It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is upon us!

It’s very common for clients to buy and sell property in the time coming up to Christmas. What does this mean for contract conditions and settlement dates over the break, as most solicitor’s offices are shut through the holiday period?

Under the Standard Terms of the REIQ Contract, they’ve identified the period between Christmas and New Years as “non-business days”, so any contract conditions that fall on one of these days will be automatically extended to the next business day, 2 January. This means its very important for you to be wary of the day settlement or any other due dates will fall on, and if there are any outstanding items that may need to be addressed while the banks are closed over the holiday break as well.

However, these closures do not have any effect on the cooling-off period. The cooling-off period is imposed by statute rather than the terms of a contract. Accordingly, each of the non-public holidays between Christmas and New Year are counted in the time frame of the 5-business day period.

This is especially important when a contract is signed in the later days of December, close to Christmas. You should ensure you discuss the timing of signing your contract beforehand with your solicitor to ensure that nothing is missed and no rights are forfeited unnecessarily.

If you are buying or selling and want to know more about the effect of the upcoming holiday period, please feel free to give us a call at 07 5444 1022 or send us an email at

Happy Holidays!