BUYING AND SELLING: OFFER & ACCEPTANCE EXPLAINED

5/21/2021
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Property transactions in WA need to be evidenced in-writing, The majority of properties bought & sold in Western Australia (WA) are done 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 may make 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 or JFGC). Together, with any included annexures, 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 cooling-off period or a period of time to undertake further due diligence inquiries on a property this needs to be included as a special condition on the O&A.

All Buyers and Sellers should familiarise themselves with the O&A, any Special conditions, 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 Commerce produces a very handy brochure 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 to purchase the property
Special conditions, such as a requirement for electrical, gas, and plumbing fixtures and fittings to be in good and proper working order, and how they need to be written
Timber pest and building inspection conditions
Chattels and fixtures – what the difference is and being clear on what items are staying and what will be removed before settlement
Deposits
Forms of ownership where more than one person is buying the property, i.e. joint tenants or tenants in common.

Other relevant publications that the department has produced that you may find useful if you’re buying or selling include:

Timber pest inspections and reports – a guide for home buyers
Professional building inspections
Choosing a settlement agent
Property settlement
Buying property off-the-plan
Buying vacant land
Rules for pools and spas
Dividing fences
Buying a strata property
Smoke detectors
RCD’s


Adapted from Source:https://www.nataliehoye.com.au/buying-and-selling-offer-acceptance-explained/

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