The way real estate is sold today has changed. People’s word is definitely not their bond and someone waiting around for you to get your contracts together is a rare occurrence. They’re here today and gone tomorrow and in so many cases, so was the amount they were willing to pay.
If you’re selling, make sure that you’re prepared from the beginning. Aside having your home ready to go, ensure you have your conveyancer ready as well. Transactions these days are quick and you want your agent to be equipped with all the tools they need to close on your sale at the highest price. In a lot of cases the best price you’ll get will be in the first weeks of your property going to market.
So, what you need for an offer to be viable is a Contract of Sale and Vendor’s Statement (Section 32). The Vendor’s Statement is a compilation of documents disclosing everything about your property and are generally put together by a conveyancer. Now, a good conveyancer can normally get your paperwork sorted out overnight. Apartments and townhouses that are part of an owners corporation and have regular meetings can take up to two weeks to send out the owners corporation certificates, which is a vital part of a Vendor’s Statement, so you’ll have to think ahead. These also have to be updated every six months as new minutes from meetings needed to be added.
Once a Contract of Sale has be drawn up and a Vendor’s Statement sighted and all signatures are in place, then you have a legally binding offer on your house. Any other offer, whether it be an email offer, a letter of offer or any other form of offer not on a contract of sale, are not binding and both buyer and vendor can legally withdraw from the agreement at anytime.
There are a few things to remember before you accept an offer. Firstly, you have to sight your Vendor’s Statement and have it signed before your buyer does. If the date signed by the buyer on the Vendor’s Statement is before the date you signed, it is a void contract and leaves an opening for the buyer to withdraw anytime. Secondly, once you sign, you are locked in. The 3 days cooling off period is for the buyer to decide whether they want to go forward, not you. Also any other conditions that need to be met ie. subject to finance, building inspections, pest inspections, etc. are for the buyer to complete their due diligence on the property for them to be satisfied to go ahead with the sale. Once you have signed an offer, you are locked in, so make sure you’re happy with the amount offered and all, if any, conditions before you sign.