After many months of searching, a couple made an offer on their dream house.  The offer was conditional on them obtaining satisfactory finance to purchase the property and obtaining a builders report.

When the Agreement was sent to the couple’s lawyer, she noticed that the date for settlement was only one day after confirmation of their conditions!  They had hoped to use their Kiwisaver funds to purchase their home, but this did not give them enough time to do this, or to obtain their mortgage documents from their bank.

Unless the vendors agreed to move the settlement date, this would 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.

To make sure you don’t face a similar problem to this couple, we recommend that you carefully consider the key dates when you are negotiating an Agreement for Sale and Purchase and also keep track of when conditions need to be satisfied, as well as the settlement date.  If you’re not sure of timeframes, check with the real estate agent or an experienced property lawyer about the usual timeframes before you sign.

This will be particularly important around the Christmas and New Year period as many days in that period are not considered working days for confirming conditions or settling a transaction.