Contracts and disclosure statements – estate agents

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If a seller does not provide a contract in preparation for a sale, then an estate agent or agent's representative usually completes a contract on their behalf. You may fill in, but not draft a:

  • contract prepared by a legal practitioner or a licensed conveyancer
  • contract approved by the Victorian Legal Services Commission or other professional association. 

To help agents and legal practitioners, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) publish contracts of sale for use by their members. Visit the:

The Estate Agents (Contracts) Regulations 2008 have expired.

There is no longer a prescribed form of contract for the sale of real estate or businesses.

You should check a completed contract to make sure the details are correct before giving it to a buyer.

Once signed by a buyer, a contract is a written offer to buy a property. Once signed by the seller, it is binding and enforceable.

The Estate Agents Act 1980 requires an agent to give a copy of a signed contract to both the seller and the buyer and get a written acknowledgement of receipt.

Disclosure requirements

A seller must make certain disclosures to prospective buyers before the sale of real estate or small businesses.

The disclosure requirements are in:

  • sections 32 and 33 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 for the sale of real estate
  • section 52 of the Estate Agents Act 1980 for the sale of small businesses.

An agent is not responsible for preparing a section 32 or a section 52 statement, but where appropriate should ensure one is provided.

The seller's disclosure obligations cannot be removed through a contract term.

Disclosure of conflict of interest

If you or your associate buy a property that you have been commissioned to sell, you must obtain the seller’s written acknowledgement using the Disclosure of conflict of interest to vendor (Word, 677KB).

For more information, see Restrictions on buying a listed property.

Disclosures for the sale of real estate

There are two disclosures for the sale of real estate; the due diligence checklist and the section 32 statement.

Due diligence checklist

The seller or their estate agent must make the due diligence checklist available to prospective buyers at open for inspections and through their websites. 

The checklist aims to help buyers identify whether there are any issues with a property that may impose restrictions or obligations on them if they buy it. 

For more information, see Due diligence checklist for home and residential property buyers.

Section 32 - vendor's statement

The seller and their legal practitioner or conveyancer usually complete this statement, which must be provided to a prospective buyer before they sign the contract of sale. It has two parts:

  • a principal statement that details mortgages, improvements, easements, planning controls, rates and taxes 
  • an additional statement prepared if a property is sold under a terms contract, or where there is a mortgage over the property that will not be discharged at settlement. For a definition of a terms contract, see Definitions - Buying and selling property.

A section 32 statement is not required if a seller and buyer previously entered into a contract for the sale of the same property on substantially the same terms, and a statement was provided for that sale.

The section 32 statement is usually attached to the contract, although it may be provided separately before a contract is available.

A contract is not binding on a buyer if a section 32 is not provided or is incomplete or inaccurate.

Section 52 - statement by a vendor of a small business

This statement is required for the sale of a small business at a price up to $450,000. It is usually completed by the seller and their accountant using the form prescribed under the Estate Agents (General, Accounts and Audit) Regulations 2018.

The statement provides a due diligence guide for a buyer and sets out the financial performance of the business over the last two years. From 20 May 2018, the statement must also provide the financial performance for the current financial year up to the most recent quarter. If the statement is not provided to the purchaser, the contract can be voided.

Only use the current version of the form, which was updated in August 2018. Download a Statement by a vendor of small business (Word, 114KB).

Cooling-off requirements

A buyer who signs a contract for the sale of residential property has a right under the Sale of Land Act 1962 to change their mind - that is, to 'cool off'. The cooling-off period is three clear business days from the day after they sign a contract.

If a buyer decides to cool off, they must give you or the seller a written notice and pay a penalty of $100 or 0.2 per cent of the sale price, whichever is greater.

A buyer cannot cool off:

  • on commercial or industrial properties
  • on rural properties larger than 20 hectares
  • on a property sold at public auction, or within three clear business days before or after that auction
  • if they are an estate agent or an agent's representative
  • if they are a company
  • if they have previously entered into a contract of sale with the seller for the same property with substantially the same terms.

A buyer's right to cool off cannot be removed through a term in a contract of sale.

There is no mandatory cooling-off period for the sale of a business, but the prescribed contract includes a condition about cooling off. The seller and buyer may agree to, amend or remove this condition.

Residential tenancy agreement

For information on your residential tenancy agreement obligations, see Property management.