For both newcomers venturing into their first property purchase and seasoned property investors, the prospect of buying property in a different state presents a unique set of challenges. The various advantages of buying interstate make an attractive option, but without engaging a knowledgeable and experienced conveyancing firm, you may find yourself jumping through more hoops than expected.
General Manager, Bond Conveyancing – Mirella Rice says ‘’It is imperative to be mindful of varying legislations and regulations, particularly during interstate relocation and property transactions.’’
As the legal landscape differs significantly from state to state, navigating the intricacies of interstate investments can present a multitude of challenges. For instance, understanding the nuances of stamp duty calculations in Victoria compared to Queensland can be rather daunting. Additionally, the absence of a statutory cooling-off period in Western Australia contrasts sharply with the five-day cooling-off period in New South Wales, making it essential to adapt your approach to each state and their local regulations.
Given these variations, Bond Conveyancing and Property Lawyers has shared a comprehensive breakdown of the buyer and vendor obligations, tied to each state’s unique legislation.
In Victoria, it is mandatory for sellers to disclose specific information concerning the property. The Sale of Land Act in Victoria ensures that all information provided to potential buyers is entirely accurate and up to date. Any failure to meet these requirements may empower the buyer to cancel and void the Contract if necessary. Additionally, buyers in Victoria are provided a 3-day cooling off period, during which they have the security of cancelling the Contract without facing legal consequences, should they change their mind If the Contract is cancelled within this period, the buyer is entitled to receive a refund of any monies, such as a holding deposit, that was previously paid to the seller except for $100 or 0.2% of the purchase price (whichever is greater).
New South Wales:
In New South Wales, sellers are obligated to also provide buyers with prescribed documents containing essential information about the property, ranging from the registered plan to drainage diagrams. The failure to provide these documents can result in nullifying and voiding the contract.
New South Wales grants buyers a 5-business day cooling off period, allowing them to cancel the Contract, although the buyer will forfeit their 0.25% deposit if they terminate during the cooling off period.
Queensland’s regulations place relatively minimal obligations on sellers when it comes to disclosing key information about the property. As a result, buyers in Queensland must exercise due diligence when considering properties. Sellers are only required to provide limited information, such as statutory warranties, to the buyer.
The cooling off period for Queensland buyers spans 5 business days, starting from the execution of the Contract. During this period, the buyer can break the Contract, but will forfeit the 0.25% deposit if they terminate.
South Australian Vendors must furnish a Vendors Statement (Form 1) containing vital information about the property. Additionally, they are required to provide a buyers information notice, which details factors that may impact the safety, enjoyment, and use of the property.
Buyers are given a 2-day cooling off period, commencing after they have received the form 1 or contract, Whicher is served latest. If you have received a contract but not a Form 1 this means the 2 business days cooling off period will not commence until you have also received Form 1 and vice versa. If you have received both Form 1 and the contract of sale at the same time, or same day, the 2 business days cooling off period will commence from this date.
Unlike other states, Tasmania does not impose any legal obligation on sellers to disclose information about the property.
Buyers in Tasmania should be aware there is no cooling off period, and once the Contract is executed, the agreement becomes final. However, it is important to note that in any standard Contract of Sale, there is an optional cooling off period, buyers may also elect to waive their right to a cooling off period in this regard.
In Western Australia, sellers are bound by law to disclose relevant information about their property to potential buyers. Any property condition or material fact required to be disclosed is declared to the buyer in a separate annexure to the standard Contract/Joint Form of General Conditions.
The standard residential sales Contract typically consists of two sections: the standard residential sale of Land or Strata title by offer and acceptance, and a Joint Form of General Conditions for the Sale of Land, outlining the general conditions of the sale and settlement. It is important to note that the agent or vendors representative is expected to be made aware of all information from the seller and then disclose any property condition or relevant fact that could affect the buyer as a condition or annexure in the Contract. Any disputes regarding whether something should have been disclosed are handled by property lawyers.
However, like Tasmania, buyers in Western Australia do not have a cooling off period but can still withdraw prior to the seller executing the Contract.
In the Northern Territory, there is no legal requirement for sellers to disclose information about their property.
It is common in the Northern Territory for buyers to request a 10-day satisfactory period as part of their agreement in the Contract. This allows them to inspect the property for any significant concerns before finalizing the purchase.
However, buyers are granted a 4-day cooling off period for property transactions, and this period can be extended if agreed upon by the seller.
Vendor: The vendor is the person or entity who is selling the property. In the context of real estate, it refers to the property owner who is offering the property for sale.
Buyer: The buyer is the person or entity purchasing the property from the vendor. In the context of real estate, it refers to the individual or group interested in acquiring the property for a specific price and under certain terms and conditions.
Property transactions: Property transactions refer to the process of buying or selling a property. It involves all legal and financial aspects of transferring ownership from the seller (vendor) to the buyer.
Cooling off period: The cooling off period is a specific duration of time granted to buyers in some regions of Australia, such as Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia. During this period, buyers have the option to cancel the Contract without facing legal consequences. The length of the cooling off period varies by region.
Form 1: The Vendors Statement, commonly known as Form 1, is a document provided by the seller in South Australia. It contains essential information about the property, including details about title, zoning, encumbrances, and other relevant disclosures required by law.
Section 32: Section 32 is a legal term used in Victoria to refer to the Vendor’s Statement. It contains important information about the property that the seller is required to disclose to potential buyers before the sale is finalised.
General Conditions for the Sale of Land/: The General Conditions for the Sale of Land are standard contractual terms that outline the general terms and conditions of the Contract of Sale. It forms part of the residential sales Contract in Western Australia.
Satisfactory period: The satisfactory period is a period negotiated between the buyer and the seller in the Northern Territory. It allows the buyer to inspect the property for any major concerns or issues before finalising the purchase.