Think before you ink

Market Insights
8 years ago
2 minutes

It’s the biggest monetary investment people make in their lives.

But too often, buyers get caught up in the excitement of owning their own property and sign a contract without hiring a solicitor to look over the fine print.

It’s a situation conveyancing lawyers see far too often, but unfortunately once the deal is inked, it’s too late.

However, the following advice may just save you a very costly and stressful battle down the track.

Special Conditions - what are they? 

Every contract has a list of ‘general conditions’ that are mutually beneficial to both the vendor and buyer.

However, vendors also have the right to overwrite these conditions, with their own ‘special conditions’.

The thing is, however, these special conditions serve to benefit them at a detriment to the purchaser.

What kinds of special conditions should I look for?

Contracts can include special conditions such as forcing the buyer to pay rates from the day the contract is signed, instead of the usual protocol of payment starting after settlement.

That means you’re forking out cash, when technically, you don’t even own the property.

Other things to look for include rate rises, asking the buyer to pay the vendor’s legal fees, and even stipulating that if anything is wrong with the property, it’s no fault of the vendor!

Can I do anything about these special conditions?

The good news is – yes! These special conditions are not set in stone. All it takes is a solicitor to look over the contract and strike them out.

Because at the end of the day, the vendor wants to sell the property, so they’ll always take them out if it means you won’t go ahead with the deal.

Should I hire a lawyer to look over my contract?


The problem is most buyers don’t have the time or knowledge to look over an 80-page contract, so these special conditions are often overlooked.

That’s what the lawyer is there for.

And while legal advice might seem costly – if you’re ultimately getting what you want and protecting yourself along the way - surely it’s worth every penny.

Just remember, you should never assume everything will be okay and sign away.