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5 things you might not know about Queensland Property Law

  1. No price guides on any auction

In 2014, the Queensland Government made it law that when a property is scheduled to go to auction, the agent cannot offer potential buyers a price guide or estimate. This was designed to stop real estate agents intentionally marketing a low price range in order to attract the largest number of potential bidders to an auction. So that puts a fair amount of responsibility on buyers who are unfamiliar with our market to conduct thorough research prior to heading to auction, as they may end up depleting funds on a property outside their price range. 

2. Five day cooling off period 

Every contract for residential property in Queensland is subject to a five business day cooling-off period, except when the contract was an outcome of an auction. Buyers who aren’t totally happy with the purchase, can cancel the contract during this time. It’s important to remember that the cooling off period begins the day you get a copy of the signed contract (signed by both parties). Say you receive the contract on a weekend or a public holiday, the cooling-off period starts on the next business day.

3. Buyer has the bulk of obligations

When interstate buyers ask to review a contract before making an offer, they are often surprised as they find out that they have to conduct their own due diligence on the property. Compared to our southern neighbours, contracts in Queensland are a bit briefer as they only contain the standard REIQ terms and conditions because sellers have limited obligations to provide property disclosure information. It’s important that buyers receive legal advice on the contract and conduct all the necessary searches on the property as soon as possible. This is where the five day cooling off period comes in handy. 

4. Stamp Duty 

Stamp Duty is a steal in Queensland, being considerably cheaper than any other state. For example, Stamp Duty on an $800,000 home for an owner occupier is $22,000. While stamp duty on an $800,000 property is $31,000 in NSW and Tasmania, $38,000 in SA and an astounding $43,000 in Victoria. Stamp Duty or ‘Transfer Duty’ in Queensland is calculated on either the unencumbered value of the property or the amount you agree to pay (whichever is higher – this is the ‘dutiable value’) and must be paid before the contract is settled. 

5. Auction Terms

The standard terms of a Queensland Auction is a 10% deposit and a 30 day settlement, however, these terms can be negotiated prior to bidding at Auction. For example, if you wanted to pay a 5% deposit and have a 60 day settlement, it is best practice to have this approved by the vendors prior to the auction, however these terms can be agreed upon up until the fall of the hammer.

There you have it, five of the laws particular to Queensland that might help you navigate our state’s property rules more easily. 

We’re only a phone call away if you want some information or insights on how these work in practice.

I hope you enjoy the read.

Matt Lancashire