Significant differences exist between different titles (e.g. strata titles and off-the-plan titles). DIY conveyancing is risky. Mortgages are offered in many forms. The First Home Owners Grant has strict eligibility terms. Compare real estate agents’ costs when selling. Buyers should be prepared for auction tactics and signing the sale contract. Cooling-off applies but deposits can be forfeited if the contract is broken. Buyers must pay stamp duty and pay for caveats and Land Registry searches.

Contributor

Laura Vickers

Principal Solicitor, Nest Legal

Vendor and buyer disputes

Last updated

1 July 2020

The contract of sale is a short document, but it incorporates statutory conditions that apply when there is a dispute between the vendor and the buyer. Disputes about property contracts are settled in the Supreme Court according to the contract’s conditions and terms.

There are alternatives to litigation in the courts. These include taking a dispute to the Law Institute of Victoria’s (LIV) Property Law Disputes Resolution Committee, or resolving the dispute through mediation. For more information about options for alternative dispute resolution, contact LIV (see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter).

Property Law Dispute Resolution Committee

LIV’s Property Law Dispute Resolution Committee determines disputes between solicitors (typically, a solicitor for a vendor and a solicitor for a buyer) about conveyancing. This service costs approximately between $100–$200 per party. It is a very efficient way to resolve conveyancing disputes and does not require appearances by the parties or representatives.

Mediation

Many contracts contain a clause that enables the parties to any dispute to take the dispute to a mediator. Even if the contract says nothing, parties can still take their dispute to a mediator. LIV provides a free referral service and can connect you to a qualified mediator. Not unlike in litigation, the parties in a mediation decide whether the outcome is suitable. Mediation is often the cheapest and fastest way to resolve a dispute.

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