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Buying and Selling Land: When do I get my deposit back?

In the world of conveyancing do buyers ever get their deposit back?

In the world of conveyancing, this is one of the most commonly asked questions. Whilst deposits are generally understood. There are nuances which are sometimes not well understood.

Deposits generally represent commitment from a buyer to a purchase of land. In the event that a buyer refuses to settle, the legal contract terms generally provide that the seller gets to keep the deposit. As a seller, you should negotiate a deposit amount which would make a buyer think twice if they changed their mind and decided not to settle (provided it is not more than 10% of the purchase price).

But sometimes buyers do get their deposit back. If your contract is subject to finance or subject to a satisfactory building and pest inspection, then buyers generally are entitled to the return of their deposit (if they terminate the contract validly under these conditions). Similarly, if a buyer terminates under a statutory right (even if the contract is unconditional), then buyers are generally entitled to get their deposit back.

Whilst 99% of conveyancing transactions go through without a hitch, you need safe hands and experience on your side when it does go wrong. Butler McDermott Lawyers Sunshine Coast has experienced property solicitors and commercial lawyers to assist with all your conveyancing legal needs. 

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