What you can include on contracts of sale

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Signing contracts of sale for any property can seem daunting, at first. But, when handled correctly, the procedure should be straightforward and easy to understand — for buyer and seller.

During the negotiation process and once a deal has been agreed to by both parties, a contract of sale is signed by the vendor and purchaser. This legally binding document is prepared by real estate agents, solicitors or conveyancers and is managed by your solicitor or conveyancer.

Timing is everything

At this point, special conditions can be negotiated on your behalf. But if special conditions or stipulations are to be written into the purchase agreement, both purchaser and vendor should consult with their legal counsel prior to signing. 

Any special conditions outlined in the contract need to be fulfilled between exchange and settlement. This includes any work required by the vendor.

Furthermore, a contract of sale may include conditions such as inspections or valuations.

Special conditions should be discussed with your solicitor when drawing up your contract of sale. This service is designed to protect and inform both seller and buyer.

Any special conditions should clearly indicate what needs to be done and when, who is responsible for actioning what needs to be done, who is responsible for payment and what are the consequences if the action has not been completed within the due date.

It’s recommended that special conditions must be as precisely worded as possible to avoid future disputes. It adds that all amendments and extra conditions should be signed and dated by the seller and the buyer. It is advisable to seek the advice of property lawyers and conveyancers to ensure that the special conditions are drawn up correctly.

Special conditions to consider

Check in with your legal team and consider any legitimate special conditions online that can be written into standard contracts of sale. These include, but are not limited to, pet approval by body corporate; sunset clauses (your rights and options); buyer’s right to access the property to carry out renovations prior to settlement date; subject to the seller acquiring alternative property (which clearly favours the seller and can be waived at their sole discretion); and stipulations surrounding inspection of the property (which favours the buyer and can also be waived at their discretion).

While the conditional options can seem like a legal minefield to the layperson, consulting legal advice will help to streamline the process and clarify the contractual fine detail. Most states and regions can be subject to their own real estate legislation, so it pays to be informed and aware of your legal rights in your location of sale.