Why do I need to get a solicitor to review a standard house and land purchase contract before I sign it?

by Andrew Lind on 29 January, 10

Firstly I am only going to speak about Queensland contracts although some of the issues I raise may also be relevant in other States.

Generally the contract will be prepared by the Real Estate agent, who remember, is usually the agent for the seller (not the buyer) and who has a significant vested interest (their commission) in locking you into the purchase with no escape hatch.

Real Estate Agents are generally great at what they do, but they are not lawyers. How the blanks are completed on the standard contract can make a significant difference to whether your interests are protected or not.

Here are some examples.

Building & Pest Inspection

You must give yourself time not just to get the inspection and the report done but also get the building record information from the relevant local authority to ensure that the house and other alterations were approved and passed all their relevant inspections. In Brisbane you can get these in a matter of days (if you are prepared to pay handsomely for a Fast Track search) but on the Gold Coast forget getting them out of Council inside 3-4 weeks.

Finance

“Finance Amount” should not be completed “Sufficient to Complete” as what does this mean? Better is, “Amount chosen by Buyer.” “Financier” should not be completed “Any bank or financial institution”. How many finance applications are you then required to make? Better is, “As chosen by Buyer.”

Settlement Date

I see it all the time, “… days from the Contract Date or as agreed”. Remember the Seller is not obliged to agree and it usually doesn’t matter what the agent has said about what the Seller will agree to as what you about to sign is all that is being agreed to.

Anyway, I hope I have answered the question and given you a couple of good reasons to invest some money with your solicitor in getting the document right that is going to commit you to a lot of money.

Our expert property and conveyancing solicitors can help for Brisbane Conveyancing, Gold Coast Conveyancing and Conveyancing right accorss Queensland.

Find out more about what our Brisbane Solicitors and Gold Coast Solicitors can do for you by visiting the Corney and Lind web site and checking out our Legal Resource Centre. Its Free.

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