“Take My Word For It” – Can representations be relied upon?

When buying a property you’ll most certainly be fed with a mountain of advice and information from Real Estate Agents, the vendor’s legal representatives, or even from the vendor directly. But whose words can be relied upon with enforceability? 

Real Estate Agents & Vendors

When buying a property a Real Estate Agent will introduce the property to you and negotiate the price and contract details with you.  

For example: a Real Estate Agent could say that the vendor will fix any defects before settlement date for the purchaser. However, in the contract’s General Conditions a vendor is only obliged to provide the property in the same condition as on the contract sign date. Also, the contract may have other Special Condition states affecting the sale. Ultimately, the purchaser should not rely on any party’s words unless it is written in the Contract and signed.   

As a purchaser you can take the following two approaches for ensuring the enforceability of the words: 

Add Special Conditions  

You can add further special conditions in the contract when you give your offer to the Real Estate Agent. Note that special conditions must be added to the contract before signing. 

Once there are special conditions listed in the signed contract, both parties are legally bound to those conditions and they are enforceable. 

Deed of Variation  

You and the vendor can enter a further Deed of Variation to make amendments to the conditions in the case of an already signed contract of sale.  

However, some contracts may have a special condition in place so that if changes are made to the contract, the purchaser will be liable for the fees payable to the vendor’s legal representative (i.e. Vendor’s conveyancer or solicitor). 

Vendor’s legal representative  

As a purchaser, you should not contact the vendor’s legal representative directly. Instead, your legal representative will represent you to communicate with the other party. The purchaser can rely upon the information and advice given by the vendor’s legal representative. 

For example: your loan application is not fully approved yet, and the finance due date is coming soon. You may ask your legal representative to negotiate with the other party to extend the finance due date. Whether the extension is given or not, the reply made by the vendor’s legal representative is reliable and enforceable.

W Legal Group Can Help 

Contact our team of experts at hello@wlegalgroup.com.au or call us on +61 3 9590 618 and we will ensure your next settlement is a smooth and easy process. 

Get a quote

Our response time is 2 business hours.

"*" indicates required fields

Get a quote

Our response time is 2 business hours.

"*" indicates required fields