Before you sign any contract remember it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Play it safe by following these simple steps.

1.  Partner with a solicitor or conveyancer

Choose the solicitor or conveyance you’d like to workwith prior to looking for your new home. This willallow you to act quickly once you find the idealproperty. Your solicitor or conveyencer should be ableto give you an indicative cost for their services thatcan be factored into your buying budget.

2.  Undertake all the necessary checks

Before signing be sure to organise a pre-purchase pest and buildinginspection of a property before signing the contract.This will show up any defects, unapproved extensionsor pest activity in the property – which could beexpensive to fix. A poor report can give you extrabargaining power in your price negotiations as longas you have the funds to undertake the repairs at alater date.

3.  Never sign a contract without

Having it reviewedNo matter how appealing a property is, always havethe sale contract reviewed by your legal representativebefore signing it. Contracts are not always standard,and once you have signed it can be difficult andpotentially costly to back out of the purchase. If thereare aspects of the contract you would like changed,for example, you’d like a longer settlement period, youare entitled to request these though the vendor (seller)doesn’t have to agree.

4.  Know your ‘cooling off’ entitlements

When you and the vendor agree on a sale price, youwill be asked to sign the contract of sale and pay adeposit – usually 10% of the purchase price. If youare buying at auction, once the hammer falls you areobliged to complete the sale if you’re the highestbidder. If you are buying by private treaty you mayhave a cooling off period though this varies betweenstates and territories. Nonetheless it could meanforfeiting part of your deposit so it pays to be quitecertain about a property before signing the contract.

5.  Adding conditions to the contract

As the buyer, you are entitled to make your offer‘Subject to finance’. This is a common request thatgives you time to secure finance for the purchase,and if a loan is declined you may choose to end thecontract. Before your solicitor finalises the wording ofany conditions, speak with your local Aussie broker fora firm idea of how long it will take to arrange a loan.This will let you specify dates in the contract to avoidthe potentially stressful situation where finance isn’table to be arranged on time. It makes a lot more senseto speak with your Aussie broker to secure loan preapprovalprior to looking at properties for sale.