When you’re looking to buy a house in Western Australia, 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 hand you a copy of the contract of sale, and often encourage you to sign it right away. Before you sign the contract to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, it would be wise to go through it properly and know what you are signing up for.
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’s a legal document
The contract of sale is the legal document usually written by the selling agent. It’s an 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 house, the price, exactly what’s for sale and key dates that you need to follow.
It tells you about the house
The contract sets out what you’re buying and who you’re buying it from. You’re about to take responsibility for a property, which means you need to know about its condition, repairs and any extensions or improvements which were built. Plus, you need to know about its surroundings too. Is it near a new building development that is going to affect your neighbourhood? Is it in a bushfire prone area? Are you legally allowed to add another dwelling to the land? Is there a shared driveway? Do your neighbours have an easement to access any part of your property? Is the house structurally safe and free of termites? Your contract should include conditions to ensure that you can check these before handing over money to the seller.
It tells you about the sale
The third thing to know is that the contract has all the details of how the sale is going to happen. It includes things like how much you are agreeing to pay and what happens if you find something wrong with the property after you’ve signed the contract.
Why does it matter?
From what you’ve read above, you now know that the contract is very important for several reasons. 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. It’s the buyer’s responsibility to ask to add in any special conditions. Things like making sure that you can walk away from the contract if your lender declines your finance application or the property has significant defects.
There is no cooling off period in Western Australia, you are locked in once you sign the contract. If you sign it without having it reviewed, you’ll be agreeing to whatever is in the document, like it or not. Which means that if you find something wrong with the house after signing, you won’t be able to pull out of the deal. 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. 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 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.
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.