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Buying real estate can be an emotionally charged process. If you are buying your first property or feel under pressure, it can be an even more emotional experience and you can make serious mistakes. That is why most Australian states and territories allow a cooling-off period after a sale is completed.


What is a cooling-off period?

A cooling-off period is a short period after committing to a home purchase where the purchaser can change their mind. During this time, the purchaser may withdraw their offer for any reason, though it is generally used to perform any final inspections and to seek approvals for the purchase to go through.


The cooling-off period expires at the end of the second clear business day after:

  • The contract was made if the purchaser received the Form 1 prior to making the contract, or
  • The Form 1 has been served on the purchaser if the purchaser received the Form 1 after making the contract. By law, a Form 1 must be served on a purchaser.


Once the cooling off period has expired and provided there are no other conditions in the contract, the purchaser is bound to the contract and must pay a deposit. A settlement date will have been negotiated and the purchaser is obliged to follow through with the purchase.


The right to ‘cool off’ does not exist if:

  • you have waived your right by getting independent legal advice and have a certificate from the legal practitioner to that effect
  • you bid at auction and were successful or purchased the property later that day
  • a company is the purchaser
  • in certain circumstances where the sale involves a tender or option to purchase
  • the purchaser is buying a business plus the property


If you are looking to waive your cooling-off rights, buy or sell your property and would like to find out more about your rights and options, Straits Lawyers are here to help. Simply send us an email at or give us a call on 8410 9069 to arrange an appointment for an online interview.

Alternatively, if you would like to conveyance a property, Straits Lawyers are now offering online services at

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.