Cooling off rights explained!

Dec 18, 2022

If buyer’s remorse sets in, a purchaser has ‘3 clear business days’ from the date the purchaser signs the contract of sale to cool-off.

BUT – don’t assume that cooling off rights are always available.

Cooling off rights do not apply if:

  • the purchaser purchased the property at a public auction or within three clear business days before or after a public auction; or
  • the property is used mainly for industrial or commercial purposes; or
  • the property is more than 20 hectares and used mainly for farming; or
  • the purchaser has previously signed a contract for the same property with similar terms; or
  • the purchaser is an estate agent or corporate body.

If a purchaser decides to ‘cool off’, the purchaser or its legal representative must give either the vendor or the vendor’s agent written notice that the purchaser is cooling off prior to midnight on the day that the cooling off rights expire.

If a purchaser does cool off – it will not get all of its deposit refunded .  Yes – there is always the small print!  A purchaser will be entitled to a full refund of the deposit LESS an amount equal to 0.2% of the purchase price or $100 (whichever is the higher amount).

Vendors should be cautious about making any decisions because an unconditional contract has been signed by a purchaser.  A vendor should always ensure that the purchaser’s cooling off rights have expired before committing to decisions which rely on the purchaser settling the contract.