A Comprehensive Guide to the Cooling Off Period for Property Sales in NSW

After agreeing to a property purchase, the cooling-off period provides buyers with a window for reassessment. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, understanding this element of the buying process is essential for making smart choices. Moreover, knowing about it helps safeguard your interests.

If you are ready to explore the cooling-off period when purchasing property in New South Wales, then you’re at the right place! We’ll help you understand it better, answering common questions and arming you with beneficial knowledge. This way you learn everything you need to know about mastering this crucial time frame in real estate deals in NSW.

What is the Cooling-off Period in NSW Property Sales?

The cooling off period in NSW property sales is the period during which a buyer can cancel their purchase contract. This begins on the day the contract is signed and ends at 5 PM on the fifth business day thereafter. If the buyer cancels their purchase during this period, they are entitled to a full refund of their deposit. This exists to protect buyers from making hasty decisions when purchasing property. It gives them time to consider their decision and seek independent advice before proceeding with the purchase. If you are considering buying property in NSW, it’s important to be aware of the cooling off period and your rights under it.

When Does the Cooling-Off Period Begin and End?

Commencing upon contract signing, the cooling off period for property sales in NSW ends at 5 PM on the fifth business day. This means that if you sign a contract on a Monday, the cooling-off period will end on the following Friday at 5 PM. If you receive the contract on a non-business day (such as a Saturday, Sunday, or public holiday), this period will begin the next business day. You will have a ten-day timeframe when you purchase a property off the plan.

During this period, you have the right to cancel the contract for any reason and receive a full refund of your deposit. You do not need to give a reason for cancelling during this time. However, if you make this decision to cancel the deal, you must notify your real estate agent or lawyer in writing. You can use our ‘Cooling-Off Notice’ template to do this. Once you have given notice, your deposit will be refunded to you within 10 business days.

What are the Benefits of a Cooling-off Period?

When you are buying a property, it’s best to be aware of your rights and understand the process. This period is a crucial part of this, giving you time to change your mind after signing a contract.

Here are some key benefits of it:

Being Confident with Your Own Decision: The main benefit is that it gives you time to reconsider your decision. Moreover, it ensures that you are comfortable with the purchase.

Time for Reassessing the Property:  It also allows you to get your finances in place as well as organise building and pest inspections. These are essential for ensuring that you are happy with the property before proceeding with the sale.

Helps Avoid Hasty Decision: The cooling-off period can be a stressful time, as you will be eager to finalise the purchase and move into your new home. However, it is important to take advantage of this time and ensure that you are pleased with the property before proceeding.

How can you withdraw from a Contract during the Cooling-off Period?

To withdraw from the contract during this timeframe, you must give written notice to the seller or their agent. This can be done by hand-delivering a letter or sending an email. Once notice is given, the contract is void and you are entitled to a full refund of any deposit paid.

It’s important to note that the cooling-off period only applies to contracts signed at arm’s length – that is, where there is no prior relationship between the parties. If you are buying a property from a family member or friend, for example, you will not be able to withdraw from the contract under the cooling-off rules. To know more about such restrictions, you should always discuss your case with an expert.

Penalties for Exceeding the Cooling-Off Period

In the event you withdraw from the contract after the 5-business day cooling-off period, you will have to pay the vendor 0.25 per cent of the purchase price. This works out to $25 for every $10,000 spent. There is a cooling-off period of 10 business days for properties bought off the plan. If both parties are in agreement, this timeframe can be extended.

Please note that real estate regulations can vary by region and change over time. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult with a legal professional or real estate expert. Reach out to our experts to gain more insight into your case. This will ensure accuracy and up-to-date information before making any purchase.

Do all contracts have a cooling-off period?

In NSW, the cooling-off period stands as a designated duration providing the opportunity for a party to review the contract and its associated responsibilities once again. It allows buyers to exit the arrangement if they so wish. Nevertheless, not all contractual agreements are automatically covered by this, and for those that are, there are stringent regulations in place. Before you rely on such a timeframe, you must familiarise yourself with these rules.

Understanding your rights as a buyer during this process can save you time, hassle, and money down the line. Whether you’re buying or selling property in NSW, it pays to know about this important period so that you can be confident when signing on the dotted line. At SD Conveyancing, our team is here to guide you through every step of your property buying. You can call on 0432 599 373 or email at seema@sdconveyancing.au for more information.


You can cancel eligible contracts, such as purchases of goods and services, during this timeframe. However, there are exceptions. To know more about it, you can contact our experts on 0432 599 373.

Yes, it doesn’t apply to real estate transactions, emergencies, urgent services, and certain other circumstances.

You can negotiate with the seller to extend the cooling-off period. However, it is not guaranteed.

Yes, you can waive your cooling-off rights. However, this should be a deliberate decision and done with caution.

If the timeframe has expired, cancellation might be more complex and could involve penalties.

The period is primarily for the buyer’s benefit and the seller’s ability to cancel might depend on the contract terms.

This timeframe is meant for reconsideration or withdrawal, not renegotiation of terms.