top of page

Real Estate Contracts in WA - Sale by Offer and Acceptance

Most properties in Western Australia are sold through an offer and acceptance process. A person makes a formal offer in writing to buy a property, and the seller, sometimes called the vendor, can either make a counter offer, reject the offer, or accept it and communicate that acceptance to the buyer.

Usually an offer to buy property is made using both the Contract for Sale of Land or Strata Title by Offer and Acceptance form, commonly called the O & A; and the Joint Form of General Conditions for the Sale of Land, commonly referred to as the General Conditions. Together, the O & A and the General Conditions constitute the standard contract for the sale of real estate in Western Australia.

The wording of the O & A is owned by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) which is the peak industry body representing the interests of real estate agents. The General Conditions document is owned jointly by REIWA and the Law Society of Western Australia. Although there are other versions of these two contractual documents, the versions produced by REIWA and the Law Society of Western Australia are the most widely used in this State.

In 2011, the General Conditions were amended to reflect changes to the Duties Act 2008. Buyers and sellers are advised to ensure that the latest version is used when a contract is being drawn up. Importantly, the O & A form can be amended to include any agreed special conditions that meet the needs of the seller and/or the buyer. The General Conditions document is a standard set of contractual conditions that are not usually amended, although it is possible to ‘contract out’ some of these conditions.



Buyers can hire an independent expert such as a building surveyor, registered builder, architect or structural engineer to provide a written report on the condition of a property. You can include as a condition of the O & A a satisfactory report about the condition of a property.

Should you decide to include a special condition about a satisfactory building inspection report in the O & A, then specify that the inspection should comply with Australian Standard 4349.1-2007.


If you intend to buy an established house, you should consider obtaining a timber pest inspection report on the property from a timber pest or building inspection company that inspects and reports in accordance with Australian Standard 4349.3-2010.

If choosing to obtain a timber pest inspection report, a special condition on the O & A should be inserted.


As per the 2009 amendments to the Electricity Regulations Act 1947, sellers must now ensure that two safety switches or residual current devices (RCDs) are fitted in residential premises prior to the sale of the property. Most homes built since 2000 already comply with this requirement.


Since 1 October 2009, it has been mandatory for the seller to ensure mains powered smoke alarms are fitted to all properties built before 1997 that are being sold. In dwellings where the construction of the building does not permit a space to conceal the wiring or where no mains power is available, 10 year battery operated devices are permitted.

(the above information has been reproduced)

bottom of page