GCABI 2020

  1. No auction price guides or price estimates

When a property is scheduled to go to auction, the Agent cannot give potential buyers or auction attendees a sneak peak of the reserve price. The reason for this is that an agent could under quote the sales price and auctions can be unpredictable – there is no way to predict what someone is willing to pay for their dream home. This can mean buyers not familiar with the market end up expending fees on initial enquiries before the auction on properties well outside their price range.

  1. No statutory vendor disclosure regime

This is a big one!

Many Buyers ask to review a Contract before they consider making an offer only to realise the Contract contains nothing other than the standard REIQ terms and conditions.

In New South Wales and Victoria for example, the Contract is required to include certain disclosure regarding the property including a Council planning certificate and sewer diagram. There is no such statutory regime in Queensland. Queensland does not have any such requirement and Contracts rarely include anything other than the REIQ standard terms and a Title Search. Title Searches are not required to be included.

This means that Buyers must expect there will be some initial searches that must be conducted in order for their Solicitor to provide advice on the viability of the property and any risks the Buyer may be exposed to. This means if a Buyer terminates they will likely incur legal and search fees even though they do not proceed with the Contract.

  1. Five-day cooling off period (unless sold by auction)

The statutory five day cooling off period allows a Buyer to withdraw from a Contract however you should note this is not a “get out of jail free” card! The Seller is entitled to charge you 0.25% of the purchase price as a penalty for termination during the cooling-off period.

  1. Flood zones

This may not seem a big issue on the Gold Coast but is certainly an issue throughout South East Queensland.

Brisbane properties have undergone a number of major flood events over the years and the standard contract does not allow termination. For this reason we strongly recommend flood searches be conducted before a Contract is unconditional where properties are being purchased in Brisbane or other flood affected areas.

  1. Air conditioning is non-negotiable

If you are looking to purchase a property in South East Queensland for investment purposes be prepared that tenants will expect a property to have working air conditioning. You should review the existing system, if any, and consider the cost of installing or upgrading the system when working out the profitability of the property.

You should ensure that “air conditioning and all remotes” are marked under the “inclusions” listed in the Contract.

Each property and transaction is unique! Buying and selling property, especially your home, is exciting but can be complex in Queensland so call us for a quote to get expert advice and ensure the process is handled professionally.

Our team of dedicated Solicitors are here to help you through every stage of your transaction.

Did you know:  when you buy or sell a property it can affect your estate planning needs? At the same time as your conveyancing transaction we recommend and can assist you with preparing or updating your Will and if necessary, preparing an Enduring Power of Attorney to protect your rights now and into the future.

McLaughlins Lawyers have been helping people buy and sell properties in Queensland for over 60 years. We understand how the Queensland property system works. We can help you avoid the pitfalls and successfully become proud owners or successfully sell – call or email Pip Davis and Teresa Kearney on (07) 5591 5099 and [email protected] for help.

McLaughlins Lawyers, your experienced Gold Coast lawyers, we stand beside you and are here to help you navigate the property market.

Related Tag: Property Law Gold Coast

Author: Pip Davis

Directors: Ian Kennedy and Sophie Pearson

Date:   15 September 2021

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