When making offers and structuring a purchase contract it is important to look at all the clauses involved. Most buyers focus on the finance and inspection clauses as these are the ones they usually have in their mind to dictate their terms to the sellers agent.
While both these clauses are generally written into most QLD contracts it is important to know they are not the only ones available to you as a buyer. Pretty much everything is up for negotiation in a contract.
If you are working your offer through a solicitor, they will review the contract with you and outline all the bits that have relevance and/or penalties that may impact you financially. This is a good thing, use a solicitor!
However if you are not seeing a solicitor before you draft a contract (for most QLD purchases a solicitor is only seen after the contract is signed and activated) then you should think about the structure of your offer and what clauses you want to add in before you see the sales agent. It is good to approach your contract negotiations in a methodical, predetermined and precise manner, remembering that the sales agent works for the seller of the property and won’t be recommending anything to you that will put their client (the seller) at a disadvantage.
A great clause to cover yourself for things you have no idea about or things you need to check out, is the Due Diligence clause. It is not a standard feature of (QLD) contracts and so you need to have one drafted specifically for you.
It may cover things like, Surveys, Easements, covenants, leases and tenancies, zoning and use, local government permits and permissions and any other matter deemed by the buyer to be relevant to the purchase.
It will outline the time frame the clause has in relation to the contract date and what is required of the seller if the buyer acts to terminate the contract under the Due Diligence clause.
Recently one of our clients was looking to purchase a knock down / split block / rebuild property. The house had many unknowns and the whole job was fairly complex with lots of different people needed to make it work. Upon drafting the contract we advised the clients to put a due diligence clause in it. So with the help of a solicitor they did so.
5 days into the 21 day due diligence the buyers had come to the realisation that the project was going to be more complex then they wanted to take on at that point in time and would severely inhibit them from doing what they wanted to do.
They made the decision to terminate the contract under the Due Diligence clause. All monies were refunded to them no questions asked.
It is important to note that the way the clause was drafted meant it was the sole discretion of the buyer to terminate, with no need to prove anything to the seller. This type of clause is very important in making sure you are protected when buying a property and that you only become financially committed when you are totally satisfied with the results of your research.
Smart contract structuring can mean the difference between simply getting caught out and getting out simply.
If you need help with contract negotiations or want to get in touch with a trusted solicitor, just contact me via our website.