Do You Need To Cool Off? What to Understand When Buying a Home
You may have heard of a legal phrase called the "cooling off" period, which applies to the purchase of real estate. However, if you are thinking of using this element in your contract negotiations as you negotiate a sale, you need to be careful. What do you need to worry about?
It's Not a Replacement for Homework
The cooling off period is not intended to be an escape clause for those people who have not done enough due diligence. It is far better for the individual to be completely at ease with the contract terms before they commit, and this means doing the proper amount of work ahead of time.
When Can the Cooling off Period Be Used and When Can't It?
The traditional cooling off period can only be used in relation to non-commercial property. Furthermore, it cannot be stipulated if the sale is taking place within three days of an auction that is public. If you are an estate agent, you cannot utilise a cooling off period yourself (which should be obvious to those in the trade), but of more interest to the layman, you cannot use the period if it refers to a property that has previously been put under contract by the same parties.
Get Your Advice from the Best People
Some estate agents have been known to be creative when it comes to the cooling off period so that they can get the sale. In so doing they may advise the client not to consult with a lawyer or they may lose the "right" to their three-day "cool off." This is why it's important to engage only with estate agents that have a good reputation and you know you can trust.
Always aim to use your own conveyancer and not necessarily one that is attached to any particular estate agent linked to the deal. In this way, you will get an independent assessment of the situation from somebody who doesn't have an axe to grind and who is not linked to any commissions from the sale itself.
Check the Dates
Pay attention to the actual date that you sign the contract, as the three days of cooling off start when you physically sign the document, and not when it is countersigned by the other party. Time can be lost in transferring the contract between the various parties and lawyers, so you need to be on top of that as well.