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.
You must have have a Contract in place before marketing a residential property in the ACT and NSW. Let us know you are selling and we can start preparing the Contract.
You will need to have Building, Pest and Compliance reports for an ACT property but not for NSW.
Legislation requires us to include various documents in the Contract.
In the ACT the Seller (or Agent) arranges for Building, Pest and Compliance Reports to be prepared for us to include in Contract. In NSW the Buyers arrange their own reports.
We prepare the Contract and send an electronic version to the Agent for marketing and to you as the Seller for your records.
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 legislation 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 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 assist with this process to make sure all is in order for settlement.
We work in with the other lawyers to ensure the general rates, water rates, land tax etc are paid and adjusted.
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.
Steps Before Exchanging Contracts
We strongly advise clients to get legal advice before signing any Contract.
If your offer is accepted the Real Estate Agent sends us the sales instructions detailing the property, seller, buyer and solicitors acting for the seller.
We get the Contract from the Lawyers for the seller, which includes various legal searches and in the ACT includes pre sale building reports and the EER. In NSW you should arrange your own Building, Pest and Compliance reports. We can recommend some Inspectors.
We meet with you to sign the Contract for Sale . You provide a cheque (personal cheque is acceptable) payable to the Stakeholder or details of a deposit bond (if acceptable to the buyer) to us prior to exchange.
We confirm with you that finance is in place and we can exchange. Often banks send loan and mortgage document direct to you.
We exchange the Contract for Sale with the solicitors for the seller and provide the deposit cheque. The solicitors for the seller give the deposit cheque to the stakeholder (often the Real Estate Agent) to hold until settlement.
Exchange & Cooling Off Period
Exchange of Contracts creates legally binding obligations. Under legislation 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. If you do you must pay 0.25% of the purchase price ($250 per $100,000). You can waive the cooling off period if we sign a certificate as your Lawyer confirming your instructions to waive the benefit.
The Building, Pest and Compliance Reports are vitally important. You should read thought the Reports and have us check them closely.
You have an insurable interest in the property at exchange and should arrange for a building insurance cover note or policy to take effect at exchange. For unit title such as townhouses the Body Corporate arranges the building insurance.
As mentioned earlier Auctions are a little different with no cooling off period for registered bidders that bought at auction or after the auction but on the same day as the auction.
Buying at auction as a registered bidder or after but on the day of the auction results in a binding exchange on that day.
Stamp Duty and the First Home Owners' Grant
There are limited ACT and NSW stamp duty concessions available. Talk to us about eligibility.
Your Bank or Mortgage Broker usually assists with the First Home Owners' Grant.
We advise you of the stamp duty payable and you provide a bank cheque (can not be a personal cheque) payable to the Revenue Office. We have the duty assessed and Transfer stamped.
We work in with the other Lawyers to adjust the general rates, land tax (for investment properties) and water and sewerage rates.
In NSW there are a number of searches we order to check the property.
We advise the incoming mortgagee (your bank) of the purchase details and tell them.
We attend to settlement and collect cheques from your bank. We provide the cheques to the solicitors for the seller with an order on the agent to release the deposit. We receive the Certificate of Title and Transfer and provide these to your bank and receive the keys to the property.
If the property is sold subject to a tenancy we receive a letter transferring the bond to you.
Usually your bank registers the Transfer and their Mortgage over the property at the Land Titles Office. The Agent provides the keys to you or we pass them over after settlement.