Generally a property sale by private treaty in all states of Australia except WA allows for cooling off. This is a period of two to five days in which you can decide not to proceed with the purchase for any reason.
It’s a different story when you’re purchasing property at an auction where there is no cooling off period. When the hammer falls, the sale is unconditional, because auction conditions allow this, and there will be a cooling off waiver included the contract. In NSW this is called a section 66w and it must be signed by your solicitor.
Selling agents will also try and enforce a waiver in a hot market, which many buyers as well as solicitors and mortgage brokers are fearful of, but I want to tell you how a cooling off waiver can work for you.
A property transaction is as nerve wracking and uncertain for sellers as it is for you the buyer. Sellers will routinely receive offers below their expectations, or with conditions attached such as subject to finance. Buyers will run hot one day and disappear the next because parting with a life changing sum of money is harder than it sounds, and sellers quickly learn that a sale isn’t guaranteed until the transaction is unconditional.
This can all work to your favour if you are an organised and diligent buyer who moves quickly to ensure the property is problem free, has their finance in place, is confident the bank valuation will stack up, and is emotionally confident to buy.
Submitting an offer to purchase accompanied by a signed contract, a deposit cheque AND a cooling off waiver will put you in a strong position because once the seller countersigns the contract the deal is unconditional and they can breathe a sigh of relief.
Time and again I have seen sellers take a lower offer from my clients simply because we waived our cooling off and followed the above process- even if the property wasn’t for sale via auction.
Sellers value certainty and you can benefit from that. By doing everything you can to have the confidence to waive your right to a cooling off can give you the advantage to move quickly and edge out your competitors for that place that you love.