Missing out on a property that you have your heart set on can be a very upsetting experience. Often this happens because the process of making an offer and securing the property is misunderstood. It is important to be aware of the following:
- The agent will submit all offers to the seller.
- The property remains on the market while the seller considers all offers.
- An offer may be made subject to a finance clause, i.e. bank approval, sale of an existing property or another consideration such as a pest and builder’s inspection.
- You can make your offer conditional on certain items or terms (such as a cubby house being included or excluded and must be written into the contract).
- An accepted offer is not legally binding on both parties until both the buyer and seller have signed the contract, a deposit is paid and the contracts have been exchanged.
Exchange of contracts: This is a formal legal process that creates a binding contract for the sale of real property. The vendor and purchaser both sign a copy of the sale contract. The buyer pays their deposit and then exchange these documents, which then becomes legally binding on the parties and proceed to settlement, subject to any cooling off period that may apply. Any party that declines to proceed to settlement may forfeit deposit monies or be subject to a damages claim.
Settlement: This is the final stage of the sale when the purchaser completes the payment of the contract price to the vendor and takes legal possession of the property getting the keys and moving in.