Posted by: Tom Wood | Date: 23 June 2013
No-one’s got any money. Sellers want too much. Why is my bank taking 21 days to give me an approval? Help me – I have signed an unconditional contract, but to get a cheaper price I didn’t make it subject to the sale of my other property which has now fallen over! Hey, they’ve removed the dishwasher – isn’t that part of the contract? What’s all this new stuff about pool compliance notices? There are loose floorboards in the verandah – can the buyer get out of it because of that?
These are some of the common issues that we are hearing from buyers, sellers and agents in the current market.
As always, our clients’ contract problems are heavily influenced by the economy and the state of the market. In the 2001-03 megaboom it was sellers trying to get out of contracts so that they could sell to someone else for more money. In a tighter market like the current one, it is buyers’ circumstances causing them to want to get out.
The message is that it is crucial for buyers and sellers to ensure that their contracts are watertight. A good commercial and property lawyer should approach a transaction from the point of view of protecting the client’s interests, but not being an obstruction. After all, it should be recognised that both parties are keen for the transaction to go ahead.
With having said that, if someone wants to get out of a contract if the written agreement is ambiguous or unclear, it can be a problem for the other party. If a client wants out, commercial and property lawyers delight in sifting through badly drafted conditions in a contract and examining any loopholes that bad drafting can open up. It may seem like minor or technical ambiguity or non-compliance with legal requirements, but it may be enough to be the basis for a termination, renegotiation or dispute. We don’t want this to happen to you!
We deal with these issues all the time, and if we get involved before the contract is signed, we can usually predict most potential problems and make sure that the fine print is properly prepared to protect you. Quick turnaround is essential to keep the ball rolling.
If you require any assistance with your property contract, please don’t hesitate to contact me.