In New South Wales, a house is not “sold” until both the vendor and the purchaser have signed and dated a contract, and a deposit has been paid. This is referred to as exchange.
However, it is common practice for real estate agents to suggest that a purchaser pays a deposit as a sign of good faith, sometimes called an “expression of interest deposit”.
Changes have come into effect from 1 September, 2022 requiring that agents must now get the purchaser to sign a written statement declaring that the agent has informed them that:
- The vendor has no obligation to sell the property;
- The purchaser has no obligation to buy the property; and
- The deposit is refundable if a contract for the sale of the property is not entered into.
The agent must also:
- Promptly inform the purchaser if a later offer is made to purchase the property;
- Advise the purchaser that they have the right to make further offers up until exchange of contracts has taken place; and
- Refund the deposit to the purchaser within 14 days if another person enters into a contract to buy the property.
Aubrey Brown Lawyers
Our experienced property lawyers and conveyancers can help you with all aspects of buying or selling your property. Please contact us today to speak to our team.