Articles & FAQs

What documents does my solicitor or conveyancer need to include in the Contract for Sale?

The first step to selling your property is for your solicitor or conveyancer to prepare a contract for the sale of land.
Under the NSW law (the Conveyancing Act 1919), a person selling residential land (including a house or unit/townhouse) must attach certain documents to the contract of sale of land before it is signed by the buyer. This requirement cannot be contracted out, so for example a provision in the contract purporting to exclude a document from the contract will be void and unenforceable.
The list of documents that a solicitor or conveyance needs to attach to the contract is extensive and includes documents such as:
  • A section 149 certificate (the zoning certificate) which is obtained from the applicable council.
  • Sewerage diagram.
  • Certificate of title.
  • Plan of the land.
  • Any dealings on the lot which relates to an easement, profits à prendre, restrictions on the use of land or positive covenant.
  • If strata: any documents registered at LPMA with respect to it (such as change of by-laws), copy of the strata plan, by-laws and certificate for the lot as well as the common property, strata development contract/statement (if any), strata management statement in force at the time (if any), documents relating to the community, precinct or neighbourhood scheme (if any), building management statement (if any).
  • A Notice (in the prescribed form) with respect to smoke alarms and swimming pools.
The solicitors at Prime Conveyancing will ensure that all documents required under the Conveyancing Act are attached to your contract to ensure that the buyer cannot pull out of the contract (called rescind) (see below).
In addition to the above documents which are required by the Conveyancing Act, there may be further documents that you may wish to attach to the contract to give the buyer confidence in the property they are buying but also to protect yourself from any later claims of a purchaser. Such documents may include a survey (especially if the property encroaches onto the neighbour’s property), certificate of insurance under the Home Building Act and Occupation Certificate.

What happens if the documents required by the Conveyancing Act are not included in the Contract for Sale?

The Conveyancing Act and Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulations provide that if the above documents are not included in the sale of land contract, the buyer may rescind (pull out of) the contract for the seller’s failure to attach to the contract the documents prescribed at any time within 14 days after the making of the contract, unless the contract has been completed.

This right is separate from the buyers’s cooling off rights and can be exercised by the buyer even if she/he waives the right to cooling off at the time of executing the contract. A notice of rescission of a contract for the sale of land rescinds the contract as from the time the contract was made and, in that event, the deposit and any other money paid by the buyer to the seller or the seller’s agent under the contract of sale are to be refunded.

Given the importance of having the contract in order before you sign (especially in circumstances where you are relying on the sale proceeds to finance the purchase) it pays to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer experienced and across any changes to the Conveyancing Act and/or Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulations.

At Prime Conveyancing your matter is handled by a property lawyer from start to finish which means you will be in good hands - All this at one simple all inclusive fixed flat fee (yes all inclusive!). Get in touch with us now, or Get a Quote Now by clicking here.