Burgess Thomson Lawyers

Buying Off The Plan

Property Law & Conveyancing

Conveyancing For Buying Property Off The Plan in Newcastle

There are several ways you can purchase property ‘off the plan’.  You may be buying residential land to build a house on, or you may be buying an apartment or house that is yet to be built.

Buying property ‘off the plan’ can come with great benefits.  It means you can purchase property before it is even built and if bought well can give you access to instant equity before you’re even ready to move in.

First home buyers who buy off the plan can also benefit from the NSW Government’s First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme with a $10,000 grant paid after settlement.

Buying off the plan can be a complicated process and it can also come with its pitfalls so it pays to get sound legal advice. Our property lawyers and conveyancing specialists can help.

Read more in our recent feature in the Newcastle Herald.

Find out more about how we can help With Buying Property Off The Plan.

We’re With You Every Step Of The Way

Contract of Sale

We’ll review the contract, ensure it contains all the agreed terms and is in your best interests.  

We will negotiate any special conditions to protect you throughout the transaction.  We will coordinate exchange of contracts and advise you on any important aspects of the contract such as the sunset date, schedule of inclusions and finishes, floor plans and design specifications, and defect periods.  

The sunset date in the contract can mean that you are committed to the contract for an extended period of time, and may also have extended sunset date clauses which allow this to be extended further by the developer for a broad range of reasons.  We will review this and ensure you are fully aware of the time periods you are committing to under the contract, as once contracts are exchanged and your deposit is paid, you are bound to the contract for what can sometimes be several years even if the development doesn’t get off the ground.

The contract may also permit the developer to reduce the size of the property by a certain percentage and still require you to settle, and we will negotiate on your behalf to ensure this is reasonable.

Some off the plan contracts also require a land tax adjustment to be paid by purchasers, which is a development cost and should be paid by the developer.  We will ensure the contract has no land tax adjustment and negotiate this on your behalf.


We will liaise with developers, banks, lenders and mortgage brokers on your behalf to ensure all funds are ready and available for settlement and that the land or strata plan is registered by the sunset date set out in the contract.

Government Grants and Transfer Duty

We will assist with any applications on your behalf for government concessions you may be eligible for as well as calculate the transfer duty you may owe once the government grants have been considered.

First Home Buyers may be eligible for the $10,000 grant under the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme.


Settlement of off the plan contracts usually takes place within 21 days of the land or plan being registered and an occupation certificate being issued.  It is important to have your finance formally approved once the development is nearing completion.  

We will ensure everything is in order for completion of sale and arrange your settlement on an electronic workspace called PEXA.

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