How To Get Out Of An Off The Plan Contract?


Investing in off the plan properties can be a great pathway that offers potential capital gains and the allure of a new home or investment. However, circumstances may arise where you find yourself needing to exit the contract. Whether it's due to changing personal circumstances, financial constraints or other unforeseen events, understanding the process of getting out of an off the plan contract is definitely advantageous. In this article, we will explore some key steps you can take to navigate this situation with minimal complications.

Review The Contract Terms 

The first step in leaving an off the plan contract is to thoroughly review the terms and conditions stated in the agreement. Make sure to play close attention to the ‘termination’ or 'rescission’ clause because this will outline the specific circumstances under which you can exit the contract.

It will also mention if there are any associated penalties or costs to keep in mind. As a safe starting point, assume you will be forfeiting your 10% deposit. Buyers exiting an unconditional contract may also be subject to claims by developers for additional selling costs or exposure to losses if the property can’t be sold for at least the same value.


Seek Legal Advice

Consulting with a qualified legal professional who is experienced in property law is essential to fully understand your rights and obligations. They can review your contract, help you identify any potential breaches by the developer and provide advice on the best course of action based on your specific circumstances. You’ll also be able to put forward any questions you may have about the process.

If you have purchased an off the plan property with iBuyNew, you should speak to your consultant immediately if you are thinking about your options and are not wishing to settle.


Understand Your Consumer Protection Rights

In many jurisdictions, consumer protection laws provide certain safeguards for buyers of off the plan properties. It is worthwhile to familiarise yourself with the applicable legislation in your region and to understand your rights in case of contract disputes or breaches. If you believe the developer has engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, you may be able to seek remedies through relevant consumer protection authorities or take legal action.


Communicate With The Developer

It’s no surprise that open and honest communication with the developer is absolutely crucial. Once you’ve reached the decision, inform them about your situation and your intention to exit the contract. You can also discuss the possibility of reaching a mutually agreeable solution. This could involve transferring the contract to another buyer or negotiating a settlement that minimises any financial losses for both parties.


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Explore Resale Options

One potential avenue for getting out of an off the plan contract is to explore resale options. However, you’ll have to firstly finalise a settlement with the developer before you can sell the property. Depending on the market conditions and the demand for properties in the area, you may be able to find an interested buyer who is willing to assume the contract. Get in contact with a real estate agent to help you market the property effectively and ensure compliance with any regulations related to pre-sale contracts.

Consider Assignment Or Novation

Assignment or novation involves transferring your contractual rights and obligations to another party. With the developer's consent, you may be able to find a third party who is willing to assume the contract. However, it is important to understand that the developer is not obligated to agree to this arrangement and they may impose conditions or fees for such a transfer.

Negotiate With The Developer

If the other options aren’t feasible, you should consider engaging in open negotiations with the developer. You can discuss the reasons behind your decision to exit the contract and explore the possibility of reaching a settlement. Developers may be willing to negotiate a partial refund or an alternative resolution to avoid potential legal disputes and to protect their reputation.

Seek Mediation Or Dispute Resolution

You may want to look into utilising mediation or dispute resolution services in case negotiations with the developer aren’t delivering satisfactory results.  These methods provide a neutral third party who can help facilitate a resolution between you and the developer. Mediation can be a less adversarial and more cost-effective alternative to pursuing legal action, allowing both parties to reach a mutually agreeable outcome.


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Although exiting an off the plan contract can be a complex process, proper research, legal advice and open communication with the developer can make it  possible to navigate this situation effectively.

Remember to review your contract thoroughly, explore resale options and consider negotiation or assignment as potential solutions. Through understanding your rights and obligations as well as seeking professional advice, you will be able to make informed decisions and minimise any potential financial or legal ramifications.

Buying off the plan property can be a daunting process, but there’s an easier way. iBuyNew is your all in one solution that supports you at every stage, from search to settlement. 

We take the pressure off you by doing the research, shortlisting the best properties that suit your needs, connect you to excellent brokers and conveyancers and keep you updated throughout the construction process, all the way until you get your keys. Book a FREE discovery call today or call 1300 123 463.

Published on 4th of August 2023 by Davina Deluao
Davina Deluao
Davina Deluao

Davina graduated from Swinburne University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Journalism. Through travelling and studying abroad in NYC and LA, her interests in property and design grew and became a strong pursuit. Davina has been writing for iBuildNew Group since 2019.


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