Petra and Jack are first home buyers who, after many months of searching, finally found their dream home. After much negotiation back and forward between them and the vendor, they finally reached an agreement. There were two key conditions; the first was them obtaining satisfactory mortgage finance and second a satisfactory builders report within five working days of the date of the Agreement.

When the Agreement was sent to Petra and Jack’s lawyer, she noticed that the date for settlement was only one day after confirmation of their conditions!  This would not give them enough time for their bank and lawyer to prepare and finalise the documents needed to settle the purchase.  This could mean that they would have to pay penalty interest for any delay. Their lawyer had to urgently negotiate a change in settlement date, which fortunately the vendors agreed to.

The reason this had happened was that the settlement date had remained the same date while the vendor and Petra and Jack took many weeks to negotiate the terms of the Agreement.  They had overlooked the settlement date and ensuring that it was consistent with the confirmation dates when the final terms were agreed to.

To make sure you don’t face a similar problem to Petra and Jack, we recommend that you keep track of the key dates when conditions need to be satisfied as well as the settlement date when you are negotiating a sale or a purchase.  An experienced property lawyer can assist with checking your Agreement before you sign it to flag important issues like this.