Why You Need To Ask For A Cooling-Off Period When Negotiating On Property Deals

Posted on: 29 December 2016


Buying a new house is a dream for many. Most people picture themselves in a bungalow or a mansion with kids running around playing silly games. But this dream doesn't come by easily; buying the house in the first place is a real hassle since you have to get your finances in the right place. Then there comes the crucial stage where you have to negotiate with the seller. In this stage, there is a possibility that you may not get what you paid for. In fact, most people realize this when it is too late, and mostly, it is because they did not ask for a cooling-off period in their negotiations.

The Cooling-Off Period

The cooling-off period is a time frame -- usually days -- that a buyer is given to buy a house. Basically, the time is given so that you can give the offer a deep consideration. During this time, you can also inspect the house or make other important assessments like suitability of the location. You must write to the seller if you want a cooling-off period prior to buying a house. If the seller agrees, he or she will send you the copy of the contract, and it is only after you have received the copy that the cooling-off starts to count. If you receive the copy on a public holiday or a weekend, the starting day of the cooling-off period rolls over to the next business day.

After the cooling-off period has come to an end and you have failed to cancel the contract, you must see the deal through. Note that you can't ask for a cooling-off period if the property is being sold at an auction or if you are buying the property as a corporate body or a real estate agent.

Time Limits By Region

In Australia, the cooling-off period is not the same in all states. Some states give more cooling-off days than others. In Victoria, for instance, you are given a three-day cooling-off period while the cooling-off period in Queensland is five days. In North Australia, the period is four business days while in South Australia it is two. If you reside in New South Wales, you have five days to cancel the contract. In Tasmania, cooling-off doesn't even exist.

If you are in doubt of anything regarding cooling-off periods or the process of buying properties in general, you can always seek advice from a reliable conveyancer.