Got questions about buying a home? We can help

19 January 2023

"Here are the answers to some of the most common questions from WA buyers; they may be helpful if you are thinking about purchasing a home this year. "

In 2022 REIWA’s Information Service helped over 10,000 people with their WA real estate queries, including nearly 3,000 queries about property sales. 

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions from WA buyers; they may be helpful if you are thinking about purchasing a home this year. 

What happens if the lender cannot approve my loan application by the latest date? 

It can take a while to get loans approved at the moment. Initially you should give yourself plenty of time to get finance approval when you sign the offer and acceptance contract. 

If approval is taking longer than expected, you can attempt to negotiate with the seller for an extension. 

If an agreement cannot be reached, the contract will continue until either: 
  • the seller terminates the contract and the deposit will be refunded to the buyer, or 
  • the buyer notifies the seller that the finance has been approved.   

When does a contract come into place?  

When all parties have signed an agreement to the terms and conditions of the contract, then the sales agent will notify the parties that a contract has come into place. 

The Offer and Acceptance document usually forms the contract. 

Can I withdraw my offer during negotiations?  

You can withdraw your offer at any point in time prior to the seller signing the contract and notifying you it has been signed. However, there is no cooling off period in WA, you cannot change your mine once the contract has been signed. 

If I need finance, do I have to nominate a lender and the amount of the loan? 

No, the financial conditions in the contract state if no details are provided, the lender can be any lender and the amount of the loan will be equal to the purchase price. 

What happens if I am told the owner is considering multiple offers?  

In the current property market it is not unusual for a seller to receive multiple offers and it is important to know they do not have to consider offers in the order that they were received. 

You may be offered the opportunity to submit your best offer. 

In this case the seller, via their real estate agent, will advise all buyers who have submitted an offer that multiple offers have been received, and will give you the opportunity to revise your offer by the set date they provide. 

If you are not offered a formal opportunity to revise your offer, you should consider if the offer that has been presented is your best offer in terms of purchase price and associated conditions. If you want to, you can revise your offer and present it to the agent. 

What is the purpose of the final inspection? 

There is a standard term in the contract where the seller commits that the property will be in the same state and condition as it was immediately prior to the contract date. 

The purpose of the final inspection is to ensure the seller keeps to this commitment and lets you check for yourself. 

For example, if the grass is green on contract date, then it must be green on settlement date. The contract may also contain special conditions, such as requiring the seller to paint the lounge room red and at the final inspection you would determine if the seller has done this. 

Why am I given a disclosure statement when buying a strata titled property? 

It is a requirement under the Strata Titles Act that the buyer is given certain information before they sign the contract of sale. 

The disclosure sets out details about the strata lot that is being purchased, provides copies of the scheme plan and bylaws, any minutes and statements of accounts, and details about the levies which the strata lot owners pay for the upkeep of common property. 

Whose responsibility is it to undertake the building inspection?  

Conducting a building inspection is not a standard condition of the contract. It is a special condition. Normally, as it is the buyer who wants a building or termite inspection, they are responsible for the costs of those inspections. 

Are electronic signatures permitted? 

Yes, electronic signatures are legal through the Electronic Transactions Act. 

It is now very common for all contracts to be signed electronically.  

REIWA's Information Service is available to help you with any queries that you might have. Please contact the team on 08 9380 8200 or email [email protected] (business hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm). 

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