Going to Auction or Need To Be Sure About Your Contract?
Get A Pre-Purchase Contract Review
Play it safe and have your Section 32 and Contract of Sale checked by a Conveyancing Lawyer before going to auction or committing to a legally binding purchase. Send us your documents here.
The Contract Is BINDING The Moment You Sign
Due to the significance of your transaction, our Lawyers will always insist on a written review before signing or going to auction. Why? A Lawyer must check for ERRORS, OMISSIONS and ITEMS OF CONCERN to save you from making an expensive mistake. Pinpointing these details – and suggesting amendments to rebalance the contract – is where a Lawyer can add the most value to your transaction. Our written reviews are:
We audit the contract against our “best practice checklist”.
This allows us to find risks before they become costly mistakes.
No questions should be left unanswered. We also include suggestions to rebalance the contract in your favour.
We also include suggested amendments and special conditions*. The specific wording is drafted for your convenience and protection.
Our reviews are backed by our professional indemnity insurance.
You’ll enjoy the demonstrated experience of a Conveyancing Lawyer who has done hundreds of contract reviews in his or her career.
What Happens When You Get A Review?
We suggest you take these actions to get the best outcome.
Read the Section 32 and Contract of Sale and take note of items of concern. While reading the documents, think about your plans and wants.
Email the Section 32 and Contract of Sale to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us your future plans for the property. This will affect how we approach the review. e.g. home, investment, further development etc.
Include your questions, needs and anything else that may affect the settlement. We’ll provide guidance to give you the best chance of reaching your needs and wants.
As soon as we get the contract, we’ll create a Matter and assign you an experienced Lawyer (same day). We typically complete the review within 24 to 48 hours.
Your Lawyer will read your questions, and call to introduce himself/herself and have a brief chat about your concerns. Your Lawyer will hone into what is important to you.
Legal Advice And Next Steps
When the review is complete, we’ll upload it as a file to our online portal. You’ll be given a link – once you have paid by credit card – it will be available for your download.
The document will highlight risks and may suggest investigation with 3rd parties (like the council or body corporate) to clarify or confirm items of concern.
We include suggestions on amendments and special conditions* for the contract. You will need to negotiate with your Agent to have the contract updated. This is as easy as copy-pasting and emailing the Agent.
The report will also include instructions to assist you in:
Rectifying errors in the contract;
Adding special conditions to protect you from risk;
You calling the agent and requesting inclusions;
Let you know what is fair & reasonable to negotiate;
Clarifying information with 3rd parties due to red flags;
REMEMBER: Reviews are used to IMPROVE your
contract BEFORE you sign.
As part of the service, your Lawyer will audit the
PART A – The Section 32, and PART B – The Contract Of Sale.
Section 32 Review
As part of our service, your Lawyer will look for any invisible legal aspects that may adversely affect you. This is done by reviewing the Section 32’s attached “search certificates” which discloses the title particulars, encumbrances and restrictions attached to the property. For example:
“Dear Client, did you know that VicRoads plans to claim your front yard for road widening? And that you can’t improve your property – new pool, garage or extensions – due to the restrictions that come with having overhead power lines crossing your property? Are you sure you still want this property?”
The searches we check include:
1.Registered Search Statement
Your lawyer is to confirm whether the seller has rights to sell the property and determine any legal encumbrances or easements that may affect your enjoyment of the property.
2. Copy of Plan
Your lawyer is to confirm that you are buying the right property and the dimensions are within expectations. There have been rare times when the buyer has purchased the wrong lot.
The government releases council plans in the VicRoads certificate. They may issue a proposal to requisition a portion of your land for improvements (new footpath, highway or road widening). If the proposal is approved, value/livability is affected.
4. Planning Certificate
Depending on your plans for the property – e.g. building a townhouse – you may be unable to subdivide or develop specific structures on the land. The Lawyer will verify if you are able to realise the plans for the property’s intended purpose.
5. Bushfire Prone
Determine if the property is at risk of bushfire, and if so, it is then up to you as the buyer to determine if the risk is acceptable and to go ahead with the purchase or not.
6. Extract of Priority Sites
Sites for which the EPA has issued a cleanup notice or a pollution abatement notice (relevant to land and/or groundwater). This makes you aware if the lot is contaminated.
Our work doesn’t end there. Your Lawyer will review the
Contract Of Sale Review
The Contract Of Sale sets the rules, payment terms and exceptions that all parties must agree to. It defines the when and how the sale will happen. It also explains the consequences; should the process not go to plan. Your Lawyer will add value by:
The searches we check include:
Your Lawyer will draw your attention to areas – in their experience – that have caused issues. They will also highlight paperwork errors, risks and points of concern.
Suggestions On Negotiations:
The Contract is often one-sided and in strong favour to the Vendor. Our Lawyers are familiar with what is unreasonable and will suggest opportunities to rebalance the terms.
A Clear Explanation:
We’ll decode the legal jargon and use clear everyday English. The report will give you an understanding of your legal obligations should you choose to sign and purchase.
- Any special conditions in the contract that may positively/negatively affect you as the purchaser;
- Any dealing with the Title that may affect the proprietor’s use of the property;
- Confirm the improvements/inclusions/exclusions with the sale of the property.
Need more detail? As part of our process, we also:
|Lawyer Checklist||Benefit Of Check|
|Enquire About Finance||When signing the contract, you agree to a specific and strict payment schedule. You MUST meet this schedule or be faced with severe penalty interest or the loss of your entire deposit.|
|Confirm Building & Pest||Building and Pest damage could set you back thousands. The Lawyer to enquire if you are protected from this eventuality.|
|Enquire About Built Structures||Did you know that if a building isn’t approved, the Council may ask you to remove the illegal structure, carry out works to comply or pay a fine? Don’t suffer this mistake of having the sellers “improvements” being torn down at your expense. Common structures include pergolas, garages and decks.|
|Check Inclusions & Chattels||If it isn’t written in the contract, then it isn’t guaranteed. For example, expecting those potted plants and surprised they aren’t there at settlement? The seller is under no obligation to leave behind chattels (furnishings or appliances) unless it is in the contract. Make sure you don’t have unexpected out of pocket expenses.|
Our Contract Reviews Go Beyond The Typical “Free” Review…
This article is provided for general information purposes only. Its content is current at the date of publication. It is not legal advice and is not tailored to meet your individual needs. You should obtain specialist advice based on your specific circumstances before taking any action concerning the matters discussed in this article.
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