Buying or selling property is often one of the biggest decisions that most people will make during their lifetime as it often involves large sums of money.  The process of transferring ownership of property from the seller to the buyer is called conveyancing.

Understanding the Contract

The most common form of contract used when buying or selling property in Queensland is the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) Standard Contract.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to enter into a contract to purchase or sell property without understanding all the implications and risks involved.  It is not uncommon for the seller and/or buyer to be unaware of the following:

  • time is expressly of the essence under REIQ contracts in Queensland which means that the buyer and seller must perform their respective obligations strictly by the due date and time.  Failure by either the seller or the buyer to perform, unless an extension has been granted, will be a breach of an essential term of the contract and will entitle the other party to sue for specific performance or terminate the contract without further notice.
  • the property is at risk of the buyer from 5pm on the next business day after they sign the contract even though the buyer is not in possession of the property and the seller might still be residing at the property.  The seller does have an obligation until settlement to take reasonable care of the property, however, it is the buyer’s responsibility to obtain insurance effectively as soon as they have signed the contract.

Getting Advice

Whilst it is easy to fall prey to the many conveyancing pitfalls and misunderstandings that exist, with the assistance of experienced solicitors and conveyancing clerks, we can help guide you through the process from preparing the contract, reviewing the contract and advising you on the legal implications and risks involved.

We strongly recommend that if you are considering buying or selling property in Queensland that you seek our expert advice before signing the contract.  If you would like further information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts today on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Catherine Da Silva, Lawyer, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers

Catherine Da Silva
Residential Conveyancing

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