What is a Section 32 Vendor Statement & Why it’s important when buying a property in Victoria

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Well by reading the topic you must be thinking about what this new problem is? So, let me tell you that it isn’t a problem. 

 

While buying and selling real estate you don’t want any difficulty or legal hurdles to come in the way. You want the transaction to go as smoothly as possible. But life isn’t as easy as you might think. The same goes for the law.

 

There are a few legal hurdles that need to be overcome in order to get your property sold or buy a new property very quickly and easily. Different rules and regulations govern the buying and selling of property across Australia, and these might vary from state to state.

 

That’s why, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, it’s critical to always seek the advice of a skilled legal professional like a mortgage broker or loan officer. 

 

We’ll go over the ins and outs of what’s known as Section 32 in Victoria, also known as a Vendor’s Statement, in this post. It’s crucial to note that the regulations governing such a statement vary state by state. So if you’re buying across states, you’ll need to be familiar with the relevant legislation or get professional assistance.

 

To keep the article simple, we’ll keep it exclusive to Victoria.

 

What is a Section 32?

 

Section 32 is a legal document presented to a prospective buyer by the seller of a property. The name comes from Section 32 of Victoria’s Sale of Land Act (1962). A copy of the section 32 statement must be delivered to the buyer before the property can be sold in Victoria.

 

This law says a seller must reveal particular information about the property to a buyer before they sign the contract of sale. If they don’t, the buyer may be able to cancel the agreement. These facts may have an impact on the value of the land being sold in a real estate transaction.

This paper contains all the relevant facts that a buyer needs to know about a property before making a purchase decision. These facts may not be easily seen during a physical inspection of a property. It contains pertinent documentation, such as ownership and title facts, as well as a variety of other details.

 

This paper enables the buyer to conduct due research and make an informed decision before committing to the acquisition of property. Before signing a contract, a buyer must consider all of the facts written in section 32. 

 

What’s in section 32?

 

Section 32 (32A) to (32I) of the Sale of Land Act specify the information that must be included in or attached to the Section 32 statement. The information that must be conveyed in Section 32 and offered to prospective purchasers under those subsections may include the following:

 

  • A copy of the Register Search Statement, which confirms the title data, the registered proprietor(s), any encumbrances, caveats, notices, and the street address of the property being sold.

  • A copy of the Plan of Subdivision, which shows the lot’s boundaries and describes any easements, covenants, or restrictions that apply to the land. A covenant describes what the owner of the property may or may not do on the land. For example, a single dwelling only can be built there.

  • Confirmation of the utilities connected to the land (water, sewerage, gas, electricity, and telephone).

  • Disclosure of any notices or orders issued by the authorities regarding fencing, road-widening, sewerage, etc.

  • A planning statement that includes the name of the responsible government authority, the planning zone and any overlays that affect the land, and the name of the planning scheme.

  • Certificates from the relevant authorities, such as the local Council, the local Water Authority, VicRoads, the State Revenue Office, and the Owner’s Corporation. Any outgoings, levies, notifications, permits, insurance, or proposed plans that may influence the land may be listed on these certificates.

  • Any building permits issued under the Building Act 1993 (VIC) in the previous 7 years. An occupancy permit, final inspection, flaws report, and insurance.

  • A Due Diligence checklist.

  • Particulars of any mortgages or “charges” over the land (i.e. debts charged against the land).

 

What is a vendor statement?

 

A vendor statement is a general word that refers to all of the information written in Section 32. Or you might call Vendor Statement as another name for Section 32.

 

Who prepares the Section 32 Vendor Statement?

 

Buying and selling real estate frequently includes the largest financial transaction of any person’s life. This is why the process is surrounded by so much legislation. Most people only purchase and sell real estate a few times in their lives, so they’re unlikely to be entirely up to date on all of the rules that can change on a regular basis.

 

Section 32 is prepared by the landowner who wants to sell her/his land or the vendor’s legal practitioner, usually called conveyancer or solicitor. The vendors’ conveyancer collaborates with them to assemble all of the necessary information for the statement, which was stated above.

 

It’s important for vendors to recognise that failing to disclose all of the needed information in a Section 32 statement can result in serious consequences. 

 

On the other hand, the buyer should have his or her own conveyancer or solicitor to review the document. We don’t advise reviewing Section 32 statement without seeking legal advice.

 

While compiling the Section 32, the Scouty team follows a thorough procedure to ensure that all of the necessary information and paperwork is obtained from the vendor. Our attention to precision reduces the risk for vendors. And guarantees that prospective buyers receive a legally valid Section 32 as part of the contract of sale for the land being sold.

 

Can the vendor prepare section 32 without a legal professional?

 

Theoretically Yes. However, seeing to the importance of the document and the risks of providing a defective statement, it is not advisable. The ideal person to prepare Section 32 (Vendor Statement) for the vendor is a conveyancer or solicitor to guarantee that all of the necessary paperwork has been provided.

 

As a result, it is recommended that the statement be prepared by a legal practitioner from the start. These professionals are continuously preparing vendor statements and have the necessary processes and procedures in place to guarantee that nothing is overlooked. Paying for a professional upfront could save you lot of money in the long run.

 

Importance of Section 32 in Victoria

 

Before a property can be sold in Victoria, section 32 is must be created and given to prospective buyers. The document provides the buyer with vital information that may affect the value of the land and property for sale.

 

The term Section 32 refers to Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 (VIC), which says that a vendor must issue a statement to the purchaser.

 

When should section 32 be supplied?

 

Before signing a contract of sale or making an offer to purchase, Section 32 must be presented to the buyer. 

 

If someone has requested a copy of section 32, it may mean that they are interested in the property and are likely to make an offer if the inspection and review of the Vendor Statement goes well.

 

What happens if section 32 is not supplied prior to contract signing?

 

The purchaser has the right to cancel the contract if the Vendor Statement or Section 32 is not provided, or is not in compliance with the Sale of Land Act. The buyer has the option to sue the vendor for compensation.

 

The deal does not have to proceed if the vendor or their agent refuses to provide a section 32. A vendor cannot market their property without Section 32 because it is a document that is required by law.

 

Regardless of how amazing the property is, a buyer must exercise precaution and protect oneself at all times. Reviewing section 32 is an important aspect of performing due diligence on a property, and a purchase without it could be risky.

 

As a prospective purchaser, what do I look for in Section 32?

 

As part of the due diligence process, a conveyancer or solicitor will break down the points written in the Vendor Statement that the buyer should be aware of. Below are some points that every buyer of land must check in Section 32.

 

A copy of the title

The title establishes the vendor’s legal authority to sell the property. It should also contain any easements, covenants, subdivisions, or limitations that may exist on the land, either minor or major.

 

Outgoings

The property’s financial outgoings, like rates, body corporate or owners’ corporation fees. Buyers must be aware of the ongoing fees they will be responsible for as the property’s new owner.

 

Zoning

Zoning is crucial because it informs the buyer about what they can and cannot build on the land. Buyers of residential properties must also confirm that the property is classified suitably for residential purposes, also whether it’s neighbourhood or general.

 

So that they may be satisfied with the improvements. Their future intention for the development must also comply with the local town plan. 

 

Council Valuation

The council valuation differs from a normal valuation. Council Valuation uses a different calculation and differs greatly from the genuine market value. So, focusing too much on the council valuation number and attempting to bargain based on it is usually a waste of time. 

 

Although this isn’t always included in Section 32, still buyers should keep in mind that a council assessment may not always reflect the property’s market value. 

 

Building licences issued in the last 7 years

Building permissions will be required for properties that have recently completed work as a new bathroom or kitchen renovation. When this information went missing from Section 32, it rise a question of who executed the repairs and why no building permits were acquired. 

 

If the vendor is the owner-builder who executed the work, an inspection report, insurance and certain warranties should be included.

.

What is not included in a Section 32 document?

 

Section 32 of Victoria’s Sale of Land Act is designed in a way to assist potential buyers by requiring vendors (sellers) to give all relevant information. However, no piece of law is perfect. It’s crucial to remember that Section 32 doesn’t always include all of the potential facts about a potential property sale.

 

For example, the condition of the structure of the building and whether it complies with construction requirements, as well as the accuracy of the title, etc. These are some points not covered by a Section 32 Vendor Statement. 

 

First-time purchasers need to understand that Section 32 provides an opportunity to see any information that could influence their purchasing decision. However, it is also crucial to know that relying solely on Section 32 and not doing extra checks may result in some details being overlooked, thereby affecting your purchasing decision. 

 

Hence, any prospective buyer should double-check this information, ideally with the help of a competent professional such as a building inspector.

 

What if there is something missing?

 

Everyone is a human being. And mistakenly if any mistake happens, it must be tried to rectify. 

 

If the vendor’s legal representative fails to provide an important document in section 32, the purchaser’s conveyancer might ask for a copy of whatever was missed. If the information is not available, the buyer may decide not to proceed with the sale.

 

Is there a cost associated with getting a section 32?

 

Yes. The vendor is responsible for paying the fees to their conveyancer for her/his services. The fee or charge varies depending on the specialist. For the preparation of section 32, some legal practitioners charge a flat fee, while others charge an hourly rate. Having a legal practitioner prepare Section 32 is well worth the money. 

 

Well, obtaining a copy of the Vendor Statement is free of charge to the buyer. However, they will be responsible for paying their own legal conveyancer to review it.

This varies from company to company, so it’s important to discuss what prices will be charged for what services in the beginning.

 

If the buyer wants to add any clause to the contract (such as a financial clause), the buyer must contact the vendor’s agent and submit a written request. It is then up to the vendor and their legal representative to decide whether or not to make these adjustments.

 

Do all properties require a section 32 statement to be provided?

 

Yes. Any property located anywhere in the state of Victoria, including metropolitan, regional, and rural areas, must have a Section 32 statement ready while selling. Regardless of the type of purchasing land like a house, an apartment, or a townhouse, and whether it is residential or not. All buyers must receive a copy of Section 32. This does replace the contract of sale.

 

Even if the property is sold privately or off-market and does not go on the market, Section 32 must be produced in all cases.

 

What happens after section 32 has been reviewed?

 

After the assessment of Section 32 by the buyer’s legal representative, the buyer can determine whether to request any contract revisions or whether to make an offer at all. They may ask for a particular clause to be added, such as financial approval or building and pest inspections. 

 

The legal practitioner may also give suggestions regarding the goods, buildings, and land that the buyer may like to have removed or included in the contract.

 

Where does Scouty come in as the smart choice?

 

The world of property ownership and investing might be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Especially, when it comes to understanding the Section 32 Vendor Statement Victoria, it makes sense to have the right professionals on your side. 

 

Anyone buying or selling a home today needs to know everything about the Section 32 statement. So, no matter where you are on your property ownership journey, why not contact Scouty Finance today to ensure you have the correct information and expert help on your side.

 

Discuss your unique requirements and develop the best plan for you. Get in contact with us today to schedule your complimentary 60-minute consultation!

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