Masterclass: What is a Section 32?

PAUL CHWYLA , VIC

Paul sold over 80 homes last year. He opened his own business to bring a new, modern approach to real estate for his clients, using digital and social marketing to get them excellent results. He is Australia’s Rising Star agent 2020.


What I want you to learn from this class

Introduction
What it is
Why it’s important
When to look at it
What to look for
What I can’t teach you here
One last thing

Introduction

What is a Section 32? This is a question I get asked on numerous occasions not only from sellers, but also buyers. Let’s look at the importance of a Section 32 and what you need to know.

“It’s critical to know what you’re buying before you buy it.”

What it is

In Victoria, a Section 32 (also called a Vendor Statement) is a document that is provided by the seller of real estate’s conveyancer, for the prospective purchaser of their property.

Why it’s important

This document must be signed by both parties for the exchange of a property title from one person’s name to another.

If this is not done alongside a contract of sale, there is no binding exchange in place. A Section 32 also holds every piece of information from the history of its title, to current, and will give you all the information required for you to make an educated decision prior to buying.
Back to top

When to look at it

Any time you are looking to purchase a property, you should always have a conveyancer or your legal representative in this field go over the document in full.

Some Section 32’s are a lot larger than others and can be quite confusing if you’re not sure what everything means. Some parts are quite self-explanatory, however it would be my strong advice to get it looked at by a professional before you’re considering writing out a cheque.
Back to top

What to look for

Whether it be yourself or your conveyancer, it is always important to review any current restrictions that are in place that may hold you back from doing what you envisage.

It also will give you the information that will clarify if anything has been built on the property without permits. Other examples of things to look for are:

  • Vendor’s details
  • Information regarding building permits issued in the past 7 years
  • Particulars of owner-builder warranty insurance (i.e. if the home was owner built, is the home still being sold with warranty on the home? In some cases 7 years structural and 2 years for non-structural defects)
  • If the vendor is the owner-builder who completed building works there should be a written inspection report (which lists any defects) in the Section 32
  • Particulars of any mortgages or “charges” over the land (i.e. debts charged against the land)
  • Information regarding covenants, easements and any other restrictions on title (whether or not they appear on the title)
  • Planning information, particularly where zoning restricts land use
  • Information regarding outgoings payable by the owner of the property
  • Disclosure of any notices or orders issued by the authorities, regarding fencing, road-widening, sewerage etc.
  • If there is access to the property by road
  • Information on services connected to the property

Back to top

What I can’t teach you here

Who to engage to create your Section 32 and contract of sale when you’re selling. The cheapest conveyancer isn’t always the best. This is an important document that needs to be created correctly, leaving you with no possible issue with a buyer down the track.
Back to top

One last thing

It’s easy to think “she’ll be right” and not have the Section 32 reviewed before offering on a property (you might also be feeling pressure from the real estate agent about wasted time). However, it’s critical to know what you’re buying before you buy it. You don’t get a second chance.
Back to top