Be sure before you sign
In the excitement of purchasing property, buyers can often get so overwhelmed with all the information that smaller details can slip through unnoticed, until sometimes it’s too late to rectify. One of these is the front page of the sales contract and, if rushing a purchase or exchanging contracts before your solicitor/conveyancer has had a chance to review this vitally important document, it can be very much a case of ‘Buyer Beware the small print’. So here’s our quick-check list of the most essential details you should be double-checking BEFORE you sign on the dotted line:
1. Inclusions and exclusions: many a vendor has taken the opportunity to not include items that otherwise you may have assumed came with the property. Common items that are sometimes excluded (to the surprise of the purchaser) are curtains, dishwashers, pool equipment and certain light fittings. Also be sure to read for any exclusions and if not happy that these are going, re-negotiate.
2. Completion date: Check that the date suits you and you are fully aware of the implications here. Most contracts stipulate a no. of days after the date of this contract, most commonly 42 days. Alternatively, should dates be vital to you and you want to ensure settlement is on a particular date, with agreeance from the vendor, you are permitted to strike out this line and insert a specific date instead.
3. Vacant possession or subject to existing tenancies?: Most properties are sold with vacant possession to you, as purchaser, however be aware that, if there is currently a tenant in place the ‘Subject to existing tenancies’ box may well be checked here. It is important to realise that if you want the place to be empty, and you’ve checked this box, you may well inherit a tenant upon settlement.
4. Land tax- is it adjustable?: On the NSW sales contract, if the YES box is marked, be aware that you may be up for unwanted land tax costs as you will have to reimburse vendor for land tax based on proportion of the year you each own the property. For more information on land tax and ramifications here visit www.osr.nsw.gov.au
We always advise clients obtain a contract review BEFORE proceeding to unconditional status (or preferably before signing anything) to minimise the risk of making expensive mistakes when it comes to purchasing.