So you have found the perfect home, been successful at an auction or used those famous negotiation skills to get to a good deal. You’ve paid the deposit and have the moving truck packed and leaving your curbside bound for your new castle.
But…there’s an issue. The vendor has not moved out. It’s not likely you are going to want to co-exist so what can you do?
It’s an unfortunate position to be in and one that rarely ends happily for a purchaser. The first thing to arrange is alternative accommodation. If you are able to remain in your current premises that would be great, but its not unusual to sell at the same time as you buy so ultimately you may have to move out whilst waiting.
Your lawyer will then advise you on what is known as a Notice to Complete. For further information on notices to complete, refer to the attached link – The notorious notice to complete. But this will more than likely lead to a further delay by providing the vendor an additional two weeks (usually) before they can be forced to complete. So what can you do and can you claim any costs as a result of the delay?
The standard form sale of land contract in NSW addresses this issue only relatively briefly. Ultimately you may be able to make a claim against the vendor as a result of the delay however, in our experience, making such a claim will not usually result in a positive outcome (due to the additional legal fees etc that will be incurred).
ClickLaw’s recommendation is generally to be prepared for such an outcome. Have a contingency plan in place for the possibility that the vendor will not move out on time. Your lawyer will usually be able to determine how your transaction is progressing and whether they think that there may be a delay. Unfortunately, without vacant possession (as applicable to the contract), you should not complete the transaction and hand over your hard earned money.
If you have any queries in respect of the above or would like to discuss any conveyancing or general legal queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at ClickLaw as one of our lawyers would be delighted to assist.