If you’re buying property in the country, you need a specialist rural settlement agent to help you through the process. Rural property settlements can be complex, so it is important to have someone on your side who knows what they’re doing.
A good rural settlement agent will have extensive knowledge of the local area, and will be able to guide you through the ins and outs of settling a property. They’ll also be able to advise you on any potential issues that might arise during the settlement process, including but not limited to:
- Machinery – We’ve seen all kinds of machinery sold with properties, from tractors and combine harvesters, to shearing equipment sheds and bee-hives. If there is machinery involved in the property you’re buying, it’s important to have a clear understanding of its value and any associated costs, like transport and insurance, whether you’ll be paying those, or if it’s the responsibility of the seller.
- Access – Is the property accessible by road? It’s important to have a clear understanding of the size of the property, as well as any easements or encumbrances that may be attached to the property.
- Livestock – If there is livestock included in the contract then you’ll need to be aware of things like quarantine regulations and transport costs. We go the extra mile for clients and have previously had to count sheep to ensure ownership of any stock is properly transferred and to avoid any issues post settlement.
- Size of the block – This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth reiterating. A property that is ‘on the market’ for $1 million might only be a few acres, while another property advertised at the same price could be hundreds of acres. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting for the price.
- Water licences – Water is often not as easy or accessible in rural areas, so you’ll need to make sure that you have the necessary licences and permits in place before settlement.
- Stamp duty – Stamp duty is usually calculated differently for rural properties, which is an easy thing to overlook, but so important to get right.
At Lotus Legal, we manage rural property settlements on behalf of our clients but more importantly, we’ve done it ourselves. Lotus Legal owners Jessica and David live on a large farm in Toodyay and know first-hand the challenges and joys of living in rural Western Australia. Our conveyancing team comes highly recommended by previous clients, and our lawyers are always on hand to consult if your property needs are more complex.