Buying off the plan: positives and checkpoints

On paper, buying a property off the plan can be an extremely profitable experience. However, as with any new acquisition, particularly when sight unseen, an internal radar and thorough research are required. 

Mostly offered in new and refurbished apartment and townhouse projects, off-the-plan developments reward forward-thinking buyers with considerable stamp duty concessions (the earlier you sign, the greater the savings) and potential for excellent capital growth between the time of signing and completion date. 

This is the time to negotiate on price. Although the property is usually offered at a fixed rate at this early stage, there’s everything to gain in inquiring about a cost reduction.

Delivering on promise

The lack of tangibility can be off-putting — which is why many developers establish display suites to accompany floorplans, artist’s impressions and specifications to keep you in the picture. 

Appearances can be misleading, so ensuring that idyllic lifestyle visions will be realised is mandatory.

For various reasons, the difference between first impressions and the end product can differ, so it’s best to reduce your risk from the outset. 

In the developer hot seat

First and foremost, ensure that the developer is reputable, registered, insured and financially secure. If purchasing in a new development, ask to see written proof of development application approval. You should also request an inspection of several built projects to check the quality of finish.

Do not buy before researching if negative media coverage has foreshadowed any previous developments — and if this is a trend with the developer. 

Before signing, acquire legal advice to ensure contract details, body corporate rates and completion dates meet your approval. And if you intend to use the property as a rental investment, obtain several appraisals for its potential return. 

You should also ensure that sunset clauses in your contract favour the buyer rather than the seller. A sunset clause traditionally provides financial protection for the purchaser if a property is not completed on time. However, some developers may intentionally complete the building after deadline to sell a finished product for a higher price. 

Committing to the purchase 

If these concerns are allayed, now could be the right time to sign. 

Post purchase and, if possible, it’s advisable to conduct regular drive-by(s) throughout the construction process. This will allow you to progressively check on quality of the build and if the completion timeline is being achieved. 

Don’t let the dust settle

Upon finalisation of settlement, ensure that you have an official building inspection carried out before moving in. This will ensure that any defects are rectified at the expense of the developer before you are forced to live with them.


Managing Director – New Vision Financial Services & New Vision Real Estate After years in the banking, finance & commercial sector Chris noticed that the industry needed a company with a personal touch that offered their customers a complete solution. In 2015 New Vision Financial Services was created to allow our consultants to use their experience (including approving and structuring large complex commercial transactions through to basic home loans) and to concentrate on offering a personalised service to their clients. With the growth and success of New Vision Financial Services a decision was made in 2019 to launch New Vision Real Estate to provide an end to end solution for client weather they be first home buyers or seasoned investors. Chris has built a team at New Vision Financial Services and New Vision Real Estate that have access to over 70 different lenders, insurers, lawyers, accountants and financial planners giving you more flexibility when making a decision. We offer a full service Real Estate agency offering Sales, Leasing, New Developments, House & Land and Commercial. Call me anytime on 0433 181 544 or email The team at New Vision Financial Services have access to over 70 different lenders, giving you more flexibility when making a decision. Our consultants have had extensive experience within the banking, financial and corporate sector. At New Vision Financial Services we specialise in finance lending for home, investment, business, commercial, asset, debtor and many other requirements. As New Vision Financial Services has progressed, we have developed strong relationships with professional service providers such as; Financial Planners, Accountants, Settlement Agents, Leasing & Equipment Providers, Debt Management Specialists and any more to allow our clients access to a complete suite of services.