Part 1: Buying a Property – what now?

Buying a home, whether your first or fifth, is always an exciting and sometimes stressful time.  Some of this stress can be avoided if you have the Contract reviewed prior to signing.  At bytherules, our experienced conveyancers and lawyers are able to do a contract review for you, within 2 hours, free of charge!  By having the Contract reviewed, it gives you peace of mind that all terms and conditions of the contract are to your understanding.  Sometimes, when dealing with the emotion and pressure of buying a property, the little details can be overlooked.  A fresh set of eyes going through the contract will confirm everything is noted as agreed.

Two of the most common conditions to make a contract subject to is “Building & Pest Inspections “ (also Pool if applicable) and “Finance approval”.  If the relevant condition fields are not completed entirely on the Contract, the Contract may not be subject to these conditions and you will lose your rights to have an inspection carried out and therefore unable to negotiate or request any works to be done (if applicable) or in the case of needing finance approval, a Bank Valuer will not be able to attend the property to undergo a Valuation of the property to support the property as being suitable security for your loan.  All in all, two important conditions that, quite often than not, need to be noted in the Contract.

Not all Contracts are prepared by a Real Estate Agent.  In some instances, owners elect to sell their homes privately and the Solicitor/Conveyancer can prepare the Contract in place of the Real Estate Agent.  At bytherules, we are also able to assist with Contract preparation in a timely manner and also act as Stakeholder for any deposit moneys being paid as agreed.  All deposit moneys are held in our trust account, in trust for both parties, until settlement is effected.

For residential property in Queensland, once both parties have signed the Contract and the buyer (or buyer Solicitor/Conveyancer) receives a fully signed and dated copy of the Contract, a statutory cooling-off period commences.  The cooling-off period is for five (5) business days from the day that either the buyer or buyer Solicitor/Conveyancer receives a full copy of the Contract.  This provision enables the buyer to terminate should they have a change in heart (or Buyer’s remorse) or they may have found another property they consider better – in these circumstances, the buyer can terminate under the cooling off condition however, the Seller may impose a penalty to withdraw from the contract during this time in which, the penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price is either retained from the deposit already paid OR the Seller is able to pursue the penalty through legal channels.

There are standard forms of contracts of sale in Queensland which are approved by the Queensland Law Society and adopted by the REIQ (Real Estate Institute of Queensland).  No buyer should assume that the contract they are being presented to sign is on a standard form.  With respect to Off the Plan (or Developer contracts) quite often these are prepared by the Developer and do not refer to the standard form of Contract and it’s conditions. This is another good reason why it is important to have the contract reviewed prior to signing.