The standard contract for buying a home comes with a cooling-off period of 5 business days. This means if you’re not totally happy, you can cancel the contract during this time.
However, auctions have no cooling-off period.
The cooling-off period also does not apply to a private treaty contract:
- entered into within 2 days of an unsuccessful auction of that property
- in which the buyer was a registered bidder at the auction.
When it starts
The cooling-off period starts the day you get a copy of the signed contract (signed by both parties).
- If you get it on a weekend or a public holiday, the cooling-off period starts on the next business day.
- The cooling-off period still begins if a representative takes the signed contract on your behalf.
- If there’s a dispute over when you got the contract, the seller will need to prove they got it to you.
When it ends
The cooling-off period ends at 5pm on the final (5th) day of the cooling-off period.
How to cancel the sale
To cancel during the cooling-off period, you must:
- give written notice to the seller (or seller's agent)
- sign it
- deliver it before 5pm on the final day.
The seller must refund the deposit within 14 days. They may deduct a penalty of up to 0.25% of the purchase price.
How to waive a cooling-off period
You can choose to waive or shorten the cooling-off period. You need to give written notice to the seller or their agent.