What Is A Section 32 Vendor Statement
The Section 32 Vendor Statement takes its name from legislation that governs the vendor statement, Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act of Victoria. The Section 32 is provided to a potential buyer by the seller for both private and real estate agency sales.
This legal document contains all information pertinent to the property that is being sold and is required by law. It must disclose all information that may affect the decision of a buyer, including items that affect the state of the property. Note- this is not the same as a Contract of Sale.
Section 32 Vendor Statements are required alongside the contract of sale for any property on the market, regardless if it is rural or city, in the state of Victoria.
While not required, it is recommended that the document is drawn up by either a qualified lawyer or a licensed conveyance prior to the signing of the Contract of Sale. The Section 32 Vendor Statement is a compulsory document which will protect both the seller and buyer during the transaction.
Here’s an easy to understand explanation of What Is Conveyancing?
Protect Yourself with a Section 32 Vendor Statement.
For the Buyer
A Section 32 protects prevents potential purchasers from being uninformed buyers. A defective or incomplete Section 32 Vendor Statement will allow the buyer to cancel the purchase if undisclosed issues are found. Reviewing the statement closely prior to purchase is strongly recommended. Full details of the property are provided, including but not limited to statutory warnings, zoning requirements, and mortgages and other liabilities.
Prior to signing the Contract of Sale, the buyer must be supplied with a complete statement. While a majority of information is required to be disclosed, the seller does not have to include pest inspection or building reports. Should the Section 32 be missing mandatory documentation, the buyer can make further inquiries to determine whether to complete the sale, or walk away.
Should the seller refuse to provide the required information missing from the Section 32, the buyer reserves the right to refuse completion of the transaction. Refusal to submit the statement should be discussed with a lawyer to seek potential solutions. It is recommended to refrain from purchasing a property without a proper Section 32 Vendor Statement.
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For the Seller
The Section 32 document is required by law. It is in the best interests of the seller to supply an accurate and complete Section 32. A lack of, or incomplete, Section 32 Vendor Statement allows buyers to walk away from the sale of the property.
By providing an accurately detailed Section 32 that meets the requirements of the law, a seller can retain the deposit after the “cooling off” period expires. Failing to provide the required documents can invalidate the sale and the potential buyer retains the deposit.
Providing the Section 32 Vendor Statement meets the legal requirements, the Section 32 binds the buyer to the purchase, allowing the vendor to retain the total deposit if the buyer decides to rescind the contract after the cooling off period.
To prevent delays during the sale process, sellers are advised to have their Section 32 Vendor Statements fully prepared prior to putting the property on the market.
What’s In The Section 32 Vendor Statement?
The vendor statement is a legal document containing a comprehensive list of items provided in a Section 32. The provided documents will disclose any, and all matters relating to the property of which the buyer should be aware. The information provided can affect whether the buyer decides to purchase the property.
This section includes the contact information of the current seller.
To show the seller legally owns and is permitted to sell the property in question, they must provide a title document. This will include all details of the property, charges, and restrictions.
Mortgages and Other Charges
Reflected in the title document in chronological order are any charges and mortgages against the property. All liabilities and debts must be disclosed.
Covenants, Easements, and Restrictions
Covenants, or building guidelines that require the owner’s compliance, must be listed in the Section 32. This also includes easements as thoroughfares for listed parties.
Owner-Builder Warranty Insurance
Ensuring the owner-builder insurance is provided is important as it allows liability as the owner to be passed prior to settlement to the buyer.
To use a piece of property in a certain manner, it requires a zoning certificate. Providing this for the buyer ensures they can use their property as residential property, or for commercial purposes, depending on how the property is zoned.
Owners Corporation Certificate
In instances where the property is a unit, such as an apartment, an Owners Corporation Certificate will allow the buyer to determine if the body corporate is in deficit or surplus, along with fees associated with maintaining the property. This will also detail any restrictions and legal matters that may affect the property in question.
Signing a Section 32 Vendor Statement
The vendor, or seller, provides the statement for the buyer. The seller is required to review the documents carefully and sign before serving it to the buyer. If the property is being sold by an agency, the buyer may be required to sign the statement as proof that the real estate agent provided the documentation.
Reviewing and correcting all documentation provided in the Section 32 will provide clarity and cover any issues that may not have been uncovered during the inspection.
Drafting a Section 32 Vendor Statement
Lawyers or conveyancers are recommended for drafting Section 32 Vendor Statements. This reduces the risk of the statement being found defective. The length of time required for drafting will depend on the property and number of reports relating to the condition or state. Any information the seller can provide will be helpful in speeding the process along.
Intentionally providing incorrect information on a Section 32 will result in legal repercussions in accordance with the Competition and Consumer Act or the Fair Trading Act.
The Seller Is Refusing To Provide A Section 32 Vendor Statement. What Happens Then?
If the seller doesn’t provide the Section 32 Vendor Statement, you have the legal right not to proceed with the transaction. As the Section 32 Vendor Statement is legally required by law, the seller is unable to market the property without this statement.
In the unlikely event the seller refuses to provide the Section 32 Vendor Statement, you are advised to speak to a lawyer about potential outcomes and or solutions. Never ever commit to purchasing the property without seeing the Section 32 Vendor Statement.
No matter how much you love the property, you must always exercise caution. The Section 32 is a crucial document, providing you with detailed information that is not apparent from a single inspection. And never believe the “good word” or promises of the seller.
The Section 32 Vendor Statement Is Incorrect. What Happens Then?
Any omissions or defects in the Section 32 Vendor Statement means you can rescind your offer, leaving the contract without any financial penalty. But, before you walk away, you should speak to a lawyer first. There may be exceptions to the situation. The seller can be asked to supply the missing information and it depends if the defect is enough to constitute ending of the contract.
If, in the unfortunate event the seller has provided incorrect information intentionally, this does constitute a criminal offence. This may open up civil claims for you as the buyer under the Competition and Consumer Act (previously known as the Trade Practices Act) or the Fair Trading Act.
In conclusion, Section 32 Vendor Statements are a legal requirement of proper documentation for any and all issues that may cause a buyer to change their mind in regards to a property sale. Both buyer and seller are protected by this document.
Do not sign a Contract of Sale if you have not been given a complete and accurate Section 32 as a buyer. As a seller, ensure all the documents in your statement are correct and fully disclosed. Self-preparation of Section 32 is not recommended. Seek appropriate legal counsel to clarify any concerns that may arise. Ask your licensed conveyancer for advice
Things to Think About When Choosing A Legal Conveyancer
We’ve all heard the horror stories of unprofessional representatives not doing their conveyancing jobs properly. Deciding on a Legal Conveyancer who will competently help you every step of the way of your sale or purchase is hard. As a first time property buyer or seller, you don’t know what to expect from the maze of legal red tape! This is what we often hear from clients: How do we know which is the best offer/s from either coneyancers or solicitors? How do we know our property transaction will be done correctly?
At South East Conveyancing, we understand your concerns! Our experienced team is dedicated to delivering you value and highly competitive conveyancing fees. We know you don’t want to spend more money than you have to unnecessarily. In saying value, we mean what’s the best way of balancing costs with protection and what you are prepared to pay.
Our quotes aim to strike this satisfactory balance.
Other Things You Should Take Into Consideration
As a legal conveyancing firm, SouthEastConveyancing.com.au are required to hold the requisite professional indemnity insurance. What this means for you: you are legally protected in every way and our work is covered, providing you with greater protection at every stage.
Depending on the transaction, the use of a trust account may, or may not be necessary. We hold a Statutory Trust Account for use by our clients. We are fully registered and audited. You can be confident your money is accounted for, giving you confidence and peace of mind our systems are robust and checked externally by third parties, to ensure requisite legal compliance.
Years Of Experience
We are pleased and proud to be able to say we offer the services of a team of highly experienced professionals with years of hands on experience. They have seen it all and there is nothing they have cannot handle competently. Our team are dedicated to the science of conveyancing and the most essential part for you, on time settlement of your property.
In an ever changing legal industry, we make it a point to keep up with the latest legislation and professional compliance.
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