Buying A Home: The Legal Documents You Will Encounter

couple outside home with sold signBuying a home is stressful for many, but the anxiety of such an important purchase can be minimised. Get familiar with the legal documents you will encounter to spot items you may have missed.

As a buyer, the contract of sale is where you will indicate:

•    the price you are willing to pay for the property

•    the payment details; and

•    settlement details.

The contract will either have blanks you must fill in or you will be asked to write your offer on another form. Townsville-based firm ConnollySuthers recommend getting legal advice to review the contract presented to you.

Other important information that must be in the contract are:

•    a detailed description of the property (e.g. size & address)

•    particulars of sale (contact details of the seller & estate agent)

•    general conditions such as vendor’s warranties

The Queensland Government requires that the contract must also contain a warning that the buyer must pay a termination penalty amounting to 0.25% of the purchase price if they cancel the sale within the cooling-off period.

Cooling-off period documents

The cooling-off period is a set amount of time when you can cancel the sale after both parties have received a copy of the signed contract. To cancel a sale, you must make a letter of notice and present this to the selling party before 5 pm of the final day of the cooling-off period.

However, if you are really decided on buying the property, you can make a written notice that you want to proceed without the cooling-off period.


The seller can request a change in the price and conditions you set with a counter-offer. You may accept this and sign the altered contract or make an alternative counter-offer. Do not worry because this is a normal part of negotiating.

For any of these documents, best get legal advice. This will ensure that both parties proceed in a fair manner and that both are legally protected.