16 NOVEMBER 2018
A 66W is the term for a letter that is included in the buyer’s contract when purchasing a property. It is signed by the buyer’s solicitor and explains that their clients have agreed to waive their rights to a cooling-off period. If the contract does not include a 66W when exchanging contracts, it is assumed that the buyer will have another 5 business days in which to pull out of the contract. If they do this, they will forfeit 0.25% of the purchase price.
If a buyer provides this form and waives their cooling-off period, it means significantly less stress for the vendor. Not having to wait for the 5-day cooling-off period will mean that the buyer is locked into the contract and can’t pull out without forfeiting their full 10% deposit.
When purchasing at auction, it is assumed there is no cooling off period and no 66w is necessary.
In Sydney, it is commonplace for agents to demand that all buyers provide a 66w and intense pressure is put on buyers to exchange with no opportunity to back out. Personally, I think this is a little unfair. Most buyers will need time to get their finances sorted out. Yes, they may be pre-approved but unless they have a huge deposit, the bank will almost certainly want to complete a valuation which takes a few days (at the very least).
I always like to ask if the buyer needs a cooling-off period. Sometimes they may have already sold and are borrowing very little so their finance approval is assured. If they are happy to provide the 66w on exchange, it may even be enough to secure the property even if theirs is not the highest offer.
If you are looking to buy and you are confident in your ability to get finance and a pest/building report has been provided, this could be an option to make your offer more attractive in this competitive market. Always seek legal advice first though as there is no going back once you’ve exchanged.
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