Read your property sale contract carefully

23rd May 2017

Buying your first home or any property is exciting however, it’s also a time to be very cautious.  Signing a property for sale contract is an enormous obligation.

Mistakes can have serious legal consequences.

You may be feeling pressured by your family, the real estate agent or others to sign the contract.  It’s important that you don’t act on impulse and react to the pressure.  Take your time to read the property for sale contract.  Do you know what each clause means and what the implications are if you simply accept each clause?

This is especially true when faced with the drama of going to auction.  Bidding at an auction is different.  As soon as the hammer goes down you are required to pay a 10% deposit and sign the contract.  In this situation, it’s important that you have had a lawyer read over the contract and advise you of any foreseeable issues.

The contract will have general conditions.  While these may seem perfectly acceptable, you must protect yourself against issues such as:

• Loss or damage before settlement; or
• A breach of contract by the other party.

Look for special conditions in the contract.

Special conditions may be written about any aspect of the sale. Key issues are often include:

• Subject to obtaining finance or building and pest report; or
• Penalties for delay of settlement.

You need to know what you are getting yourself into before you sign a property for sale contract.  You cannot go back and say you didn’t really understand or that you didn’t realise that the condition related to this property.

You have worked so hard to save the deposit for the property.  Or perhaps you are investing your superannuation.  Either way it’s important to take this seriously.

When you receive the contract, make a time for us to review it together.  Truly understanding each condition in the contract and how it may financially impact on you and your family may be the best investment you make.

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