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A Guide to Cooling-off Periods in NSW

  • By:Anderson Boemi

Do you have cold feet about your recent property purchase? Keep reading to find out how you, as a property buyer, can pull out from the deal after you have signed the contract of sale without any major legal or financial implications.

In New South Wales, when buying residential property, buyers are provided with a cooling off period to withdraw from property contract of sale without providing any reason for their decision. The timeframe for the cooling-off period is generally 5 business days, and 10 business days for properties purchased off the plan; however, this period can be lengthened or shortened by agreement between the buyer and seller.

During this period, the seller cannot sell the property on to someone else. On the other hand, you, as the buyer, have the opportunity to think about whether you really want to go ahead with the purchase. Some things may want to think about are:

1. Has your loan been approved?
2. Has your financial position changed?
3. Is the property adversely affected with building or pest issues?
4. Is there another property you would prefer to buy?

So, in what circumstances does a cooling-off period apply? It only applies to properties bought through private treaty. In New South Wales, a cooling-off will generally not apply in the following circumstances:

1. Property bought at auction;
2. Property that will be used for non-residential purposes; and
3. Properties with land size that is greater than 2.5 hectares.

Wondering whether the cooling-off period can be waived? Absolutely! The cooling-off period can be waived at the buyer’s discretion by the issuance of a section 66W certificate by the buyers solicitor. However, it is important to remember that the cooling-off period exists purely for the buyer’s benefit and accordingly the buyer, should think carefully before waiving their cooling-off period.

While the cooling-off period is an essential protection for you from last-minute changes of mind, should you decide to withdraw from the purchase during your cooling-off period, you will lose the amount you have already paid of the deposit (usually about 0.25% of the purchase price). If you are thinking about entering into a property transaction or require any assistance with respect to your property matters, please contact our team at Anderson Boemi Lawyers on 02 9653 9466.



The content of the Anderson Boemi Lawyers website is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice and should not be used as such. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular matters. If you have a particular matter you need legal advice for, or you have any questions about our disclaimer please contact our office on (02) 9653 9466.


Posted in: Property Law