Cooling-off period – What does it mean when Purchasing Property in Queensland

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Buyers have a 5 day cooling-off period when purchasing residential property in Queensland. This means the buyer may terminate the contract within the 5 day cooling off period.

The cooling-off period is only for the benefit of the buyer not the seller.


 When does the cooling-off period start?

The cooling-off period starts on the first business day after Buyer receives a completed copy of the contract signed by all parties from the seller or the seller’s agent.

When does the cooling-off period end?

The cooling-off period ends at 5.00pm on the fifth business day after the cooling-off period started.  A business day is a day other than a Saturday, Sunday or public Holiday.

What is the penalty if the Buyer terminates  during the cooling off period?

If a buyer terminates during the cooling-off period, there is a penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price, which must be paid to the seller.  The buyer must give a written, signed, dated notice to the seller or the seller’s agent before 5.00pm prior to the expiry of the five (5) day cooling-off period.

When a contract is terminated during the cooling-off period, the seller or seller’s agent must refund the deposit to the buyer within 14 days, after deduction of the termination penalty.

Waiver of Cooling-off Period

A buyer may waive or shorten the cooling-off period of a contract.  The buyer must obtain legal advice from a lawyer and a lawyers certificate in the approved format, where the lawyer declares his/her independence of the real estate agent, that the lawyer is not receiving any benefit under the transaction, and that the lawyer has explained the effect of waiving or shortening the cooling off period and the effect of giving the certificate.  The Lawyer’s certificate must be given to the seller or the seller’s agent before the buyer and the seller enter into the contract.

We would suggest that as a buyer you obtain legal advice in relation to all terms of the contract including the cooling-off period, before signing the contact.

Contact our Sunshine Coast office and speak with our Conveyancing Manager for more information.


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The content published in this Blog is in the form of academic papers and the opinions expressed herein are generalised. The information provided is for educational purposes, not specific legal advice.

The application of any principles referred to can alter from case to case and accordingly you should seek independent legal advice in respect of your individual circumstances.

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