When you’re looking to buy a house in Victoria, one of the most important things you can do is to get a contract review. After you’ve found the place you want to buy, the real estate agent will give you a copy of the contract of sale and Section 32. It has all the terms and inclusions for what you’re buying, and if you’re about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, it would be wise to go through it properly.
We’ve put together everything you need to know about a contract review, what it is and why you need one.
What is a contract of sale?
It tells you about the sale
The contract of sale is the legal agreement between someone who is selling a house and the person who wants to buy it – in this case, that’s you. It sets out all the details about the transaction, including things like how much you are agreeing to pay, how long you have to change your mind if you sign the contract, or if you are bound from the moment that you sign the contract. The contract also outlines exactly what is and isn’t for sale, and what happens if you find something wrong with the property after you’ve signed the contract. It’s a formal, legal document full of information.
The Section 32 tells you about the house
While the contract gives you the details about the deal, the Section 32 tells you the story about the property. Is it in a bushfire prone area? Are you legally allowed to add another dwelling to the land? Are your neighbours allowed to use your garden as a thoroughfare? Has the seller told you that the property is near a new building development that is going to affect your neighbourhood? Do local planning laws restrict how you can use or develop the property? It is the seller’s responsibility to include all this information in the Section 32.
Why does it matter?
When you started looking to buy a place, you might have just wanted to find a nice house in a good neighbourhood, but as you can see there is a lot more to consider and the contract is very important. It lets you know about the risks you’re taking on with each property, as well as the rules of how the sale will happen.
If you sign the contract without having it reviewed, you’ll be agreeing to whatever is in the document, like it or not. Which means if you find something you don’t like in the contract after signing it, you won’t be able to negotiate to change it. Or worse, if you’re denied a loan from your bank, you’ll not only miss out on the finances to buy a place, but you may still have to pay the deposit to the seller (up to 10% of the total price). Also, the seller could claim even more from you for any loss on resale of the property. You could end up thousands out of pocket, without anything to show for it.
These situations are terrible, but they’re also completely avoidable.
What should you do?
The good news is, our legal team have dealt with thousands of contracts, and they know exactly what should and shouldn’t be included.
If you’re interested in a particular place, ask the real estate agent for a copy of contract and Section 32 before you put in an offer or attend an auction. Get that contract reviewed by our experienced team and we’ll make sure you’re aware of the risk you could be taking on. Our team will bring every important detail to your attention and draft any adjustments to make sure it’s a fair agreement that everyone’s happy with.
Plus, our contract reviews are a fixed price, which means we’ll do all the work needed without charging you extra hourly fees.
When you’re buying property, it doesn’t have to be a risky process. Getting the right support will help you sign the contract confidently, with no hidden surprises later in the process. We’re here to help you do just that.
Click here to get a Contract Review now or simply fill in the form below
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.
Make sure you’re protected with a thorough contract review
Before you sign anything, have a lawyer carefully review the contract for you. Our team of conveyancing specialists will make sure you know all the important details, so you’re not signing a contract with any hidden clauses or unwanted surprises.
Uploading the contract is easy (see below). After you’ve completed the form, one of our team members will get in touch to discuss the details with you. We’ll explain what’s in the contract and advise you of any red flags and specific conditions you need to understand.
For a standard contract, we will email you our thorough review within 1-2 business days.
If you don’t have the contract yet, that’s ok. One of our Conveyancing.com.au team members can still explain your options and we can even contact the agent on your behalf to get it for you.