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Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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Is a house contract to sell a property valid if the Real estate

Resolved Question:

Is a house contract to sell a property valid if the Real estate agent DID not explain to the seller that there is no cooling off period for the seller.

 

Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  replied 11 months ago.
Hello and thank you for your question.

Unfortunately the law imposes a duty on the agent to disclose the existence of a cooling off period in ordinary sale of land contracts, but does not impose a duty to disclose the absence of such a cooling off period, so unfortunately that is not a basis for avoiding the contract.

As to the parties failing to have proper witnesses, this does not invalidate the contracts. The signatures are merely there to help authenticate the signature if at some later point there is a dispute as to whether they signed. Even absent witnesses a contract is prima face enforceable.

With regard to your statement "the third seller signed by email and also did not have a witness to her signature" I am not certain what you mean by that. If you mean she signed a copy because she wasn't at the auction, then this would be fine, since the contract was in fact signed. If you just mean she just provided an email confirmation that she approved the sale, then that is not a satisfactory signature.

Regardless of technicalities such as these, if you bid at the auction then generally you are committed to the sale.

If you really are hoping to get out of the sale then you need to see a conveyancing lawyer ASAP to firstly review your contract in detail to look for any flaw in the information provided to you that might allow you to get out of the contract, or alternately, you lawyer can try and negotiate with the vendors to be let out. If there is an alternate buyer then (perhaps another bidder) they may be willing, though if you have no legal basis for forcing them to let you out, you may have to pay them some some money to let you out.

If you need assistance finding a suitable lawyer, contact the Queensland Law Society as they can refer you to a suitable lawyer in your area:

http://www.qls.com.au/Home

I appreciate this is not the answer you may have been hoping for, nevertheless it does reflect the law as it applies to your situation, and I trust at least assists your understanding.

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Thank you and good luck.

Patrick
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 4521
Experience: Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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