Understanding the QLD contract exchange process

Brisbane, Home buying & selling, Investing
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Queensland real estate is on the radar of home owners, first home buyers and investors alike, due to its relative affordability compared to Sydney and Melbourne.

In fact, interstate migration is on the rise in Queensland, as more southerners consider making the move to the Sunshine State in search of more property bang for their buck.

Historically, this migration happens every time the price differential between the three major capital cities makes Brisbane an attractive property price proposition.

But buying Queensland real estate in a legal sense is different than in Victoria, as well as other States and Territories – and that’s primarily because there is no Section 32 in Queensland.

Does Queensland have anything like a Section 32 for contract exchanges?

Instead of a section 32 document, Queensland real estate is bought and sold via a Contract of Sale for House and Residential Land, which has been developed by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) and is endorsed by the Queensland Law Society.

The REIQ Contract for House and Residential Land, now in its 14th edition, is a succinct document that is used by both the seller and the buyer for a property sales transaction.

Let’s find out more about Queensland real estate and how you buy and sell it, shall we?

What will I find in the REIQ contract template?

Reiq Contract For House

When buying Queensland real estate, contrary to Victoria and New South Wales, there is no contract exchange as such. Rather, both the seller and buyer sign the contract once negotiations are complete.

The REIQ sales contract – which is different for houses and community title schemes – is initially prepared by the seller’s representative, such as their real estate agent or their conveyancer, with the prospective buyer’s details added in once negotiations have begun.

The buyer will then take a copy of the signed sales contract to their legal representative to review during the five-day cooling off and/or finance period.

When buying Queensland real estate, time is of the essence, which means that a number of conditions must be met during the property settlement period – including finance, and building and pest inspection reports.

Within the REIQ contract template you will find:

  • The first page includes the seller and agent details, which must be 100 per cent correct to prevent potential problems during the settlement period. For example, if the property is jointly owned then both seller’s names must be included.
  • On the second page is where the property’s details, as per its official property title, are listed as well as any excluded fixtures. It is also where the buyer’s details are listed including their legal representative.
  • The third page is where the price offered by the buyer is included, which can be changed during further negotiations when signed off by both parties, as well as any encumbrances or tenancies. It is also where the finance or building and pest inspection periods should be listed, such as 14 days for finance to become unconditional. In Queensland, once the “finance period” is passed and the sale becomes unconditional it is usually difficult to walk away legally from the transaction.
  • On the fourth page, you will find disclosures regarding pool and electrical safety as well as smoke alarms and any neighbourhood disputes involving dividing fences or trees.
  • On the fifth page is where any special conditions should be written, such as early access prior to property settlement to begin renovations or to prepare for tenants. In Queensland, these special conditions cannot be prepared by an agent. They must either be written by a legal representative or by the buyer or seller. However, it is advisable that a legal practitioner prepares any special conditions for the avoidance of doubt.

Transfer of sale, state by state

real estate laws are differentWhen buying or selling Queensland real estate, the legal transfer of the property from one party to another is called conveyancing and is undertaken by a legal practitioner.

When buying a property in Queensland – and once negotiations have been completed and the contract has been signed by both the seller and buyer – copies of the contract are given to each party’s legal representatives.

If you’re the buyer, your conveyancer will complete a number of searches on your behalf to double-check that all material facts have been disclosed about the property.

Each State and Territory across Australia has its own real estate and conveyance laws so it’s important that you have an understanding of what these are if you’re considering buying interstate.

I’m buying a house interstate. What else do I need to know?

Borderless investing is becoming more common, as investors consider other locations to ensure they are buying the very best properties to suit their investment strategies.

Buying interstate, however, is not without its complexities, such as different real estate laws. The legal mechanisms of buying and selling real estate are more complex than they might appear.

Another difference if considering buying Queensland real estate is that auctions are not as popular as they are in Melbourne and Sydney, plus price guides are generally not advertised when a property is being sold at auction.

Buying property interstate might seem like a headache, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the right advice.

The world of banking and finance can be a pretty daunting one for both novice and sophisticated investors and since our establishment in 2002 we’ve focused on providing outstanding service and business standards.

This approach was vindicated when we were named Victoria’s favourite mortgage broker at the Investors Choice Awards.

So, if you want the best advice on buying Queensland real estate, why not contact Intuitive Finance today to ensure you have the right information and expert support on your side from the very beginning?

If you’d like an expert to provide you with a better understanding of buying Queensland real estate or if you have any other questions, please just contact us directly and we’ll be in touch.

Discuss your specific needs & formulate the right strategy for you. Get in touch to organise your complimentary 60min session today!

The information provided in this article is general in nature and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information you should consider the appropriateness of the information with regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Andrew Mirams

5 Comments. Leave new

  • Richard Davis
    August 28, 2018 12:03 am

    This is very helpful and informative. Thanks for sharing!

  • Should vendors supply full personal details within a contract of sale eg: addresses as in my opinion just their name, P.O box and email lacks transparency.

  • Hi I am looking at buying my first property and the agent who is selling the property who is also the agent to the current tenants informed us just before i entered the property that there was hail damage and leaks and damages to inside the roof has occurred (been like this for over 6 months) she has refused to put my offer in writing which I thing is not legal, her words were something like “I’m not going to put that offer in because I know he won’t agree and it’s just unwanted work for me” you wouldn’t know what my next step would be would you? Cheers Steve 0421646875

    • Andrew Mirams
      March 3, 2021 4:04 pm

      Hi Steve,
      An agent is actually bound to take all offers to the vendors to consider. I would push back on this or consult a conveyancer/lawyer to discuss your options.


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