Frequently Asked Questions

When should I talk to a conveyancer?

The earlier the better! You don’t need to wait until you are ready to sign a contract – it makes sense to call us as you decide to buy or sell. And never sign anything before you’ve asked for Keystone Conveyancers SA advice – it is always better to be safe than sorry!

What are the costs of buying a property?

There are many costs and expenses involved in any real estate transaction. It is important that you are aware of all these costs so that you can budget for them. It can be disastrous if you do not prepare for all possible expenditure.

Costs and expenses arise in various areas of the transaction. Some may not be obvious or unexpected. This is an overview of the expenses you can generally expect in buying a property:

  • Fees and charges payable for obtaining any loan (mortgage);

  • Stamp duty;

  • Registration fees (paid to the Lands Titles Office);

  • Search costs;

  • Rates and Taxes for the period that you will own the property;

  • Conveyancing fees and minor costs; and

  • The costs involved in moving.


There may be other expenses in specific transactions; always ask your Keystone Conveyancers SA  for details of anything which may arise in your particular purchase.

There are various websites that can assist you to calculate some of these costs. Stamp duty & Lodgement fee calculators are available on the Land Services SA website or for a more comprehensive calculator for off the plan purchases or apartment purchases see Revenue SA's Stamp Duty Calculator.

I'm selling my house privately - do I still need a conveyancer?

Yes, you still need a conveyancer to prepare the contract of sale, a statutory disclosure statement (often referred to as ‘Form 1’) and the other documentation required by law for the sale to proceed. Contact Keystone Conveyancers SA  before you advertise your house for sale to ensure you fulfil your legal obligations.

How do I transfer the house over to the children?

Transferring a house to friends or family entails changing the registered ownership the same as if you are selling.

Keystone Conveyancers SA will do this for you and ensure you meet your legal obligations. Note we are not able to give detailed financial or taxation advice on the impact of transferring your house to your children, you must seek the advice from your Tax professional or Financial Planner.

What is a Form 1?

The Form 1 is the basis of the formal statement by the vendor about certain details relating to the property being conveyed. It is required under section 7 of the Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994 (SA).

Keystone Conveyancer SA can facilitate this request through a third-party professional*, who has a dedicated Form 1 specialist team ensuring the accuracy of the Form 1 as well as the express delivery.


* Payment of this service is to the third-party provider, due within 14 days of the report.

What is cooling off?

Most purchasers of property in South Australia have a statutory right to terminate a Contract for the sale of land (‘cool off’). A purchaser exercising that right must give written notice of the ‘Cooling-off’ to the vendor within two clear business days after:

  • The contract was made (if you received a complete and accurate Form 1 prior to making the contract), or

  • A complete and accurate Form 1 was given to you (if you received the Form 1 after making the contract.

If you want to exercise your right to ‘cool off’, you give written notice of this intention to the vendor before the end of the cooling off period. You don’t need to provide any reason for cooling off.

When do I need to get building insurance?

The general rule is the property is at the risk of the purchaser from the making of the contract – you should insure the property immediately after your offer has been accepted. If you are borrowing to fund the purchase your lender will require a copy of your Certificate of Currency with its interest noted before providing funds to settle.

What is title insurance?

For a single premium, title insurance protects against claims for various unknown and known (disclosed) risks that threaten ownership and use (including structures) of the property until its resale.

Building and pest inspections

You should organise a building, pest and any other inspections as soon as possible. It is preferable that you do this before the contract is signed. If not, then during any cooling off period. If the inspection cannot happen within that time, you should make the contract subject to a satisfactory inspection report. Your conveyancer can help you draft this special condition.