What You Need to Know About “Cooling Off” When You’re in the Process of Buying Property

If you're in the market to buy a new property, you may be aware that you have (under Australian law) the legal entitlement to a cooling off period when you sign the contract. Yet, are you aware of the finer details associated with this clause? What should you bear in mind before you get too carried away with your potential new property?

Can You Use This Clause?

The law stipulates that certain transactions are not eligible for the cooling off period, and this can depend on the type of property or the identity of the buyer. Essentially, you cannot have access to a cooling off period if the property is likely to be used for non-commercial purposes. If the buyer is also an estate agent they will also likely be ineligible and if the parties had entered into a contract before for the same property (as sometimes happens) then this will negate the cooling off clause. Additionally, remember that this two-day period cannot be used if the property in question was bought at an auction.

Don't Be Swayed

Don't be swayed if someone should tell you that you could jeopardise your rights to the cooling off period if you delay, by (for example) sharing the contract with a lawyer for advice. Make sure that you always get proper legal advice from your own independent counsel before doing anything.

When Does It Start?

Remember also that the two-day cooling off period will begin on the day that you sign the form and not after the seller actually countersigns. There could always be delays in between those two acts, so always keep tabs on where the contract is, who has signed and whether you are still happy going forward.

Do You Need It?

Above all else, though, remember that the cooling off period is designed to be used in rather exceptional circumstances and not simply as part of an entire thought-making process. You really need to be happy with all the details and be sure that this is the property for you before moving ahead. Ensure that your representative always gets the right information from the vendor and that no stone is left unturned before you get to the position where you would even consider signing.

If you're not happy with any part of the proceedings, make sure that you get clarification and only move ahead then. When you bear this in mind, you probably won't have to consider cooling off at all. For additional information, contact a real estate agency like Carter Real Estate.


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