Tips for buyers before signing a contract - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views
Real Estate

By Mark Lillycrap, DBL Solicitors

1. Timing is Critical
In Queensland, Real Estate Contracts make time “of the essence”. Buyers should subscribe to the adage “a day late is too late”. If a Buyer is late in fulfilling any conditions, then the ramifications can be catastrophic and could lead to the Seller terminating, potentially keeping the deposit, and worse.

2. Know the name of the “Buyer” to put on the Contract
While it sounds obvious, when it comes time for the Real Estate Agent to prepare a Contract, you must give the name of the Buyer to be written on the contract. For example, after receiving legal or financial advice, it may be prudent to buy property in a company or trust, or in the name of one spouse rather than two names.

3. Have the deposit immediately available
Unless the contract allows a period of time for the deposit to be paid, the deposit is to be paid immediately. Sometimes Buyers think that they can arrange to borrow the deposit from the bank. In most instances this is not possible. The deposit needs to be in readily available funds. If time is required to pay it, for example to arrange a bank transfer, then a suitable time frame should be stipulated on the Contract.

4. Time frames for conditions
The standard REIQ/Queensland Law Society Contract allows a Buyer to insert timeframes to obtain building and pest inspections and to obtain finance. Typically 7-14 days is allowed. You should speak with your bank to see whether your circumstances dictate that a period longer than 14 days is necessary.

5. Get Pre-Approval
In the current market, properties are selling quickly and there are often back-up contracts if a contract doesn’t proceed. Some banks are struggling to give approvals within 14 days. Having pre-approval may mean the difference between being the successful buyer or losing a contract.

6. Other Special Conditions
There may be other Conditions to be satisfied before you are in a position to complete the purchase of a property. For example, if you are required to sell your property.

Most Real Estate Agents have access to data bases of Special Conditions which have been prepared by Solicitors. You are entitled to have your Solicitor prepare Special Conditions and send them to the Agent to be included in the Contract.

Buying real estate is a big commitment and can be stressful. Being prepared can reduce the amount of stress involved and can ensure a smooth purchase.