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Sign the contract of sale

The contract of sale is a legal document that contains a list of all the relevant information related to the purchase and sale of a property. It is prepared by a licensed conveyancer or a qualified lawyer. To make sure that both parties are protected, the lawyers or solicitors of the other party also check the contract of sale.

first home owners signing contracts

There are a few small things you need to know when signing a contract of sale.

Fortunately for us in Brisbane, we have standardised property contracts of sale which allows you to sign a contract subject to finance, and building and pest inspections.

While the standard contract of sale to buy in Brisbane will generally give you a cooling-off period, you can request additional clauses to be added to protect your individual interests.


This is what a standard REIQ contract of sale looks like in Queensland.

An example of a standard contract of sale in Queensland.

Your solicitor or conveyancer will take you through this but just remember to NEVER SIGN anything until you are sure your interests are protected.

Never be fooled by an agent who says you can sign, and ask for changes later—once a contract is signed it’s done.

The only way you can change details like the purchaser’s name once the contract is signed is to sign a completely new contract and risk having to renegotiate your property—the seller doesn’t have to agree to your requests.

What Does a Contract of Sale Contain?

It contains information about all the parties to the contract, including their addresses and names. Following is a list of information you will normally find in a contract of sale:

  • ☑️Certificate of the title information
  • ☑️Offer date
  • ☑️Warnings, such as the necessity for smoke alarms
  • ☑️Settlement date of an intended property
  • ☑️The cooling-off period
  • ☑️Information about furnishing and fixtures
  • ☑️Improvements to the property
  • ☑️Property address
  • ☑️Loan details, such as the terms and conditions of the payment, and initial deposit
  • ☑️The price of the property
  • ☑️Name of the seller
  • ☑️Purchasing party information
  • ☑️Information about the selling agent

Normally the special conditions are included in the contract of sale that can override the general conditions of the contract. Therefore, don’t sign the contract until you are fully aware of all the terms and conditions. The seller is required to attach the following with the contract of sale:

  • ☑️Notification about the defects
  • ☑️Warranties
  • ☑️Sale conditions
  • ☑️Disclosure documents
  • ☑️Cooling-off notice
  • ☑️Warranty insurance certification
  • ☑️Easement and restriction documentation
  • ☑️Property certificates
  • ☑️Zoning certificates
  • ☑️Plans of sewer lines

If a seller fails to include these things, it gives a buyer the right to cancel the contract within a certain period of time.

Details of different contracts across Australia

🇦🇺 Victoria

The Instrument’s Act 1958 states that unless you honour a contract of sales in full, a verbal agreement is not binding.

Before signing a contract of sale, the seller is bound to provide the potential purchase with the seller’s statement. Both parties sign each contract’s copy and exchange it through a real estate agent. The cooling off period in Victoria is 3 days.

🇦🇺 New South Wales

In New South Wales and Sydney, you cannot sell a residential property without signing a contract of sale. Many changes have occurred in these states. For example, a seller of strata scheme or a single freehold is also required to provide a valid non-compliance certificate, an occupation certificate, and a valid compliance certificate.

Moreover, the vendor and purchase are under no obligation to honour the contract until they exchange signed copies. These copies can be exchanged in a face to face meeting or via mail. The cooling off period in New South Wales is 5 days.

🇦🇺 Queensland

In Queensland, the cooling off period is 5 days and the following information should be included in the contract for it to be valid: If the contract is terminated by the purchaser during a statutory cooling-off phase, they will be bound to pay a penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price. Therefore, it is advised that a purchaser should do a property valuation independently and seek legal advice regarding cooling-off rights and the contract before signing a contract.

In these states, the contract is signed by the buyer first, and the seller only signs it if he accepts the offer. It becomes binding only after the buyer receives an acceptance notification. It is important to note that in Queensland, only lawyers can act as conveyancers.

🇦🇺 South Australia

In South Australia, a seller is bound to provide the buyer with a Form 1 Disclosure statement before signing the contract. After the contract is signed by both parties, they are bound by its terms and conditions. The cooling off period in South Australia is 2 days.


A standard contract of sale in Queensland.

Your solicitor will check the contract and give you legal advice on:

  1. Cooling-off period
  2. Proposed settlement date
  3. Title and plan
  4. General conditions
  5. Special conditions of the seller
  6. Registered restrictions
  7. Your special conditions and any changes required
  8. Property charges
  9. Owners corporation
  10. Lease