This is quite a common question when it comes to buyers. It’s amazing how people can suddenly want what they can’t have and it’s usually the case when it comes to properties that are under offer. But, once an offer has been signed off by the seller, the property is under a legally binding contract with buyer and seller and the owner cannot accept any other offers, even if they are higher.
As mentioned, once a property has had an offer formally accepted and signed for it is sold to the buyer. The reason why it gets marked as under contract or offer, before the sold sticker goes up, is because there may be some conditions to the offer that need to be finalised before the buyer goes ahead unconditionally with the sale.
The most common condition, which affects all properties in Victoria, is the three-day cooling off period. All buyers have three full business days to pull out of an offer, though it is a rare occurrence. There is a pull-out fee of one hundred dollars or .02% of the sale price, whichever is greater. This stops serial offer makers running around town putting offers on properties everywhere or buyers putting multiple offers down on different properties. The only time the cooling off period is not applied is under auction conditions where there is no cooling off at the auction or three business days either side of the auction day.
Other common conditions may be finance and building and pest inspections. A finance clause usually takes up to ten working days and sometimes longer. Building and pest inspections are usually conducted within a week of purchasing a property. These two conditions will probably have the highest rate of purchases falling over and giving other buyers a second chance to win the property.
If you come across a property that is under offer, then make a quick phone call to the agent, find what conditions have been put down on the offer and keep track on whether it comes back to market. Still make an appointment to view the property and if it ticks all the boxes, then sit tight and hope for the best.
The following advice is of a general nature and intended as an opinion and broad guide. For all legal, financial or real estate advice you should obtain independent professional advice to do with the specific nature of your circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.