Below is a simple list of things you should know before buying and selling property in Victoria. Vendors and purchasers who understand their rights and obligations are more likely to avoid the pitfalls and headaches of misunderstandings and sales breaches.
Engaging a real estate agent in Victoria to sell your property involves authorising the agent to act on your behalf in sale negotiations. This means the vendor is bound by agent’s actions, including any and all representations made to the purchaser. If a dispute arises regarding the seller’s obligations, and the purchaser has relied on the agent’s representations, the vendor could face legal reprisals.
Purchasers should remain aware of the vendor/agent relationship when dealing with real estate agents. A purchaser should always seek independent legal advice on all representations that may affect the outcome of the sale.
A vendor or purchaser may wish to impose special conditions on the contract of sale. These may range from an extended settlement, a purchaser guarantee or the inclusion or exclusion of individual items on the property. Special conditions can cause anxiety for vendors and buyers if the terms are not stated clearly, and as such, should be drawn up by professional conveyancers to reflect the agreement between vendor and purchaser.
As a rule, a purchaser can usually end a contract within three business days without incurring a penalty. Nevertheless, as will all rules, there are exceptions, the most common being properties sold at auction. A purchaser should inspect an auction property, and have their conveyance review the vendor statement and contract prior to bidding.
Buyers be aware! In the event of a purchaser breaching a contract of sale, a vendor is entitled to retain the deposit amount up to a limit of ten percent of the purchase price. This rule stands, even if the deposit is not paid. If the property in question is sold within twelve months of the contract ending, and the resale value is less than the breached price, the vendor may recover the difference from the original purchaser (less any deposit already lodged).
The regulations governing the buying and selling of property in Australian states may vary, so do some basic fact checks and make sure you understand your obligations under the terms of a sale contract for your particular state.