Selling of a residential property (property) may involve an emotional as well as a legal turmoil for the property owner. To ensure that your home gets the best sale price, you need to take into consideration a number of legal matters once the sale is negotiated. As per law, a property cannot be put on the market until a Sale Contract (the Contract) has been drawn.

The Contract must contain certain documents such as a complete Title Search including the Plan showing the location of the land being sold, Zoning Certificate from the Local Council and a Drainage Diagram.

There can be two ways by which you can sell your property, either by yourself or by the real estate agents (an agent).

Selling Home or Residential Property by Yourself

If you are planning to sell your property without the assistance of an agent, you should thoroughly research before starting the whole process. This can be the most advantageous way of selling your property, as you can get away from paying a heavy commission to an agent, thus making huge financial savings for yourself.

The broad steps involved in selling your property without an agent are as follows:

Have your property valued;

Decide the purchase price;

Advertise for the sale of the house;

Exchange contracts; and


Selling Home or Residential Property by an Agent

If you wish to sell your property through an agent, you must sign a contract with them which is termed as an Agency Agreement. The Agency Agreement authorises the agent to do certain things in relation to the sale of your property including advertising, inspections and receiving deposits from buyers on your behalf. The agreement must specify, what the agent is authorised to do for you and must clearly state the commission and any other cost payable to the agent.

The Process

A residential property can either be sold by a private treaty or through the process of an auction.

Sale by private treaty

While selling your home by a private treaty, you are required to list the property and lay down the price for sale accordingly.

The process of sale by private treaty offers the following benefits:

Greater control over the sale;

Time to consider the offers made by potential purchasers;

The easy ability to extend the time for which your home is for sale; and

The fact that potential purchasers must make offers for your property.

There are risks with selling by private treaty which should also be considered:

If the price you set is too high, your property may not attract buyers; and

If the price you set is too low, you may miss out on maximising the selling price.

When a property is sold by a private treaty, 5 days cooling-off period is granted to the buyer during which they may withdraw from the sale.

Sale by auction

Auctions offer the following benefits:

You do not have to disclose the selling price upfront;

You have a set timetable, with an auction-day deadline to plan by;

You can dictate the terms of sale;

Bidders are cash buyers – they must enter into a contract upon the fall of the hammer and there is no cooling-off period;

Auctions create buyer competition, and can thereby achieve the highest possible price;

They are highly suitable for genuinely different or special properties, especially with those of high worth; and

You can sell before hand, on the day or afterwards – the choice is up to you, guided by the expert advice of the agent.

We have a highly experienced team of legal professionals who can advise you elaborately on the formalities involved in selling a property. Feel free to contact our team at Owen Hodge Lawyers for any assistance.

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