a number of factors involved in a Queensland residential purchase, and whether you are a first home buyer or a seasoned investor, you will need to ensure you meet all your legal obligations involved in the property transaction.

Our property lawyers can provide expert advice and assist you in a vast area of residential purchases including: 

  • Buying your first home  
  • Principle place and investment  
  • Vacant land  
  • Off-the-plan properties 
  • International including additional foreign acquire duty 

In Queensland conveyancing, 
‘time is of the essence is a contractual term in the standard Contract that requires a timely completion of a task. If a task is not completed on time by a party, then the other party to the Contract will have rights against the defaulting party.  There can be serious consequences for buyers who fail to comply with their obligations. This may include termination of the Contract, loss of a deposit or claims for damages. 

Attwood Marshall Lawyers specialise in residential purchase conveyancing on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and throughout Queensland. Our experienced property lawyers can assist you with buying a house, unit, townhouse, or vacant land.  Our goal is to provide trusted advice and exceptional service, to make the process of buying property as stress-free as possible.  

Our lawyers provide FREE pre-signing advice on Queensland Contracts and assist with drafting contracts and negotiating the terms of a contract including any special conditions you want included to ensure your best interests are protected.

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Residential conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership (legal title) of property from one entity or individual to another. 

Yes! It is very important to have your solicitor review the Contract and provide you with legal advice in regard to the standard terms and conditions of the Contract and any special conditions the other party may have included in the Contract, before you sign. Your solicitor can also help you understand your legal obligations when entering into a Contract of Sale.  

When purchasing a residential property in Queensland, unless at auction, the standard Contract of Sale provides you with a five-business day cooling-off period, commencing on the date you or your solicitor receives the signed Contract. The cooling-off period grants you the right to terminate the Contract for any reason including changing your mind. If you elect to terminate the Contract, the only setback you may face is the seller’s right to impose a financial penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price, taken from your deposit. 

The standard QLD Contract of Sale contains a section where buyers who require the Contract to be subject to finance approval will need to complete. If you are obtaining finance, it is important to ensure that the finance section of the Reference Schedule is completed in full. If this section is not completed properly then the Contract may not be subject to finance and therefore it is important that you engage a solicitor to confirm that the Contract has been completed correctly by the Seller’s agent before signing. 

The standard QLD Contract of Sale contains a section where buyers who would like to obtain a building and pest inspection report will need to complete. It is important to ensure the building and pest section is completed, otherwise your Contract will not be subject to a building and pest condition and you will not be able to terminate if you receive an unsatisfactory report. It is important that you engage a solicitor to confirm that the Contract has been completed correctly by the Seller’s agent before signing. 

The amount of deposit you should pay is dependent on the parties’ agreements. The deposit can be payable in two lots. An initial deposit of a nominal amount is usually paid upon signing of the Contract by the buyer, with a balance deposit due when the Contract becomes unconditional, or on an otherwise agreed date. The deposit is usually between 5 to 10 percent of the purchase price, however it is ultimately up to the discretion of the buyer how much deposit they want to put down, and up to the seller if they will agree to this amount.

In Queensland, after signing a Contract to purchase a property, you assume risk of the property from 5pm on the second business day after the Contract date and it is in your best interest to organise insurance as soon as possible to ensure you are covered in the event of damage or loss. Our experienced team are able to refer you to an insurance broker to ensure you’re covered. Call us anytime on 1800 621 071. 

Stamp duty is a government tax in a property transaction. The amount of stamp duty payable varies depending on the purchase price and if you are eligible to claim an exemption or concession for stamp duty.  

Click here to find out how much stamp duty you may be required to pay.  

If you’re a purchasing your first home, you may be entitled to an exemption of stamp duty if you meet the requirements. If you are purchasing your principle place of residence, you may be entitled to a concession of stamp duty. To understand your entitlements, contact Attwood Marshall Lawyers today. Our team will help you understand if you can claim an exemption or concession for stamp duty.

On settlement day the relevant parties to the conveyance come together to settle the sale of the property. Queensland conveyances can be settled online (through PEXA) or on paper.  

Paper settlements require parties to meet at a physical venue. Typically, buyers and sellers do not attend the settlement. In a paper settlement, the transfer is provided to the buyer’s incoming lender or the buyer’s solicitor who will lodge the transfer documents with the QLD land title registry and the sellers cheque for the balance of the sale proceeds is handed to the sellers solicitor and to the bank on the sellers behalf.    

Following an electronic settlement, the land title register will be updated to show the buyer as the new owner and the balance of sale proceeds are electronically transferred to the seller’s nominated account.   

Once the title is registered in the new owners’ names, the local authorities (e.g. Council) are informed by the land title registrar.

Registration of a Transfer and other title documents occurs after settlement and is usually completed by your financier or solicitor. Once registration is completed, the property will be officially recorded on the QLD Land Register, noting you as the new registered owner of the property.