What’s reviewed in a contract of sale in Victoria?

Tips for Buying and Selling

Buying property in Victoria is exciting but there is more to a property purchase than simply agreeing to a price. Behind-the-scenes of every successful property sale is a conveyancing professional ready to guide you through your journey that begins with the contract review. Once a thorough contract review is completed, the finer details of the contract – including sale price – can be negotiated.

Our experienced conveyancers review your contract by checking all the key components, such as special conditions, price and settlement date, that need to be thoroughly examined before the contract is signed. Our team will make sure you’re not signing something with hidden clauses or unwanted surprises. We can also propose changes that are specific to your needs, such as a negotiation around settlement date, or any inclusions and exclusions you may want to ask about.

Although the rules and procedures relating to conveyancing are consistent throughout Victoria, every property is different. So, it’s important to understand what applies to your specific property. It’s another great reason to work with an experienced conveyancing team who can guide you through every important step of your contract review when buying property in Victoria.

For a standard contract, we will email our review to you within 1-2 business days.

What does a contract of sale include?

A contract of sale must contain several key details, including:

  • The names and addresses of both the vendor and purchaser
  • The property address and land title particulars
  • The sale price
  • The deposit amount
  • The property settlement date and any special conditions, such as building inspections and finance-specific conditions. It’s important to remember that each listed condition must be numbered and then initialled by both parties (vendor and buyer).
  • A detailed list of any inclusions or exclusions of fixtures and fittings (such as carpets, curtains, blinds, appliances, etc.)
  • Whether the property is sold as ‘vacant possession’ or ‘subject to a lease’

Once your signed contract has been exchanged it becomes a legally binding agreement. Ensuring you fully understand what you are signing is critical and will help you avoid any costly mistakes. Always read the contract, and your contract review, carefully and address any questions you might have to your conveyancing specialist.

Buying property in VIC

If you are buying a property in Victoria, the Contract of Sale must include a Section 32 Vendor Statement.

This important document is a key part of any Victorian real estate transaction. Put simply, it’s a disclosure statement that the vendor gives to any interested buyer.

Some examples of what must be disclosed in the section 32 vendor statement include:

  • Any mortgages or debts charged against the land insurance details of the property
  • Any easements, covenants, restrictions, planning information or notices
  • Any registered building work undertaken in the past 7 years.
  • Information relating to any Owners’ Corporation (if applicable)
  • Any growth area infrastructure contribution to the land
  • Disclosure of services connected to the property, e.g. gas or NBN internet

How to avoid contract of sale issues

As with any negotiation and legal process, there are warning signs to watch out for when it comes to reviewing any contract of sale:

  • A seller acting unreasonably when negotiating the property price or contract terms.
  • Incomplete vendor disclosure.
  • A valuation that is lower than the asking price. To avoid potential problems, purchasers can request an upfront valuation.

The right time to sign a contract

The contract of sale should only be signed after a careful contract review – and this is why you should work with an experienced conveyancing specialist.

If you review the contract of sale document during the property search process, your eyes will be open to potential issues before a deep emotional connection with the property is made. Look carefully at any conditions in the contract that don’t meet your expectations. If negotiation around specific clauses are not possible, accept that this property may not be right for you and move on.

Whether you are a property investor, or looking for your own place to call home, a property transaction is a significant financial decision that must be taken seriously.

This article is provided for general information purposes only. Its content is current at the date of publication. It is not legal advice and is not tailored to meet your individual needs. You should obtain specialist advice based on your specific circumstances before taking any action concerning the matters discussed in this article.

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