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Bryce Holdaway Blog post by Bryce Holdaway

Why should you do a Contract Review?

Look in my view, you should absolutely get the contract reviewed by a solicitor or a conveyancer prior to entering into a contract but definitely before you go unconditional on a property. Because let’s be honest it’s a big decision you’re about to make and you going to spend a lot of money and there’s a reason why lawyers and solicitors drive around in beautiful cars and live in beautiful homes, because they are good with words and I guess the key here is that the contract is being written up on behalf of the Seller not on behalf of the Buyer. So, it’s important we go through this to make sure that we’re not, sort of walking down a path of consequences that we’re not at least aware of or in some negotiated to make sure that we gets the balance back in favor of the buyer as well as the seller. It’s important to keep in mind that the contract is written for the seller and not the buyer.

The other thing to keep in mind is also to look for any negative aspects of a property aren’t immediately apparent just upon first inspection site. For example what if you are buying a house that has a property right next door that got a development application in place where they’re going to build another storey or extend at the back? And that may actually have some negative consequences on shadowing on your property for example. So its important that you know that before you buy the property so that you can make a decision on where you think the value exists, knowing that information. So you’ll only find that out by having a closer look at the detail.

Another example is if you are buying an apartment. At face value, all apartments look very similar but I recently bought a property in Mosman which is the lower shore in Sydney where it was a two bedroom apartment and it was only under further inspection of the contract that we realize that it was actually under a company title. And so company title has ramifications for lending but also has ramifications for resell because it’s not the most popular form of title.

Whilst it’s not a barrier to buying, it certainly does has it own sets of circumstances and considerations that you need to think about when buying that type of property.

The other thing to keep in mind too is if you are buying at auction, its unconditional as soon as the hammer goes down. There’s no point saying, “Ok, I have bought the property and I need my sister to check it.” It’s too late. Because if there’s anything in that contract that don’t work, you are still buying. You’ve just bought the property under the hammer at auctions. So, it is absolutely critical that you get the inspection done prior to turning up an option.

And the last thing I want to keep in mind too is you never go into a transaction thinking that you are going to default. But some people just do. They due to settle on a Friday and the don’t settle until the Monday, the Tuesday, the Wednesday or the following week. Just something gets on the way for a minor default. In these instances, you need to be aware of what the ramifications are for you, in the event that you do have a default. So, again, a thorough check will be able to help you to do that. So, in my view it’s absolutely essential that you get the contract reviewed by a specialists whether that is a solicitor or a conveyancer. Definitely prior to going unconditional on a property but in my view, in the majority of cases prior of even putting an offer on the property.

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