Newsletter covering Selling property in the ACT.
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Legitimate Solutions Legal

Selling Property in the ACT

Welcome to our Newsletter regarding selling real estate property in the ACT.

As Spring approaches a lot of clients are considering putting their house on the market. Gardens look great and buyers are keen to look at properties.

Conveyancing, both buying and selling, in NSW and the ACT is a significant part of how we assist clients.

The Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Act deals with the sale of residential property in the ACT.  Sellers need to have a Contract in place before marketing the property. This is helpful re the sale process as information Buyers require, such as the legal and building searches are in the Contract.

Call the office on 02 6162 3003 or email if you would like to make an appointment to discuss.

Steps Before Marketing the Property

Make sure you select a good Real Estate Agent to help you market the property.  You will be working closely with them and they can make a real difference in marketing your property.

Let us know you are selling and we can start preparing the Contract.  You must have have a Contract in place before marketing the property.

You will need to have Building, Pest and Compliance reports for the property.  This applies to stand alone houses and townhouses but not class A units.

Legislation requires us to include various documents in the Contract.  This includes a title search, Crown Lease, Deposited Plan and Lease Conveyancing Enquiry from ACT Planning and Land Authority.  Body Corporate properties require the Units Plan, section 119 Certificate from the Body Corp manager and potentially copies of the minutes of the owners' corporation meetings for the last two years.

The Building Inspector will assist with the Energy Efficiency Rating and the Building, Pest and Compliance reports.

We prepare the Contract and send an electronic version to the Agent for marketing.

Exchange & Cooling Off Period

Once you have an acceptable offer we update the Contract, provide a copy of the Contract to the other lawyers and meet with you to sign the Contract.  Exchange creates legally binding obligations.  Under the Act Agents can exchange Contracts but we suggest having the Lawyers exchange the Contracts following your instructions.
The Contracts have a five day cooling off period where the Buyer can rescind or change their mind.  We usually include a section 17 Certificate for the Buyer's lawyer to sign that waives the cooling off period.


You should keep your insurance in place until the property is finally settled.  Buyers have an insurable interest in the property at exchange and should arrange for a building insurance cover note or policy to take effect but you should also keep the property insured.

For unit title such as townhouses the Body Corporate arranges the building insurance.


Auctions are a little different from private treaty sales with no cooling off period for registered bidders that bought at auction or after the auction but on the same day as the auction.
Selling at auction to a registered bidder or after the auction but on the day of the auction results in a binding exchange on that day.

Dealing with the Bank

If you have a Mortgage over the property we work in with you to ensure the Bank will release the title at settlement.  You will have to sign a discharge request that authorises the Bank to receive funds to pay out your loan, discharge your Mortgage and hand over the title.

We can assist with this process to make sure all is in order for settlement.

After Exchange

The lawyers for the purchasers provide searches for general rates and water rates to us.  We prepare a settlement statement adjusting the general rates, land tax (for investment properties) and water and sewerage rates.  We provide this to the other lawyers and include the cheque directions regarding what cheques we require to pay out your Bank etc.


We attend to settlement and collect the Certificate of Title from your Bank, provide the Title to the solicitors for the buyers, receive cheques from them and receive an order on the agent to release the deposit.
If the property is sold subject to a tenancy we provide a letter transferring the bond to the buyers.
The buyer's bank registers the Transfer and their Mortgage over the property at the Land Titles Office to transfer the property from your name to the new owners.

Photo above - James King, Principal Lawyer at Legitimate Solutions Legal

In this Newsletter

  • Selling Property in the ACT
  • Steps Before Marketing the Property
  • Exchange & Cooling Off Period
  • Insurance
  • Auctions
  • Dealing with the Bank
  • After Exchange
  • Settlement

If you would like to talk further about selling a property in the ACT please call the office on 02 6162 3003.

It is critical that you get legal advice before selling your property.

Ensure you have a fully legally compliant Contract before marketing your property.
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