Why property due-diligence is critical

Avoid unforeseen issues in a property such as problems with the building, detrimental development in the area, or unexpected levies.

Cohen Handler will conduct due-diligence and work with experts to ensure the property of your dreams doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

Our assistance with property due-diligence provides our clients with greater confidence to make one of your biggest financial decisions.

The Different Types of due-diligence

Physical inspections

Ensure you know every nook and cranny of your property, and understand which defects you can use in your negotiation strategy and budgeting.

We work with your lawyers to ensure the contract for sale is expertly reviewed, and that any encumbrances on the property are uncovered.

Environmental and risk factors

We will examine key environmental risks such as flood and fire zoning, and how that may impact your property. We will also work to understand understand planning and zoning impacts on the property, empowering you with all you need to know before buying.

Market analysis

We deep dive into property market analysis to understand trends, forecasts, and valuations to help you make informed decisions.

Key aspects of the property due-diligence process

Property due-diligence begins with knowing where you’d like to buy, researching the neighbourhood and assessing the market dynamics.

There are a number of considerations throughout the process:

Research the local neighbourhood, lifestyle aspects, schools, and transportation options, crime rates. We can help you understand these aspects in detail.

We’ll advise you about the best streets and pockets within your desired areas as well as the best schools, local amenities and access to transport.

Look for future development plans or infrastructure projects that may positively or negatively impact the neighbourhood.

Check for Council restrictions, re-zoning and flood and fire mapping.

Looking at crime rates or housing commission in the property’s ares is important.

This ensures you are fully aware of the potential environmental hazards and or drenovation limitations within your desired suburb.

Our Buyer’s Agents will determine the property’s true market value based local market knowledge and reviewing recent comparable sales.

If investing, the we’ll help you understand the potential rental return and capital growth.

Its important you are factoring in the ongoing expenses such as property taxes, insurance, strata rates, council rates, stamp duty and maintenance costs.

We can help you evaluate your financing options by referring mortgage brokers, financial planners and accountants.

Consult with our team of buyer’s agents to gain expert market insights and analysis about property values, inventory levels, vacancy rates, demographics and auction activity.

Keeping in mind of interest rates or changes in lending conditions that may affect the property market is also important.

Our insights help you understand the true market value for rent and sale prices.

Attending open inspections allows you to reveal potential issues, gain a general sense about the quality of the home and whether it’s suitable to your needs.

Its highly advised to contract a pest and building inspector for an in detailed summary about the property’s state.

Your solicitor or conveyancer will review the contract and request alterations of terms that you wish to make to the vendor’s legal representatives.

We will liase with conveyancers from both parties to ensure a smooth process.

We will also verify zoning regulations and any land use restrictions, and examine body corporate or strata rules and regulations, if applicable.

During this process we will help you uncover the property’s title information, ownership documents, check for any liens, encumbrances and easements on the property.

It’s also important to assess if there are any pending legal disputes or litigation involving the property.

It’s critical to schedule a professional pest and building inspection to check for signs of water damage, mould, pest infestations, or structural issues.

Cohen Handler can refer you to our network of professionals if you do not have one of your own.

The pest and building inspector will inspect the condition of the property and provide an independent report. Key items in the report cover the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical systems, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning HVAC. They will also evaluate the overall safety and security of the property, including locks, alarms, and fire safety features.

When looking to purchasing an apartment, townhouse or any property that is part of a strata scheme it is important to review the strata report.

This report covers details about the financial and operational aspects of the property.

In these reports you may realise that the complex may have insufficient funds to facilitate repairs. This could impose a special levy on you which could be a significant upfront cost.

Effective property due-diligence supports negotiation strategy

A key advantage of leveraging Cohen Handler’s understand of property due-diligence paired with negotiation strategy is the potential to utilise potential risks as opportunities.

Uncovering insights about the property from a property inspection or pest and building inspector can highlight aspects of the property which were not openly shared or immediately obvious, which can play a pivotal role in supporting the negotiation strategy.


The duration varies based on factors like property complexity and the extent of research required. We will work closely with your conveyancer and pest and building inspector to provide timely due-diligence results, ensuring you can quickly make an informed decision about the property.

Property due diligence is essential before purchasing a property for several reasons. Firstly, it protects your finances by uncovering any potential issues that could impact the property’s value or require costly repairs. Secondly, it ensures legal compliance, reducing the risk of legal complications by confirming adherence to zoning regulations, building codes, and property tax requirements.

Additionally, due diligence helps you assess and mitigate risks associated with the property, such as market trends, location factors, and future growth potential. It also provides crucial information for making informed decisions about the purchase, empowering you to negotiate effectively with the seller and improve the terms of the sale. Ultimately, completing due diligence offers peace of mind by reducing the likelihood of encountering unexpected surprises or regrets post-purchase.

As early as possible in the home buying process, ideally before making an offer or entering into any contractual agreements.

Typically, before an offer is made it is best to gather as much information as possible however an offer can be made with conditions such as, offer is subject to a pest and building inspection and finance approval. It will all depend on the method of sale and how offers are typically received in state you’re purchasing.

A pest and building inspection typically covers a thorough examination of a property to identify any structural issues, defects, or pest infestations. Here’s what it typically includes:

Building Inspection: This involves inspecting the structural elements of the property including the foundation, walls, roof, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, and any other visible structural components. The inspector will look for signs of damage, deterioration, or poor construction.

Pest Inspection: A pest inspection focuses on identifying any signs of pest infestations or damage caused by pests such as termites, ants, rodents, or wood-boring insects. This inspection usually covers both the interior and exterior of the property, including the attic, basement, crawl spaces, and around the perimeter of the building.

Report: After the inspection is complete, the inspector typically provides a detailed report outlining their findings, including any issues or concerns discovered during the inspection. This report can be used by the buyer to make an informed decision about whether to proceed with the purchase of the property, negotiate repairs or adjustments to the sale price, or withdraw from the transaction if significant issues are uncovered.

When conducting property due diligence in Australia, it’s essential to contact the local council’s planning or building department. They maintain records of property plans and easements, which are crucial for understanding any restrictions or encumbrances on the property. These records can provide valuable insight into the property’s development history and any potential limitations on its use or alterations

A strata report is a document that provides comprehensive information about a property within a strata scheme. In a strata-titled property, such as apartments, townhouses, or units, individual owners own their unit or lot, while common areas and facilities are owned collectively by all owners and managed by a strata corporation or body corporate.

The strata report typically includes details about the financial and operational aspects of the property, such as:

  1. The financial health of the strata scheme, including budgets, levies, and any outstanding debts or liabilities.
  2. The rules and by-laws governing the use and management of the property.
  3. Any ongoing maintenance or repair issues affecting the property, including upcoming or completed works.
  4. Records of past meetings and decisions made by the strata committee or owners’ corporation.
  5. Insurance coverage for the property and any claims history.
  6. Any legal disputes or litigation involving the property or the strata corporation.

A contract of sale for residential property is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of a property sale transaction between a buyer and a seller. It is essential to review all of the components with in the contract of sale before making an offer on a property. Key components include but are not limited to, identification of the parties involves, property details, purchase price, deposit amount, payment terms, special conditions, finance clauses and the settlement date.


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