Buying property in Queensland is exciting but there is more to a property purchase than simply agreeing to a price. Behind-the-scenes of every successful property sale is a conveyancing professional ready to guide you through your journey that begins with the contract review. Once a thorough contract review is completed, the finer details of the contract – including sale price – can be negotiated.
The contract of sale is a document usually created by the seller’s conveyancer or solicitor and is designed to inform any potential buyer about the property for sale. Our experienced conveyancers review your contract by checking all the key components, such as special conditions, price and settlement date, that need to be thoroughly examined before the contract is signed. Our team will make sure you’re not signing something with hidden clauses or unwanted surprises.
With your instructions, we can also act on your behalf to propose changes that may be specific to your needs, such as a negotiation around settlement date, or any inclusions and exclusions you may want to ask about.
Although the rules and procedures relating to conveyancing are consistent throughout Queensland, every property is different. So, it’s important to understand what applies to your specific property. It’s another great reason to work with a conveyancing specialist who can guide you through every important step of your contract review when buying property in Queensland.
For a standard contract, we will email our review to you within 1-2 business days.
What does a contract of sale include?
A contract of sale should contain several key details, including:
- The names and addresses of both the seller and buyer
- The property address and title particulars
- The sale price
- Whether there is a deposit payable and the due date for payment of that deposit.
- Finance-specific conditions
- Conditions around building and pest inspections
- The date of the property settlement and any special conditions. A detailed list of any inclusions or exclusions of fixtures and fittings (such as carpets, curtains, blinds, appliances, etc.)
- Whether the property is sold with ‘vacant possession’ or ‘subject to a tenancy’
Once your signed contract has been accepted by the seller it becomes a legally binding agreement. Ensuring you fully understand what you are signing is critical and will help you avoid any costly mistakes. Always read the contract, and your contract review, carefully and address any questions you might have to your conveyancing specialist.
Buying property in Queensland
When purchasing townhouses, apartments and units in the Sunshine State, additional information from the relevant body corporate should be included in the contract of sale.
The Queensland Office of Fair Trading recommends potential buyers obtain independent inspections from qualified inspectors – and with termites being extremely prevalent in many parts of Queensland, pest inspections are important.
If you have negotiated to purchase your property by private treaty (and not at an auction), your contract will come with a statutory cooling off-period of five business days. If you change your mind about the property after the contract has been accepted and decide not to proceed, you will pay a penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price to the seller, to withdraw from the contract.
As the cooling-off period is limited, it’s imperative that you have a thorough understanding of what the contract includes and what your obligations are. Having the right professional advice, to help you make the best possible property buying decision is essential.
How to avoid contract of sale issues
As with any negotiation and legal process, there are warning signs to watch out for when it comes to reviewing any contract of sale.
- A seller acting unreasonably when negotiating the property price or contract terms.
- A valuation that is lower than the asking price. To avoid potential problems, purchasers can request an upfront valuation.
It’s also important to ensure that you check the possession rights of the property. A property sale that is subject to an ongoing tenant’s lease may not suit every incoming buyer.
The right time to sign a contract
The contract of sale should only be signed after a careful contract review – and this is why you should work with an experienced conveyancing specialist.
If you review the contract of sale document during the property search process, your eyes will be open to potential issues before a deep emotional connection with the property is made. Look carefully at any conditions in the contract that don’t meet your expectations. If negotiation around specific clauses are not possible, accept that this property may not be right for you and move on.
Whether you are a property investor, or looking for your own place to call home, a property transaction is a significant financial decision that must be taken seriously.