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In this video, OMB Solicitors Partner and Accredited Property Law Specialist, Simon Bennett explains the importance of getting legal advice early when contemplating buying or selling real estate.


Hi there, Simon Bennett from OMB Solicitors. With the market travelling at an unprecedented rate and property sales and purchases becoming so popular in a hot market, I thought it was really relevant to speak to you about the need to get early advice from your solicitor regarding those transactions.

Now, in Queensland in particular, a lot of the transactional stuff is done by buyers and sellers before they seek advice. This is a mistake and it’s fought with danger. Remember, these transactions, you’re spending large amounts of money, possibly the most expensive transaction you’ll ever do, and you’re signing binding legal documents without getting advice first.

So, here’s my tips for you. Obviously, if you’re buying, before you put in an offer by signing a contract, which is the usual course in Queensland property at the moment, get advice. Let a lawyer look at the terms and conditions for you to make sure it does exactly what you think it does.

There are some tips and traps for buyers, and if clauses aren’t drafted correctly, it’s a recipe for disaster. Make sure that if you think the contract is subject to finance, it is subject to you getting finance.

Make sure that if there’s going to be a building and pest inspection done, it’s subject to you getting a satisfactory result, and the same with your pool inspection certificate and the safety switches and smoke alarms and things of that nature.

So get it checked, get some advice before you sign it. The second point is for the sellers out there, I know most of you think you’re selling and there’s no risk, I couldn’t disagree more.

In fact, as a seller, I think you need to go to your lawyer earlier, right back when you start listing the property, because when you list the property with an agent, you’re signing a legally binding agreement between you and the agent in an appointment to act of Form 6.

Now, before you can list your property for sale with an agent, they’re going to require one of these documents signed. I’m telling you now, you need to get it checked, because if I’m advising you, I’m going to recommend some changes.

It doesn’t properly represent a seller to sign that document without getting some advice first. Then when we get to the contract for a seller, again, get advice. Even probably more important for a seller because a buyer might have clauses which allow them to terminate the contract if they don’t get finance or building and pest or some other conditional clause.

But as a seller, most usually it’s a binding contract which you cannot get out of. So if you get it wrong in the first instance, you’re stuck with it. So my overriding advice, even in a hot market, get advice early and get it right the first time to avoid problems later.

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