How does cooling-off actually work?
Depending on the state you live in, after you sign a contract of sale you may have a short window of time in which you can change your mind and terminate the contract. In Victoria, it’s three business days.
You can cool off even if you pay the deposit, and if you follow the correct procedure, you’ll be able to get a refund minus $100 or 0.2% of the purchase price (whichever is more – usually the latter).
There’s more to be aware of than the three-day period, though. You must give the vendor (or their agent) written notice that you’re ending the contract within the required time.
You can’t cool off if:
- you bought the property at or within 3 clear business days before or after a publicly advertised auction; or
- the property is used primarily for industrial or commercial purposes; or
- the property is more than 20 hectares in size and is used primarily for farming; or
- you and the vendor have previously signed a contract for the sale of the same land in substantially the same terms; or
- you are an estate agent or a corporate body;
- you live in a state where there is no provision for a cooling-off period, such as Western Australia.
If you’ve signed a contract and think you need to cool off, don’t delay! Get in touch through our Advice Centre and we’ll make sure you do it right.