What to look out for in a contract of sale

October 15, 2021

Look out for these details before you sign on the dotted line

Buying property is one of the biggest steps in your life. So it should come as no surprise when we advise you that a lot of time, effort, and thought should go into reviewing any paperwork involved with a property purchase. There are many legal steps involved with purchasing a property. One of the most important steps is reviewing and signing a contract of sale. This review is a standard part of a property conveyancing service.

A large portion of a property transaction is governed by what’s detailed in a contract of sale. You may be surprised to learn that elements of a contract of sale can change depending on which state you’re in. This is due to the fact that property laws can differ from state to state. It’s also because of the different vendor disclosure requirements you’ll find in each state.

If you’re new to the real estate market, a lot of what you find in a contract of sale can seem confusing and hard to understand. There are so many references to state laws that the average person can’t comprehend without guidance from a legal professional like a property lawyer or property conveyancer.

So whether you choose to have conveyancers or property lawyers looking at your contract of sale, you can rest assured you’ll be in safe hands. These property experts understand the whole legal process involved with a property transaction. As property lawyers based in Melbourne, we know exactly what to look out for in a contract of sale. To show just how important it is to have a legal professional with you, let’s highlight the biggest details of a contract of sale you need to look out for.

What is a contract of sale?

A contract of sale includes all the most important details legally required for a property transaction to take place in your state. Within the contract of sale, you’ll find the terms and conditions agreed upon between you the buyer and the seller of the property. For legal reasons and the overall property conveyancing process, the terms and conditions need to be set out and explained in a clear and concise manner.

There is a solid number of details which must be included in your contract of sale. These details should include the following:

  • Key conditions of the sale including financing information and building and pest inspections with dates that need to be completed by
    Date of the contract
  • The names of the buyer and seller
  • The property’s address
  • The deposit amount that must be paid and the date it must be paid by
  • The sale price of the property
  • The intended date of settlement
  • If the property will be available as a vacant possession or subject to lease
  • Fixtures and fittings of the house which are included in the sale

Understanding a contract of sale in Victoria

In your contract of sale, there will be features and details that are unique to your state. One of the biggest features to consider is that in Victoria your contract of sale must include a compulsory vendor statement. This is referred to as a Section 32 statement. A section 32 statement is a legal document that the seller must make available to all interested buyers. It gets its name from section 32 of the Sale of Land Act in Victoria.

The legislation outlined in the section 32 states that a seller must provide specific information to a buyer for the property in question before the contract of sale is signed. If the section 32 is not provided, then the potential buyer has the right to pull out of the contract of sale.

Information you’ll find in the section 32 includes the following:

  • Planning information
  • Mortgages or debts charged against the land
  • Disclosure of the services connected to the property such as water, gas etc
  • Registered building work that has been carried out in the last ten years (which should be covered by a ten year warranty)

Ask the property lawyers at PB Law for assistance with your contract of sale

Here at PB Law, we have a dedicated team of property experts who can assist you with a property transaction. Our property lawyers can carry out a thorough review of your contract of sale. They can summarise all the key points and ensure you are protected throughout the property transaction process. Key details such as conditions laid out in the section 32 will be reviewed and our team will let you know of any warning signs they pick up along the way.

So if you’re ready to put an offer down on a house, talk to our property lawyers today. They can start reviewing the section 32 and contract of sale to help streamline the property buying process. Call 1300 526 246 or get in touch via our contact page to get started.

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