The golden rule that every buyer should bear in mind when purchasing a property is this:
What you see is not what you get.
The photos of the property displayed on the real estate agency shop window may look nice, and when you have a tour of the property the floor plan may impress you and the ‘feel’ of it may persuade you to think that you may have just found the property for you.
But the aesthetic look of the property won’t tell you that there are 3 easements over the property that will affect how you can build on it.
It won’t tell you that the property is a heritage site that significantly restricts what you can do with it. It won’t lead you to discover that your off the plan property will take 8 years to build, when your circumstances require you to move in 2 years earlier. And it won’t disclose all the terms that constitute unacceptable risks that you should be aware of before signing the contract.
A review of the Contract of Sale and Section 32 (also known as a ‘Vendor’s Statement) by a solicitor before signing will give you an understanding of the unacceptable terms that should not be readily agreed to and how those terms should be changed. I will briefly explain reviews in the context of auction sales and private sales (ie. sales not at auction), followed by a discussion of what a contract is made up of and the main risks you need to look out for in a Contract of Sale and Section 32 for off-the-plan and established homes.