Buying or selling residential property will be one of the most important financial transactions you make. To be confident in your decision it is important that you have an experienced property lawyer or conveyancer on your side to look after your interests. Contact us now to take advantage of our FREE pre-signing Contract advice. Townsville conveyancing lawyers
When a buyer has expressed an interest in purchasing your property, the real estate agent will prepare a standard Contract for the buyer to sign. If the seller is agreeable with the terms of the Contract as well as the purchase price, they will then sign the document.
It is important that you always seek legal advice before you sign the Contract to ensure that it meets your needs. The real estate agent will then send a copy of the fully executed and dated Contract to all parties involved in the conveyancing matter.
Cooling Off Period
All residential property sales in Queensland are covered by a statutory cooling off period. The cooling off period runs for five business days commencing on the date the buyer or their lawyer receives a copy of the Contract signed by all parties.
If the buyer decides not to proceed with the purchase, they may terminate the Contract by giving the seller notice in writing within the specified time frames. The seller is entitled to charge the buyer a termination penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price if the Contract is terminated in this time.
Finance & Building Inspections
Most Contracts will be subject to the buyer obtaining finance approval and/or satisfactory building and pest inspections by the dates nominated under the Contract. We will keep you updated in relation to the finance and building and pest inspection conditions.
Once the buyer has received satisfactory finance approval and/or building and pest inspections, the Contract will be deemed ‘unconditional’ (meaning that the buyer must proceed to settlement and cannot terminate the Contract).
If you have a mortgage over the property, ensure you contact your bank early in the process, and advise them you are selling and that we are acting for you.
You will need to sign a discharge authority for each mortgage to request the bank to prepare a release of each mortgage. Tell us once you have done this so we can liaise with your bank to arrange settlement.
Pool Safety Certificate
Sellers of properties with a pool must provide a buyer with a swimming pool safety certificate prior to settlement.
Alternatively, if the seller does not provide a certificate, the seller must issue the buyer with a notice of no pool safety certificate—form 36 before entering into the contract of sale and must send a completed copy of the form to QBCC before settlement. This form advises the buyer that they have 90 days from settlement to obtain the certificate from a licensed pool safety inspector. Under this option, the buyer is liable for any costs associated with achieving compliance, unless otherwise negotiated as part of the contract.
If there is still no pool safety certificate in effect before settlement and the seller has already given the Notice of no pool safety certificate—Form 36 to the buyer, then they do not need to give the buyer a new form unless the information required by the form changes between contract and settlement.
Under the Contract of Sale, the seller must disclose whether a compliant smoke alarm is installed in the property. If a complaint smoke alarm is not installed the seller must ensure that one is installed prior to settlement at their own cost. Please note that a seller cannot contract out of their obligation to have a smoke alarm installed.
If the seller has disclosed that a compliant smoke alarm has not been installed and you proceed to settle the Contract, you will then be liable to ensure that a compliant smoke alarm is installed. In the event that a smoke alarm is not installed you risk being fined up to $375.00. Please visit the Queensland Fire & Emergency Services website for more information.
Electrical Safety Switch
Under the Contract of Sale the seller must disclose whether an electrical safety switch is installed in the property. If an electrical safety switch is not installed and the seller has disclosed that there is a safety switch under the Contract, the seller must ensure that one is installed prior to settlement at their own cost.
If an approved electrical safety switch for general purpose socket outlets has not been installed in the property and the seller has disclosed this, the buyer is required to have one installed within 3 months following settlement. Failure to do so could result in a $1,500 penalty.
Once the Contract has gone unconditional, we will contact your mortgagee to arrange a time for settlement. We will also review settlement figures once they have been provided to us from the buyer’s solicitor.
We will contact you prior to settlement to discuss how you would like your settlement funds to be disbursed and we will confirm the adjustment / settlement figures with you. We attend settlement on your behalf to exchange the relevant documents and funds. Once settlement is finalised, we will personally contact you to confirm, along with notify your real estate agent in writing.
After settlement has been effected, we will send you a final letter containing the settlement statement, our tax invoice and tax receipt.
Here are some useful links for your sale:
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