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Selling a property

There are a number of reasons why you may choose or need to sell your property. No matter what your circumstances, we can provide tailored, professional conveyancing services so your transaction can be completed as seamlessly as possible. If you are buying at the same time, in most cases, we will be able to coordinate your transactions so that your sale and purchase settle simultaneously.

Getting your property ‘on the market’

Contract preparation

Vendors have specific obligations when selling residential property in New South Wales and will need a written contract prepared before marketing the property for sale. The contract will need certain disclosure material attached as prescribed by the relevant legislation.

The contract will need to have a legal description of your property and specify which items are included or excluded. You may also want to include special conditions like a specified settlement date or that the contract be subject to you securing a contract to buy another property.

We can prepare your contract, obtain the relevant disclosure material, explain your rights and responsibilities as a vendor, and liaise with your agent and the buyer’s legal representative.

If you are selling your property with a Swimming Pool

Vendors who decide to sell there property and have a Pool are required to have a valid Pool Compliance Certificate or a Non Compliance Certificate attached to the Contract before the property is placed on the market.

However, if your property is less than 3 years old, the Vendor is able to rely on the Final Occupation Certificate for the Swimming Pool that would have been issued on completion of the Swimming Pool being constructed.

If one of the abovementioned Certificates is not attached to the Contract at the time of exchange, this will allow the Purchaser to terminate the Contract for Sale and all monies paid by them will be refunded.

In order to obtain a Pool Compliance or a Non Compliance Certificate you can either contact your local Council or a Private Pool Certifier who will come out and inspect the property and if the Pool is compliant will issue a Pool Compliance Certificate and if there are items that make the pool non compliant they will issue a comprehensive report detailing the items that do not comply so that they can be rectified by you as Owner (if you so wish) or by the new Purchaser.   A Non Compliance Certificate will also issue which needs to be attached to the Contract for Sale.

Choosing an agent

When choosing a real estate agent, we suggest that your decision not be based merely on the agent who gives the highest market appraisal or offers the cheapest commission. Generally, you get what you pay for. Your agent will ask you to enter an agency agreement which you should review carefully to ensure you understand the terms, commission payable and advertising arrangements.

Which method of sale?

Most residential properties in New South Wales are sold either by auction or private treaty.

Auction is often considered the most reliable way of achieving the true market value for a property, because all willing buyers can come together at the same time and the highest bidder will win.

As a seller, your most important decision when going to auction is to set the reserve, which is the lowest price you are willing to accept for the property. The buyers generally do not know what the reserve is before attending the auction, which may lead a buyer to bidding higher than what you might otherwise have been willing to accept. If the bidding at the auction exceeds the reserve amount, then the property is sold when the auction hammer drops. There is no opportunity for you to change your mind after the reserve has been passed. If the bidding does not reach the reserve, the property is ‘passed in’. At that point, you can choose to negotiate with the bidders or place the property back on the market.

If you choose to sell your property by private treaty, it is typical to list your property with the agent at a set price or range. This can be a lower pressure way to sell your home than by auction and generally, allows you to have greater control over the sale process, enabling you to consider offers as they are received.

Negotiations and exchange

Once a potential buyer is found, they will likely want to arrange for a pest and building inspection and may ask for some extra provisions to be added to the contract before exchanging. We can assist with any negotiations for amendments to the contract, explain their implications and ensure that your interests remain protected.

Getting ready for settlement

Buyers are typically entitled to a final inspection just before completion to ensure that the property is clean and tidy, vacant and with all items (as required under the contract) removed.

The settlement adjustment sheet shows the balance of funds required from the buyer to complete the purchase which takes into account the purchase price, deposit held, and relevant adjustments such as council rates, water rates, strata fees, etc.

You will need to contact your service providers (electricity, gas, telephone, internet, etc.) to update services and arrangements.

Electronic conveyancing

If you haven’t bought or sold property for a while, you may not be aware that in New South Wales it is now mandated that property transactions take place electronically. Electronic conveyancing is a game-changer, streamlining the process and connecting all the stakeholders, as well as the Land Titles office for fast registration of the title documents. For you, it also means that any funds coming direct to you will clear more quickly – usually on the day of settlement. This can make simultaneous exchanges and purchases easier and generally allows you access to your money without waiting for those cheques to clear.

Outgoing mortgagees

If you still owe money on a loan secured by your property, it is important that your lender is looped into the sale process from an early stage to ensure that they are ready to discharge the mortgage. For an outgoing mortgagee, this means they need to calculate the outstanding sum owed on the loan at the settlement date.

Once a Buyer has been found and Contracts have become unconditionally exchanged, it will be necessary to fill out the appropriate Discharge Request forms to put the bank on notice that you intend to discharge your mortgage to get the ball rolling.  We will fill out these forms for you to sign (where possible) and forward them to your Lender for them to action.  From there, we  will invite them into the PEXA workspace and which will assist in ensuring that they have everything they need ahead of the settlement date.

Capital Gains Clearance Certificate

It is now a requirement by the Federal Government that all properties that are sold over $750,000.00 that a Capital Gains Clearance Certificate is provided to the Purchaser’s at least 7 days prior to settlement taking place.

Once Contracts for Sale have been unconditionally exchanged, we will provide you with a link in order to obtain the said Capital Gains Clearance Certificate.    The only information you will need to obtain this Certificate is your Tax File Number and the date Contracts were exchanged.

A clearance certificate provides certainty to purchasers regarding their withholding obligations. It confirms the withholding tax is not applicable to the transaction.

If you are unable to provide the Purchaser with a Clearance Certificate, the Purchaser must withhold 12.5% of the purchase price with a market value of $750,000 or more which will be paid directly to the Australian Tax Office on settlement.

If the Tax Office do not issue a Clearance Certificate prior to settlement, you will not be able to avoid 12.5%.being retained and paid to the Australian Taxation Office.

Tax implications

Depending on your circumstances and what you are selling, the transaction may have tax implications. It is best to speak with your accountant to ensure that you are meeting any of your liabilities. We are experienced in dealing with all other professionals relevant to your transaction on your instructions to ensure that you get the services and advice that you need.

If you want peace of mind every step of the way for your next property transaction, contact [email protected] or call 02 9629 4800.