Selling a Residential Property in NSW

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The process of selling a house can be time consuming and emotional, especially if this is your first time. To ensure your home gets the best sale price, you must take the time to consider all your options and work alongside an experienced conveyancer.

If you’ve decided to sell your home and don’t know where to begin, we’ve outlined the 9 step process of selling a house through a real estate agent or by yourself below. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our conveyancing team.

The process of selling a house by an agent – 9 step guide

1. Choose an agent

Once your property is ready for the sales process, choosing a real estate agent is the first step. You can ask family and friends for recommendations, read reviews of local real estate agents or attend open inspections to see how they interact with potential buyers.

Build a list of potential real estate agents and ask them questions, such as their fees, to determine the perfect fit for you. You can also research them online and see how familiar they are with the area.

2. Pick a sale method

The next step is to pick a method of sale, such as an  auction or private treaty. A real estate agent can help you decide what the best option is for your property. This is usually determined through what’s commonly done in your local area, the market conditions and the property type.

  • Auction: This is one of the more efficient methods as you can get the most competitive prices for your property. Buyers bid against each other in minimal time and create competition to increase the prices.
  • Private treaty:This method takes more time as the seller will set the price and consider offers from different buyers. This can be risky as a price set too low could be missing out on a higher selling price, and a price too high could turn buyers away.

Learn more: private sale vs auction

3. Set the price

Your agent will help you to set a selling price depending on the local area, your property and the current market.

4. Review the agency agreement

Make sure you thoroughly read the agreement with the agent before signing. Discuss topics, including: the length of the agreement, all the costs involved and how the agreement can be terminated. You can suggest any changes to the agreement, and if you are unsure about any aspects you can seek advice from a conveyancer or property lawyer.

5. Prepare the vendors statement

The vendor statement, which is also known as a section 32, is a legal document that outlines everything a buyer needs to know before purchasing. This statement is prepared by a conveyancer and includes:

  • Whether there is a mortgage over the house
  • Council zoning
  • Associated declarations
  • Any agreements that restrict what can be changed on the property,
  • Easements included in the land such as power lines, drainage and rights of way.
  • Caveats on property

6. Advertise the property

To get the best results, the advertisement must have clear and attractive photos, good copywriting and great presentation. Your property advertisement should target your specific audience and have the right information to draw in buyers. Sales campaigns commonly last for 4-6 weeks.

7. Secure the sale

The next step in the process is selling your property to the potential buyers. You should trust your agent and their selling skills to get the best price for your property.

8. Prepare the contact


When selling your property through an auction, the buyer is the one that bids the highest price on the day. This should be above your reserved price; if it falls short, it can be negotiated between the buyer and the agent. The buyer signs the contract of sale and the deposit is paid right away.

Private treaty

Once the seller is happy with an offer, a contract of sale is exchanged and the buyer pays a deposit. In the private treaty, the buyer has a cooling off period where they can choose to withdraw from buying. This can vary depending on the contract for sale and the state you’re located in.

Learn more:

9. Settlement

This is where the buyer will pay the contract price to the vendor and gain legal possession over the property. The full price received includes the amount owed on your home loan, conveyer fees and the real estate fees.

The process of selling a house by yourself

Many homeowners choose to sell their home through an agent as they can receive the best professional advice and prices. However, if you want to avoid costly fees and are planning on selling your property without the assistance of an agent, you should research the whole process before starting to ensure you know exactly what is required.

The steps of selling your home yourself are similar to choosing an agent, as outlined below:

  • Determine the value of your property to set the price

You can do this by using online tools and researching comparable properties advertised online. You can even contact a local real estate agent to ask for a comparative market analysis for little or no cost. This will help you to determine the right purchase price to set for your property.

  • Advertise the property

Research other properties online and see what techniques they’re using to draw in potential buyers. You can use popular property selling websites online for a small price or even for free. A good campaign will include clear and well taken photos, good copywriting and good production.

  • Exchange contracts

Once you have received some offers, you will need to prepare the contracts to be exchanged to the buyer. Although you can buy blank contracts online, it is recommended that you contact a professional conveyancer to write out the contract as each state has different legislations.

  • Settlement 

Once you have presented the contract to the buyer and they are happy with the details of the property, the buyer will pay the owner the contract price and will be the new legal owner of the house.

Owen Hodge is here for you

If you’re in the process of selling a house and need assistance drawing up a contract of sale, you can turn to Owen Hodge’s conveyancers and property lawyers. With years of experience in selling houses, we have the expertise to give you high-quality service at affordable prices.  Get in touch on 1800 770 780 to schedule an initial consultation.

Process of selling a house FAQ

What does the seller have to pay when selling a house?

If you’re choosing to sell with a real estate agent, you will need to account for:

  • The agent’s commission fees
  • Marketing fees
  • Auction fees
  • Home staging costs
  • Discharge of mortgage (in some cases)
  • Rates and taxes after the settlement
  • Conveyancers fees
  • Moving costs

Find out more: cost of selling a house

If you are looking to sell your house without the help of an agent, you will only need to pay fees towards the conveyancer, moving costs, rates and taxes after settlement, discharge of mortgage, and any additional costs with selling your property online.

Do you lose money when you sell a house?

The process of selling a house can be costly, but if you have a real estate agent with exceptional selling skills and knowledge, you can sell to match the house’s value.

To ensure you receive maximum value for your house, make sure your house is prepared for the market and decide whether a real estate agent is best for you.

What’s the best time to sell a house?

Spring is commonly the most popular time to sell a house as the property market is at its peak. Realistically, you can sell your property at any time during the year as long as the market conditions are right for you.

Selling your house during the holiday season whether that’s Christmas holidays or Easter holidays is not particularly recommended as many people are travelling for the holidays. The only exception is if you are selling a holiday house. February is an ideal time to begin the house selling process as those who missed out before holidays will be looking to buy during this time.

Talk to Owen Hodge Lawyers

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Property Lawyer

Greg Worrall

Licensed Conveyancer

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Property & Estates Lawyer

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