The Ultimate Guide to Subject to Sale Offers

In the current Perth property market, we're witnessing an increasing number of subject to sale offers weekend after weekend. Usually uncommon, subject to sale offers are becoming more prevalent, the reason being that there are not a lot of homes on the market right now.

Cue the dilemma: You’re a family and you want to sell the home you have, but you don’t want to sell unless you’ve got somewhere to go to because you could quickly find yourself homeless! Here’s where a subject to sale offer can come in, and it’s a strategy we’re seeing more of our clients using in order to upgrade or change homes.

What is a subject to sale offer?

‘Subject to sale’ is a term often used in real estate transactions, and it refers to a condition that the buyer puts on the agreement to purchase a property. In this case, the buyer's agreement to purchase the new home is contingent on their ability to sell their current property. So, what does this mean? It means that you don’t actually buy the house until you sell the one you’ve got. It also means that the seller of the home that you want to buy, will continue to keep marketing their home.

Here's a step-by-step process of how the subject to sale process typically works in the Perth real estate market:

Offer and Acceptance

You, as the buyer, make an offer on a house but include a subject to sale condition for your existing property. This clause stipulates that you'll only buy the new property once you've sold your current one. This offer needs to be accepted by the seller.

Marketing and Selling Your Home

If your offer is accepted, you'll need to list your current home on the market and work on selling it ASAP. It's generally advised to have your home ready for market before you make an offer subject to sale to avoid any unnecessary delays.


The subject to sale clause usually includes a timeframe, often between 30 and 90 days, during which you're expected to sell your current property. The specific duration can be negotiated between you and the seller.

Sale Price of Your Home

You as the buyer will also stipulate a sale price for your home. This is stated and agreed apon as part of the condition. It’s essential to make sure that the price you state for your home is realistic and achievable. Otherwise, you risk wasting time, energy and a lot of money. Most good real estate agents will want to view your home and appraise it to ensure that the price is in line with market expectations.

Sale of Your Current Home

If you sell your home within the specified timeframe and meet all other conditions of your offer, then the condition has been met and you have now secured the home.

Failure to Sell Your Home

If you fail to sell your home within the set timeframe, the contract may be ended, unless the seller agrees to extend the subject to sale period. If the contract ends, you won't be buying the home, and the seller can sell it to someone else.

The 48 Hour Clause

The subject to sale clause will normally include a 48 hour clause. This clause allows the seller to continue marketing their property. If they receive another offer during this time the seller will issue what is known as a ‘seller's notice’. Once you receive this you have a set period (typically 48 hours) to either waive your subject to sale clause and proceed with the purchase without selling your home or withdraw your offer.

The Grace Period

This condition allows for the seller, at their discretion, to allow the buyer a period of time in which the ‘Sellers Notice’ (48 Hour Clause) cannot be presented. This is essentially a head start for you the buyers to get your home ready and on the market. The expense of putting a home to market can be a lot for families and having a grace period can give the purchaser greater encouragement to enter a subject to sale agreement.

Please note that subject to sale offers can be less attractive to sellers as they introduce uncertainty and a potential delay in the transaction. It's always advised to work with a real estate professional when dealing with these types of offers and conditions to ensure that your interests are protected.

As a buyer putting a subject to sale offer in, you need to also be aware of the expense of putting your home up for sale and the potential of doing so and still missing out on the home as another buyer may pip you at the post with a more attractive offer.


Do I have to take any offer that I get on my home?

No. The subject to sale clause stipulates a price that you must achieve for your own home Clause 1.1 (a) (iv). If you received a lesser price then you can still accept the offer, but it is at your discretion.

As the buyer, can I take a Subject to Sale offer on my property?

No. the clause stipulates that you cannot have 2 subject to sale contracts linked. So any offer you take on your home can only be cash or subject to finance.

If the owner gets another offer on their property, do I have to match it?

No. The owner may receive another offer which is higher than your offer. If the owner issues you a 48 hour notice and you are able to waive the condition, your original offers stands as is. This is a risk that the seller must bear.

Do I get my deposit back if my home doesn’t sell?

Yes. If you are unable to sell your home in the time allotted, or, if the seller invokes the 48 hour notice, then your deposit will be fully refunded.

Any questions? The subject to sale process can be a little daunting and confusing, but we’re here to help. Get in touch with DUET and we can help guide you through the process.

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