How to Cancel a Contract during the Cooling-Off Period

Cooling-off period

  1. The standard contract for buying a home comes with a cooling-off period of 5 business days. This means if you’re not totally happy, you can cancel the contract during this time.
  2. However, auctions have no cooling-off period, and neither does a private treaty contract:
    • entered into within 2 business days of an unsuccessful auction of that property
    • in which the buyer was a registered bidder at the auction.
    When it starts

When it starts

  1. The cooling-off period starts the day the Buyer gets a copy of the signed contract (signed by both parties).
    • If you get it on a weekend or a public holiday, the cooling-off period starts on the next business day.
    • The cooling-off period still begins if a representative takes the signed contract on your behalf.
    • If there’s a dispute over when you got the contract, the seller will need to prove they got it to you.

When it ends

  1. The cooling-off period ends at 5pm on the final (5th) day of the cooling-off period.

How to cancel the sale

  1. To cancel during the cooling-off period, you must:
    • give written notice to the seller (or seller’s agent) by letter, email or fax
    • sign it (an electronic signature on an email is acceptable)
    • deliver it before 5pm on the final day.
  2. The seller must refund the deposit within 14 days. They may deduct a penalty of up to 0.25% of the purchase price.

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