More On Why Agents Should Not Be Allowed To Prepare Real Estate Contracts

Posted on May 1, 2007 by | 0 Comments

Tim O'Dwyer M.B., LL.Bby Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate

The fully-signed contract for a client’s purchase of a residential investment property arrived by mail at my office on 4th April. The selling agent’s covering letter was dated 3 days earlier: 31st March. This contract, which the agent had cobbled together and arranged for signing by the parties (without any solicitors’ involvement), was dated 2 days earlier again: 29th March.This purportedly binding agreement was subject to the buyers’ obtaining satisfactory finance approval by 4th April (the day I received the contract, and a mere 6 days from the ostensible contract date!) It was also subject to the buyers’ obtaining satisfactory building and pest inspections by 28th March (that’s right, one day before the date of the contract!) Settlement was due and looming for 28th April. Never mind there would be three public holidays in the meantime.

The sellers’ grossly incompetent agent, part of a national franchise, had recklessly inserted fixed dates for the finance and inspection conditions before getting the buyers to sign. Never mind again that it would be almost a week before the sellers signed.

This nonsensical situation was further compounded by a law (in Queensland) which stipulates that parties are not bound to a residential contract until the buyer’s solicitor has received it. No doubt the agent’s thinking, if such a mental process ever occurred, was that the parties’ solicitors would probably sort everything out later.

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