Whenever you are buying something that costs a lot of money, it is always important to read the fine print. As I have just been going through a lot of paper work lately, I thought it was timely to go through a few of the things that I do whenever I have to sign a contract.

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1 – Don’t rely of the sales person to tell you everything. Make sure you read everything yourself, and that you understand what everything says. Also be sure that you not only understand, but that you agree as well.

2 – Don’t feel pressured to sign a document then and there. If someone is pushing you into signing something, take a step back and simply tell them that you aren’t going to be pressured into signing anything that you don’t understand, or that you haven’t read through properly first.

3 – Ask for help if you don’t understand something. There are entire legal companies dedicated to contracts and in some instances it will be in your best interests to consult with a professional to read through documentation and have them explain it to you. Make sure the legal professional is someone that you nominate though, and not the vendor’s legal team.

4 – If you are buying a house, car, boat or something else that costs a lot of money, but you are still waiting on finance from your bank, please ensure that the contract includes a subject to finance clause that you are happy with. If not, make sure that you have your finances in order prior to initiating a purchase.

5 – Don’t get tricked by flashy sales brochures. I recently contacted a number of banks regarding their loan facilities so we could build a new house. Quite a few of them had great brochures that had amazing deals, but once you read through the fine print, lots of the gloss wore off. Many of the deals they were offering were only introductory deals that only lasted for 1 or 2 years, afterwards things defaulted back to the default rate or fee schedule, which was terrible.

6 – If you are building a house through a builder, be sure that you know everything that it includes. Quite often builders will offer packages that seem really good, but when you go through the quote you will notice that they haven’t included things like a driveway, fencing, patio, landscaping etc. So make sure you have a list of all the things you expect the builder to actually build, and if anything is missing, either budget enough to do it yourself (often this will be cheaper) or, get them to include it.

So there you have it, my 6 top tips when it comes to reading through the fine print. Have you got any handy hints or tips?