Preparing to purchase
Before making an offer on a home, whether it's for sale by private treaty or at auction, make sure you carefully review the contract of sale. Learn what to look out for.
A residential property can only be advertised for sale or put on the market when a contract of sale has been written.
A contract of sale is a legal document that includes terms and conditions of the sale as well as information about the property and land.
If you're interested in purchasing a home, ask the seller or real estate agent for a copy of the contract of sale. Requesting the contract as soon as you can will give you time to review it.
Before signing the contract, it's very important to check it for information about the property and the sale, such as:
- deposit amount and due date
- settlement details
- title documents, including zoning certificate and drainage diagram
- special conditions, including whether the home will be vacant or tenanted
- inclusions, such as floor coverings.
Using a professional
It's possible to review the contract yourself, but there are risks in doing this, including being personally liable if there is a problem with the sale.
You might choose to use a professional such as a conveyancer or solicitor to help you review the contract of sale.
Broadly, a licensed conveyancer specialises in providing advice and information about the sale of a property. When reviewing a contract of sale, a conveyancer will:
- identify your obligations as the purchaser of a home
- help you understand the various clauses within the contract
- give you advice and assist you to make an informed decision about the sale.
Learn more about using a conveyancer when buying a home at NSW Fair Trading.