By law, any agreement for the sale and purchase of land must be in writing. This is whether the property is bought at auction or by private treaty. More information about the methods of sale and the process is set out in the following sections.
The most often used contract is a standard form contract approved by the Real Estate Institute of South Australia, although some practitioners use a standard form contract prepared by the Law Society of South Australia.
This contract should still be checked by someone with special knowledge of real estate contracts - especially if any term has been deleted from, or added to, the contract to suit the individual circumstances. If the contract is not a standard form and is one drafted to include special provisions, you should seek independent legal advice about the terms.
The agent must give a copy of the signed contract to the buyer [see Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994 s 21]. However it is not a binding contract until it is accepted by the vendor and a Form 1 notice has been given to the purchaser. The Form 1 contains some very important information about the property and your cooling off rights, see After Signing the Contract - Cooling-Off Period.
The terms and conditions of the Real Estate Institute's standard form contract are discussed and explained in order in the following pages. The first page of the standard form contract is the contract note, which sets out details (usually filled in by the land agent), such as: