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Insights on money, career and trading

Buying A House: Things To Look For When Reviewing A Contract

Posted on October 4, 2018 by Daniel at 7:09 pm

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Buying a house is likely to be the biggest single investment you will ever make, therefore it makes complete sense to review the contract of sale. This is a binding contract between the seller and buyer, which is prepared by the seller – they would normally have their conveyancing solicitor draw up the contract of sale. Obviously, one wants to be absolutely sure of all the fine details in such a written agreement, and there are different requirements from state to state. This article will talk about Queensland and here are some important things to watch out for when reviewing a contract of sale.

  • No Vendor’s Disclosure Requirement – Unlike some other states in Australia, in Queensland, there is no vendor’s disclosure requirement, yet the Queensland Office of Fair Trading advises all buyers to carry out independent inspections when buying property, especially concerning termites and other pests. It should, however, be understood that the seller is legally bound to disclose any facts about the property that might be relevant. Of course, you will be looking for competent conveyancing solicitors in Brisbane and a suitable legal firm can easily be located with a Google search.
  • The Property History – The seller is legally bound to inform the buyer of any material facts about the property, such as a history of termite infestation or if the property was the scene of a murder or suicide. There might be restrictions on the property, all of which should be mentioned in the contract and your conveyancing solicitor can carry out several key searches to ensure there is nothing untoward. This article goes into some detail regarding things to look for in a contract of sale when buying a property.
  • What Exactly is Included in the Sale? – When a buyer and seller negotiate, there would be a list of items that both agree will be included in the sale. These would typically be items of furniture, fixtures and fittings, outbuildings, or any other portable item that has been included in the sale agreement. Ideally, the buyer would have a list of such items and each should be checked as being mentioned in the contract of sale, and should an item(s) be left out, the buyer should consult the seller before signing the contract of sale. These items should be under the “special conditions” heading and this section should be read carefully.
  • Any Down Payment Made – If you gave the seller a cheque, for example, as a show of good faith, make sure this amount is deducted from the balance on the contract of sale. Details of any deposit paid should be clearly recorded in the contract of sale and this is something your conveyancing solicitor would check.

The legal jargon when buying property is a little difficult for the average person to fully comprehend, which is one of the reasons why it makes sense to enlist the services of an established solicitor that specialises in real estate. With a qualified and experienced legal expert in your corner, you can be rest assured that all is above board and you can proceed with some confidence.

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Insights on money, career and trading