Before taking their property off the market, your vendor wants a deposit to ensure that you will settle, but your funds won’t be available until settlement. What do you do?
Most vendors require property purchasers to pay a deposit ahead of settlement as a commitment to purchase the property. A 10% deposit is the standard amount but smaller deposits can be negotiated. If a purchaser doesn’t have that money to hand immediately, but will at settlement, a deposit bond can be used instead of cash.
The bond provider will need to verify that the purchaser has the capacity to fund the property’s full purchase price plus the bond provider’s fees on the settlement date. Fees are usually a percentage of the purchase price, and approximately five per cent is common.
Most bond providers’ assessments do not take into account any expected earnings between the bond’s issue and the settlement. Rather, it assesses the value of the purchaser’s assets at the time of application.
A deposit bond is not a form of insurance for either the vendor or purchaser. If a purchaser who has used a deposit bond decides not to proceed with settlement for any reason, the deposit can be claimed by the vendor, and the bond value will still be payable to the bond provider by the purchaser.
Deposit bonds can be used for residential, investment and commercial property purchases, and can be combined with other deposit types, so a deposit could potentially be made up of bond, cash and loan money.
Most providers will issue a bond with an expiry date matching the settlement terms of the property, up to two years, so that a longer bond expiry period can be used when purchasing property off the plan.
Usually, an unused guarantee can be returned to the bond provider for a refund, less administration fees that vary from one provider to another.
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