With auctions being a very successful sale method for property in the ACT at the moment, many buyers are looking to make a pre auction offer.

In order to make a successful pre auction offer, a sales agent will insist on the buyer providing a section 17 certificate. But what exactly is a section 17 certificate?

In the ACT there is a 5 day cooling off period imposed under the Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Act 2003 (ACT) Act when contracts exchange. Essentially this means a buyer can rescind within this 5 day cooling off period if they wish.

The cooling off period, however, does not apply in the following circumstances:

  1. If the Property is sold at auction;
  2. If the property is sold by a tender process;
  3. If the buyer is a corporation; or
  4. If a solicitor provides a section 17 certificate on behalf of the buyer waiving their rights under the cooling off period.

A sales agent is unlikely to call off an auction unless contracts exchange unconditionally. The sales agent will require the buyer to seek legal advice and provide a section 17 certificate at the time of exchange.

If you are interested in making a pre auction offer we can assist with reviewing the contract and providing you with a section 17 certificate. Please feel free to contact our Property team to discuss further.