You’ve probably seen or signed one, but how much do you know about an offer & acceptance?
The majority of properties sold in Western Australia (WA) are done so using a process of offer & acceptance. A buyer makes an offer to purchase a property, normally with some conditions attached (finance approval, building inspection etc.) and the seller either accepts it, rejects it, or more typically, makes a counter offer.
If the selling agent is a member of REIWA, of which the majority are, the offer will be written on a Contract for Sale of Land or Strata Title by Offer and Acceptance, which is simply referred to as the Offer & Acceptance or O&A. Accompanying the O&A is a Joint Form of General Conditions for the Sale of Land (normally referred to as either the Joint form or General Conditions). Together, these form a legal contract which as soon as acceptance is communicated to the buyer, is legally binding on both parties.
There is no cooling-off period for real estate contracts in WA. If a buyer wants a period in which to undertake further due diligence enquiries or inspections to their satisfaction this needs to be included as a special condition on the O&A.
All buyers and sellers should familiarise themselves with the O&A and Joint Form as not only do they form part of the contract to which they are legally bound, they also address many of the issues that may arise between buyer and seller.
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) produces a handy publication that explains in simple language the process of buying and selling a property by way of offer and acceptance. It explains things such as:
- The finance condition, which is used when an offer is being made subject to the buyer applying for, and being granted, finance approval by a lender to buy the home
- Special conditions, such as timber pest and building inspections
- Chattels and fixtures – what the difference is and being clear on what items are staying and what will be removed before settlement
- Forms of ownership where more than one person is buying the property, i.e. joint tenants or tenants in common.
And if you’re buying a strata titled property and not sure what’s involved, Landgate have an easy to read Guide to Strata Titles that we highly recommend reading too.
Happy home buying!
Natalie Hoye is the Founder and Licensee of Red Fox Property Group – a boutique agency doing things differently in the suburbs surrounding Beaufort Street. We call it ‘real estate alchemy’: a genuine blend of science and intuition, marketing and magic, head and heart. The Red Fox Way. And we’d love to chat with you about your local real estate needs. Call us now on 0405 812 273.