Don’t count of contracts completing I often see people assume that the money is in the bag well before the settlement of a property. However there are many reasons why the sale of a property may not happen. An unconditional contract does not give any guarantee of settlement. Death - what if the purchaser dies? Its a bit hard to complete when you are dead. Any contract will generally still be binding on the estate. But it can take 3 months to a year before the legal personal representative is appointed and until this time no one is legally able to act. A good contract will have special conditions allow either party to terminate on death of the other. The best thing to do in most cases is to terminate and resell. Bankruptcy - sometimes buyers end up bankrupt. Unlikely in the space of 42 days but possible. Finance - believe it or not some people go unconditional without finance and when they later find out that they cannot complete it causes both sides to suffer. Death - Sometimes people die after signing and before completion. If the seller dies then it can be many months until probate or administration is granted to someone. Settlement generally won’t be able to be completed until this is done and that could take 6 months or more. If the buyer dies the seller also would have problems settling too and a notice to complete may need to be issued. A person is still bound to a contract after they die. The estate is bound and the estate can be sued. So to avoid drawn out and costly disputes it may be wise to consider special conditions in contracts so that either party may pull out if the other party dies. This is common for contracts for the sale of land in NSW. I have seen people arrange to move out of their existing property and into the new purchase on the day or day after the expected settlement only for the settlement not to happen. They are then stuck with no where to go. Often there is a domino effect where the purchaser must stay in their existing property - which they may have sold, or given notice to the landlord to move out - so the person who intended to move into that property cannot move in. Therefore don’t assume the sale or purchase of a property will go through until the cheque clears!