Selling Property - The Process
You have decided to sell your house or unit. Whether its because you have outgrown your current home, just want to upgrade (or downgrade) or are sick of dealing with tenants in your investment property, these are the steps that you will need to progress through before the property is sold.
1. Locating an Agent:- Unless you have decided to sell the property privately you will need to decide on an agent to advertise and show potential purchasers through the property. All agents will ask you to enter into an agency agreement which will set out the agent’s recommended method of sale, the advertising expenses and the commission charged by the agent. Be sure to keen an eye on whether the agreement is an exclusive or open agency agreement, as you may be liable to pay two commissions if more than one office is advertising the property. Agency agreements will usually only end once you have provided the correct written notice, so its best to seek our advice before swapping agents.
2. Instructing your Solicitor / Conveyancer:- Before the agent can start advertising a property they need to be in possession of a Contract for Sale of Land that complies with the provisions of the Conveyancing Act. Prime Conveyancing provide an express contract preparation service for all sellers so that the agent can start advertising and we also ensure that proper disclosures are made under the home building act and vendor disclosure legislation. Best of all though, you will benefit from Prime Conveyancing’s Zero ($0.00) contract preparation fee- nothing to pay until you receive the proceeds of the sale. Contact us to find out more or to get started click here.
3. Negotiating with the Purchaser:- While the purchase price is overwhelmingly the most important term of the sale contract there are also a number of other terms which need to be settled, including the inclusions, length of sale (the standard settlement period is 6 weeks), the amount of deposit, cooling off period, access to the property to obtain quotes and works to be done by the vendor prior settlement. As the seller you have the ability to determine the extent of these terms, but it is fine balancing act between having the contract weighted in your favour and scaring a buyer away (this is where a good real estate will come in handy).
4. Going to Auction / Accepting an Offer:- The terms have been settled and its time to accept the offer. If the property is being sold at auction, and has reached the reserve (or you have authorised the agent to put the property ‘On the Market’) the contract will be immediately binding upon the fall of the hammer. A sale outside of the auction process will mean that the contract is immediately binding on you as the seller, but not on the buyer, as the Conveyancing Act provides the buyer with a 5 business day cooling off period. The buyer may exercise their cooling off rights during this cooling off period (i.e. pull out of the contract) and for any reasons whatsoever, with the sole consequence that they forward 0.25% of the purchase price paid to the agent (often called the ‘Holding Deposit’). If you are not a fan of the cooling off period (you want sold to mean sold right!) then the offer may be accepted conditional on the buyer’s solicitor or conveyancer supplying a signed certificate waiving their cooling off rights (called a section 66W certificate).
5. Expiration of the Cooling off Period (If applicable):- During the cooling off period the buyer will arrange their finance and will often obtain searches or reports relating to the property. The outcome of these reports will weigh heavily on the buyers decision to proceed past the cooling off period. A poor pest and building report may also give rise to further negotiations, notwithstanding that a price has already been accepted. Once the cooling off period expires the buyer must proceed with the purchase.
6. Discharging your Mortgage:- You have now accepted an offer, signed the contract and the cooling off period has expired. The agent will be holding the deposit and generally you will have a further 5-6 weeks to wait for this and the rest of the purchase price to be paid to you. On settlement the buyer will demand a clear certificate of title and in most instances the only person that can provide that is your bank- the mortgagee. Most banks and credit unions take between 10-15 business days to be in a position to provide the title documents and discharge the loan. Prime Conveyancing co-ordinate the discharge of mortgage and book settlement with your bank so as to ensure there are no delays, and all at no extra cost.
7. Pre-Settlement / Settlement:- Prior to settlement you must ensure that you have completely vacated the property (no old rubbish or debris in the backyard!). The buyer will conduct a final inspection on the day of settlement to ensure the property is vacant and in good condition (comparable to the date that the contracts were signed). Failure to vacate the property on time will result in a delay of settlement and at no penalty to the buyer. You should also ensure that your building insurance is current right up to and including the day of settlement and council and water rates paid (although if council and water rates are due close to the settlement date you should always contact Prime Conveyancing prior to making payments). Keys to the property should be left with the agent so they can be given to the buyer following settlement.
8. Following Settlement:- Congratulations you have officially sold your property! You will receive a final letter from Prime Conveyancing confirming the amount paid by the Purchaser on settlement and the adjustments made for rates and levies. The Agent will be directed to account to you for the balance of the deposit (less the agents commission) and then all that’s left to do is go shopping for an upgrade.
Need assistance with selling your home or investment property? Prime Conveyancing have offices in Sutherland (across the road from the Sutherland entertainment Centre and just up from the Sutherland Court House and Sutherland train station), Hurstville (5 minute walk from the Hurstville train station and Westfield Hurstville), Parramatta (located in the heart of Parramatta and close to a number of Parramatta parking stations) and Sydney (Bathurst Street Sydney) and offer fixed fee conveyancing with nothing to pay until the property is sold.
We can also assist you in your purchase and can co-ordinate both the sale and purchaser so that the matters settle simultaneously to avoid you from having to move twice. Contact us to get started on your sale by calling (02) 9521 2222 or clicking here. You can also obtain a no obligation quote by clicking here.