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What conditions should I put in my offer?

You should consult a lawyer before signing a contract.

Some typical items that are conditioned for

  • Finance.  This gives you time to arrange a suitable loan. Make sure the condition stipulates that finance must be satisfactory to you in all respects.
  • Valuation report. This is an independent professional assessment of the market value of the property and provides you an opportunity to renegotiate or withdraw your offer if you have offered more than the property is worth. This may be a condition of your finance anyway, so it is a wise condition to include.
  • Building inspection. This is similar to an AA check on a car. A good building report will state whether the building is sound and will identify any problems that might cost money to fix. A report of this nature is a wise and increasingly common precaution.
  • Toxicology report. A report of this nature is a common precaution.
  • Title search. Your lawyer should check that there are no problems with the title or restrictions, covenants or easements that you need to know about.
  • LIM report. So you can check what the council knows about the property and make sure there are no problems with things like building consents or flooding.
  • Engineering report. An investigation of structural issues or the stability of the land.
  • Sale of property. You may need to sell your property before you are committed to buying another property. This can be accommodated in your offer.
  • Other conditions.  You might want to make other conditions to cover things like repairs that the seller must complete before you take ownership.

 Specific conditions you may include

Title search

This is done by your lawyer or conveyancer to check who the legal owner of the property is and to see if there are any other interests over the property such as caveats or easements.

Obtaining finance

This refers to you being able to arrange payment, for example, a home loan. Some agreements may stipulate (for the benefit of the vendor) that if you are unable to secure financing to satisfy this condition, you will need to supply evidence confirming your finance was declined. If you cannot supply supporting evidence, you may still be required to proceed with the purchase.

Sunset clause

A sunset clause is the date and time your offer expires.

Adding a sunset clause to the sale and purchase agreement allows you to have certainty that your offer has either been accepted or declined by that date and time so you are free to offer on other properties. If you make an offer on another property while you are waiting to hear back about your first offer, you could end up in a situation where both offers are accepted and you have committed to buy two properties.

Valuation report

A bank may require you to obtain a valuation of the property (an estimate of the property’s worth on the current market) before they agree to a loan.

Land information memorandum (LIM)

Provided by the local council, this report provides information about the property such as rates, building permits and consents, drainage, planning and other important information.

Satisfactory property inspection report

If this is a condition of the sale you can use who you like to inspect the property, but we recommend using a registered property inspector. If the report isn’t satisfactory to you, you may be able to withdraw your offer on those grounds, but the vendor may ask to see a physical copy of the builder's report.

A satisfactory toxicology report

You can request a report to detect if a property has been contaminated by the preparation, manufacturing or use of drugs (including methamphetamine).

Unless there is strong suspicion or information from Police or forensic experts that a property has been the site of production or heavy use of methamphetamine it may not be necessary to commission a report. Talk to your lawyer or the real estate agent before making an offer if you are concerned the property may be affected.

Engineer’s or surveyor’s report

Similar to a property inspection report but more focused on the entire section and the structure of the property.

Sale of another home

You may need to sell your existing home in order to buy another. You may add in the condition that the contract is conditional upon securing an unconditional contract for the sale of your own home first by a certain date.

If you need the contract wording either consult your lawyer or see

A due diligence clause