Be careful about buying a home privately, rather than working through the seller’s real estate agent. Always get a solicitor to check a contract before you sign it.
Don’t sign any contract unless the seller:
- includes the warning statement directly above the place where you sign the contract
- gives you the five-day cooling-off period.
The warning statement must say:
The contract may be subject to a 5 business day statutory cooling-off period. A termination penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price applies if the buyer terminates the contract during the statutory cooling-off period. It is recommended the buyer obtain an independent property valuation and independent legal advice about the contract and his or her cooling-off rights, before signing.
The statement can either:
- use the exact wording of the statement above
- have different words, as long as they give the same meaning.
Things to check
Don’t pay too much. Make sure you:
- get an independent valuation of the property
- find the asking price of similar properties by
- reading property listings in the newspaper or online
- visiting open houses
- get inspections done on the property (building, swimming pool and pest inspections).
Don’t sign a contract if you’re not comfortable with the sale. Always seek independent legal advice.