Why Are Special Conditions the Hidden Superheroes of Your Contract?

Close-up of a contract's Special Conditions section with a Pearson Chambers lawyer clarifying the details

Embarking on the journey of buying a house entails engaging with a Contract of Sale. Although various types of contracts exist, commonly, you'll encounter a Standard Contract version tailored to your state's specific Real Estate and Legal Society norms, like the REIV or LIV versions.

Standard Contracts come equipped with a defined set of General Terms and Conditions. However, the journey doesn’t end here; welcome Special Conditions. These are the extra sprinkles on your contract that often modify or replace the general conditions, reflecting the negotiations between the buying and selling parties. Special Conditions could cover areas like due diligence or building and pest inspections, which you might need to draft independently.

Now, not every contract parades as the standard version. The language of contracts can spiral into complexities, with many legal professionals having their personalised contract templates. This variation often leaves the client in the dark about these additional conditions. Typically, the Vendor's lawyer drafts the contract, and more often than not, the Special Conditions might limit or revoke the rights of the purchaser to the Vendor's advantage.

Thus, the call for contract advice resonates louder. Many purchasers sail blind, unaware of the rights being trimmed down or obliterated, and how these alterations echo through their purchasing experience.

In regions like Victoria, it's common to find amendments in special conditions augmenting the penalty interest a purchaser must shoulder. Other times, these conditions introduce extra fees for default scenarios or other modifications like nominations, which might seem minor but can accumulate into significant burdens if a delay in settlement occurs, either from your end or your bank's.

Interestingly, most vendors are oblivious to these contract tweaks by their lawyers, making it relatively easier to amend these conditions if needed. And if the waters get choppy, your conveyancer is your negotiation ally. Most lawyers are open to reasonable adjustments to their special conditions.

At Pearson Chambers, we don’t just stop at contract advice; we delve into other documentations ensuring you have a clear picture of what you're stepping into.

Crafting your own Special Conditions, like stipulations for building and pest inspections or due diligence periods, requires a precise hand to avoid ambiguity. It's wise not to bank solely on the Real Estate Agent's proposed special conditions as they may lack sufficiency.

Remember, verbal agreements are like shooting stars, bright but fleeting. It's crucial to have any mutual agreement inked on paper. For instance, adjustments to the settlement date, often agreed upon verbally, can tumble into chaos if not documented.

Special conditions cover a broad spectrum, including:

  • Building & Pest Inspections
  • Due Diligence
  • Access to the property pre-settlement
  • Inventory of included/excluded items from the sale - be it ornaments, garden features, or furniture.
  • Property photos or plans
  • Alterations to the settlement date

Miscommunications, especially concerning settlement dates, can entangle you in a web of confusion and mismatched schedules. It's not uncommon for vendors to renege on a verbally agreed early settlement date, leaving the purchaser in a quandary.

Our seasoned conveyancers at Pearson Chambers Conveyancing are poised to dissect these issues ahead of time, mitigating potential hurdles down the line. Reach out to our conveyancing maestros today at 0421 058 106, or email us at contact@pearsonchambers.com.au, and let's ensure your contract sails smoothly through the legal seas.


Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and may not cater to your specific circumstances. It should not be utilized as a basis for legal, tax, or accounting advice. The legal advice provided may vary based on individual situations. The expressed viewpoints within this article are strictly those of the author and may not represent or align with those of Pearson Chambers. All content is protected under copyright, owned by Pearson Chambers Pty Ltd