Selling Process

Choosing an Agent

The first step and probably most important step after making the decision to sell is to choose an agent and agency to act on your behalf during the sale of your home or investment property. Once you have selected an agent, you will need to sign an agency agreement with them, at this point you will have already decided on a price at which to market your property.

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Organising a Contract of Sale

Until the agent receives a copy of the Contract of Sale, they are not able to market your property. So it is important to consult your solicitor or conveyancer about preparing the contract, not only to ensure it is done quickly, but also to make sure that everything is in order. Your solicitor must include a copy of the title documents, drainage diagram and the Zoning Certificate (s 149) issued by the local council. Property exclusions must also be included and a statement of the buyer’s cooling off rights must be attached. As soon as the agent receives a draft contract, they are able to present your property to the market. This draft contract is kept at the agent's office and is available for inspection by prospective purchasers.

Exchanging Contracts

When you have accepted an offer presented to you by your agent, the next step in the process is the exchange of contracts, a legal requirement when selling a property. Both you and the purchaser receive a copy of the Contract of Sale, you each sign one copy before they are swapped or ‘exchanged’. This can be done by hand or post and is usually arranged by your solicitor, conveyancer or the agent. It is also at this time the buyer is required to pay a deposit, this is usually 10% of the purchase price. Exchanging contracts is an important part of the sales process, some of the more critical points are:

  • The buyer or seller is not legally bound until signed copies of the contract are exchanged.
  • Buyers of residential property usually have a cooling off period of five working days following the exchange of contracts during which they can withdraw from the sale.
  • If the agent arranges exchange of contacts, the agent must give copies of the signed contract to each party or their solicitor or conveyancer within 2 business days.
  • The cooling off period can be waived, reduced or extended by negotiation.
  • There is no cooling off period for sellers. Once contracts have been exchanged, sellers are generally bound to complete the agreement.
  • There is no cooling off period when purchasing at auction.

Settlement

Usually between four to six weeks after the exchange of contracts, settlement will take place. At this time you will receive the balance of the sale price due from the purchaser as well as the the remainder of the deposit minus agreed agency fees and expenses. The deposit up until this point has been held in trust by your agent. The interest earned on the deposit while it has been held in trust is split evenly between you and the purchaser.

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