The NEW NSW contract – Five changes you need to know
To be made available in the coming weeks the new NSW 2014 Contract for Sale and Purchase of Land 2014 edition has several changes that both buyers and vendors should be aware of. The main alterations include the following:
1. The introduction of E-Conveyancing in Clause 30 means that National Electronic Conveyancing (NEC) is to be the new environment for completing real property transactions and lodging land title dealings throughout Australia. The aim is to assist in more efficient completion of conveyancing and mortgage transactions. It is not strictly speaking an electronic conveyancing environment- contract formation, vendor disclosure, and even (in NSW) requisitions will be paper-based. NEC, however, will allow for electronic settlement, funds movement, revenue collection and lodgement/registration.
2. Extra vendor disclosure documents will be required including those relating to the Swimming Pools Amendment Act (2012) and the Home Building Amendment Act (2014) as well as amendments to additional disclosure obligations on lot owners of strata and community schemes.
3. Recognition and insertion of buyer’s agent names with space being provided on page 1 of the 2014 edition, if a purchaser is being represented by their own buyer’s agent. The definition of “depositholder” in clause 1 has also been extended so a buyer’s agent (who maintains a trust account) is able to be depositholder for those matters where there is neither a vendor’s agent nor a vendor’s solicitor.
4. Additions to Inclusions on page 1 now to include solar panels
5. The increasingly common practice of payment by deposit bonds or guarantees is reflected in a new Clause 3 which now requires vendors to explicitly choose whether to accept a deposit bond from a purchaser, with the default choice in the printed form being a “no”.
The 2014 edition will also only be sold in an electronic format with watermarking of the individual address across the contract, to minimize possible multiple duplication and copyright issues. It is expected that, as with previous NSW editions, that the cross-over period for solicitors and conveyancers will take time, however a new edition was long overdue given the last one was 2005.
As buyer’s agents, I believe the new insertion is a step closer to widespread recognition of the increasing role our industry is now playing in real estate property purchases. Buyer’s agents are fast becoming a secret weapon in the property market as more home buyers realize the benefits of having a professional and fully independent advocate on their side.