Important things to note –
Cooling off Period
When a Contract of Sale is signed in Queensland the buyer receives a five-day ‘cooling off’ period, in which time they can pull out of the Contract without having to provide a reason. This includes situations such as;
- Buyer deciding to purchase without legal advice (e.g. on the spot at a Saturday inspection)
- The need to get finance approval or have a building and pest inspection done (in the case of buying a house)
- Have a Strata Inspection Report done (in the case of buying a unit) or
- General reconsideration of decision.
If the buyer elects to terminate the Contract and pull out, the seller is entitled to keep 0.25% of the purchase price out of the deposit made. The ‘cooling off’ period starts on the day the buyer receives the fully executed Contract, signed by both the buyer and the seller.
There is no cooling-off period available if the decision to buy is made at an auction so one needs to have finance approved and a building and pest report done before the auction.
Payment of Transfer Duty
Transfer duty (or stamp duty) is a tax which needs to be paid by the buyer to the State Government when the transfer of ownership in property is made. The amount of tax payable depends on the purchase price of the property. The transfer duty payable varies depending upon the type of property namely – residential property, or an investment property investment. There are also concessions available to first home buyers in Queensland.
‘Time is of Essence’
The term that governs all conditions for standard contract of sale in Queensland is that of – ‘Time is of the essence’. Essentially it means that each deadline must be fulfilled by 5 pm on the due date. During the conveyancing process in Queensland there are many dates and times that must be adhered to and a failure to comply with these can place the parties in breach of the Contract and may allow the other party to terminate the Contract or sue for specific performance.