Contract for Sale of Land – Review for Buyers

Legal advice BEFORE signing a contract

It’s simple, yet probably the best advice you could get – and it’s free!

Buying property is a big financial commitment for most people, yet many people sign a contract to buy property without fully understanding or considering the legal consequences – often while they’re in the real estate agent’s office. For residential properties under private treaty, there can be some protection under the statutory cooling off period, however this doesn’t always apply (ie, buying at auction). See my previous posts regarding “What are my Cooling Off right? and “Why do I need a Cooling Off period?”.

But why would you need to rely on a cooling off period in the first place if you’re fully aware (or at least think you are) and appreciate the consequences of signing a contract to buy property in the first place? Knowing what you’re doing is important regardless of whether you’re a first home buyer or an experienced property investor, and one way to get that knowledge is through professional legal advice.

Lawyers or conveyancers may be able to assist you because of their ‘legal expertise’, the reality is that the value these professionals (my team of property lawyers and myself included) can provide is through their experience in handling many different transactions over many years. The last thing you’d probably want is to be frustrated and bogged down in legal technicalities when all you want to do is ‘buy that property’. Therefore, it’s necessary for your professional adviser to be able to provide you with advice and guidance that’s not only legally sound, but practical and has the best chance of achieving your goals while minimising the costs and the risks. Wow – sounds like an impossible task?

But, that’s what we do. Providing advice in relation to contracts, especially a contracts to buy property is what we do best as property lawyers. That advice is available to you, and BEFORE you sign a contract is the best time to get that advice. Once you’ve signed a contract, it’s presumed that you accept the terms and conditions of that contract. As mentioned previously, you might have an opportunity to pull out under a cooling off period, but even then you’ll be forfeiting 0.25% of the purchase price. There’s always a cost.

The best way to save is to get the right advice at the right time, and make an informed and advised decision when you’ve got the opportunity to do so.