Holidays are a great time to kick back, relax, catch up with family and friends and sometimes to find that perfect property.
Property law is different in each state of Australia so when you see that ad or “for sale” sign on a property you are interested in remember to consult with a qualified solicitor experienced in that state to make sure your interests are protected.
New South Wales, Victoria and other states generally operate under a system where the agent negotiates the price and then prepares a sales advice for the lawyers to draw up the contract and obtain relevant searches on behalf of the seller to include in the Contract which is signed at a later date. Time is not usually of the essence so timeframes can be flexible.
In contrast Queensland agents usually have a buyer sign up a Contract as an offer with no due diligence or searches. If the seller accepts the offer the deal is immediately binding subject to cooling off of 5 business days. Unfortunately pulling out of a contract under the cooling off rights may result in a penalty of .25 % of the purchase price and so an impulse buy of that perfect beach house may be an expensive exercise.
Deposit under the standard Queensland REIQ contract for houses and land is payable when the buyer signs the Contract so if you encounter delays in arranging the transfer of funds this may be a breach allowing the seller to terminate and keep the deposit. The days between Christmas and New Year are not business days but timeframes may continue to run.
Conditions for building and pest inspections are usually 7 days from contract and on the holidays it can be difficult to secure your inspector to provide a report in that timeframe. Also the holidays mean that obtaining finance approvals may be delayed.
Time is of the essence in Queensland contracts which means the timeframes are not flexible and legal consequences immediately apply if a condition is not complied with by 5pm on the due date. Sellers may have options to terminate and keep deposits so consulting your Queensland lawyer early is crucial.
Don’t forget daylight savings times mean interstate contacts may confuse the relevant time to comply. The public holidays, postal delays and office closures mean that essential deadlines may be missed without careful planning.
The perfect property deserves the best transaction and legal advice to protect you.
Our office is closing prior to Christmas on 22 December 2017 and we are moving to new premises at 9 Ouyan Street, Bundall, next to the Arts Centre, opening after New Year on 8 January 2018. We can assist in arranging timeframes on contract conditions taking into account the holidays so you can relax, enjoy your break and still secure the property of your dreams.
If you are thinking about buying a Queensland property then please contact our Commercial and Property Senior Associate, Teresa Kearney on 5591 5099 or one of our experienced team of lawyers at McLaughlins Lawyers, your Gold Coast Lawyers.
Author: Teresa Kearney
Director: Ian Kennedy