Conveyancing during COVID-19
The current pandemic has brought great uncertainty and in particular has caused great concern for those in the property market. While some suburbs have experienced a surge in sales, there are some buyers and sellers who's circumstances have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and their conveyance is now up in the air.
Unfortunately, for contracts that were signed prior to COVID-19, it is unlikely that there is any specific clause to delay or terminate the contract arising from the impact of the pandemic, without penalty. If you are in a situation where you have been affected financially or otherwise and cannot continue with the obligations under the contract, you should immediately discuss this with your solicitor. They can review your contract and your particular circumstances and explore the options with you such as negotiating a termination or extending settlement.
For contracts being signed after COVID-19, you should ensure your solicitor includes a special condition to address the current climate. The condition will need to be agreeable both the buyer and the seller. In most cases, this will not allow for an absolute right to terminate the contract, however should give allowances for events that may arise during this time. For example, if the state government imposes shutdowns that affects your ability to complete your obligations under the contract, the parties should agree to an automatic extension of time until state re-opens and contract obligations can be reasonably meet.
As we adjust to the new normal, the property sale process can now be all online. At E Property law we offer a full electronic service with online verification of identification, online signing, and the online conveyancing portal through PEXA. The whole process can be completed from the comfort of your home, while keeping yourself and your family safe.