Listing to Sale and Settlement

Selling a property has a clear and defined process

comThe Process…

Selling a property has a clear and defined process. Below is a detailed outline of the main steps that need to be completed for a successful property sale. The laws are different in each state and territory. The following listing process discussed relates to the current State laws of NSW as they apply.

Selling perhaps one of your most prized assets can be very stressful and overwhelming as there are many aspects to selling a property that needs to be carefully considered,  the more informed you are of the processes involved, the easier it becomes to subside that fearful apprehension!

We strive to provide the best outcome to meet your requirements and provide you with expert advice to achieve the best possible result for the sale of your property, we have provided extensive detailed information on this site covering topics from selling, and financing to settling a property all designed to inform and assist our customers to demystify the selling and buying process.

Preparing the property for sale

As the adage reminds us ‘First impressions always last’ – so it is of critical importance that one should always present the property the best way possible.
Its all about the visual aspect when selling a property from how it presents from the outside to the inside. Whether the gardens are neatly manicured, the garage decluttered, the fencing up-right, the guttering hanging, simply, if buyers don’t like the outside, they probably won’t look inside.
Do the lights create a welcoming ambiance? Is adequate sunlight filtering through the dark corner room? Are kitchen benches clean with tidy storage spaces? Do the walls look clean and freshly painted? Are the windows clean and in good repair open to let in a fresh light breeze? Are the bathrooms clean and polished? Are the floors and ceilings clean?
There is so much to consider when presenting a property for sale. Please refer to some general tips at Property Selling Tips – for some great ideas that really work. Preparing a property for sale does not necessarily need to be expensive, many buyers will have the vision and foresight to see the property’s potential wrapped up in their own personality.

Listing the property

Prior to undertaking any marketing initiatives or listing the property, we must establish a selling price or an estimated appraisal. We initially undertake an inspection of your property as outlined in ‘Preparing your property for sale as discussed above and address any issue such as painting or minor renovations, anything to make the property more appealing if necessary.
We then recommend that you undertake (in the case of a house) a Pest and Building Inspection Report (this will benefit us from any nasty surprises of adverse building defects that will be picked up by well-informed and diligent buyers) together with a certified valuation, only at this point can we establish a ‘fair’ appraisal. These initiatives will prepare us for listing the property.
The inspection is a condition under section 74 of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 NSW. In collaboration, we devise a detailed marketing plan and define our market target. The marketing plan will detail the booking of photographers, copywriters, and the taking of videos (if applicable). We will devise a Digital Marketing plan with appropriate advertisements including internet, editorial coverage, and SMS direct marketing broadcasts.
We will communicate with your solicitor or conveyancer requesting the necessary documentation on your behalf to initiate the selling cycle. You can access your Marketing Process Map on our cloud-based Private Property Vendor Portal.

Documentation and compliance

In NSW the property contracts of sale can only be prepared by your solicitor or a licensed conveyancer. The Standard prescribed contract includes a number of general conditions designed to protect both buyer and seller and covers most normal land transfer situations. You as the vendor are required to make certain disclosures about your property by providing particular documents. These documents are termed Prescribed Documents which include the following:
• A copy of the Folio Title – also referred to as the Title Search
• A Deposit Plan or a Strata Plan
• The section 149 Zoning certificate
• The Drainage diagram
• The standard page of the contract of sale
The vendor must also provide a copy of the council and water rate notice for the current period; services details of the services including gas, electricity, water, sewerage, and telephone that are connected to the property. Similarly, if any services are available to the property but not yet connected to any dwelling please advise them;
Building approvals: as selling agents we may be asked (by your solicitor) to arrange for the section 149 ‘Planning Certificate’ and possibly the ‘Drainage Diagram’ of your property. You must also provide Building approvals for a new house or renovations that have been done to the property in the last ten years must have a copy of the Building Approval or, if you do not have a copy, your solicitor will require the Building Approval Number of any building approvals that have been granted in the last ten years. The Vendor must provide these details relating to the property before the purchaser signs the contract of sale via their solicitor or conveyancer.

Selling a property that is tenanted: If the property is on a month-to-month residential tenancy, and is to be sold with vacant possession at settlement, a minimum of 90 days’ notice to vacate must be given to a tenant by you or the managing agent. If however, a fixed-term Tenancy Agreement exists, the tenants cannot be required to vacate until the end of the term specified in that written agreement.

Marketing the property for sale

The objective of any marketing campaign is to generate public interest and quality inquiries about the selling property. We have our own specialised marketing division through Rainbow Digital Media using cloud-based systems such as Digital Publishing, Web Landing Pages, and SMS Select Marketing with Direct Marketing to Finance Approved customers to maximise interest and exposure of your property. We can even develop and host an entire website to feature your property. Undertaking a digital marketing strategy is efficient and is ideal to direct target markets with specific demographics to particular buyers.
As the campaign commences you will have the opportunity to view the marketing map detailing the distribution strategy and progressive steps by accessing the ‘Private Property Vendor Portal’. Please refer to the tab below ‘Selling the property for more details relating to our Private Property Vendor Portal.
The objective should always be to sell the property within the required desired time frames to maximise return on the advertisement investment.
We manage purchaser interest: one of our delivery model services and strategy is that we do not ‘stage open house’. We deal strictly by appointment only. We also qualify buyers for financial capacity under our Credit Licence and their willingness to perform, buyers are only permitted to inspect the property when we are satisfied that they are genuine buyers.
We also offer qualified interested borrowers to subscribe to our ‘Private Property Purchaser Portal’ for ongoing updates on current offers and a way to further inform buyers on the purchasing process. We can then monitor who reads the online notices, and when they login to review updates. We use this process to monitor and filter buyers’ behavior to quickly identify who is really interested in your property. We use different types of technologies to maximise results.

Selling the property

Receiving an offer: we will undertake all the necessary steps to keep you fully informed throughout the selling process and brief you on all offers received. We use our ‘Private Property Vendor Portal’ a cloud-based password-protected platform with full collaboration capabilities. This is your Central Hub and reference source where you can obtain all the progressive information relating to the marketing performance, buyer inspection feedback, and the buyer offers made basically, every step in the advertising map is captured in real-time covering your property sale status.
We can share documents, emails, and anything else required to improve our workflow. Your ongoing feedback is crucial in order to expedite the offer, acceptance, and settlement process. We use this full collaboration interface to better communicate during your property selling process.
We manage the offers: It is important to note that an offer is not deemed a sale until:
– The offer is formally documented and signed by all parties by way of the contract of sale
– The standard 5 days cooling-off period has lapsed (if applicable)
– All special conditions are met by the purchaser and vendor
We manage the exchange of contracts: signatures of both the Vendor and the Purchaser are required on a contract. The purchasers may, in most cases, have a cooling-off period (usually 5 days or longer by agreement) during which the purchaser can withdraw from the contract. Once the contracts have been checked for accuracy, we will forward copies to your solicitor or conveyancer.
Your solicitor will commence the legal process of conveying ownership of the property from your name to that of the purchaser.
Inclusions: note that when you sell your property, you not only sell the dwelling, but you also agree to sell the inclusions that will be listed in your contract. You must inform your agent and solicitor if you wish to exclude any commonly included items (e.g. special curtains, light fittings) prior to the commencement of marketing as these exclusions must also be listed in the contract of sale as these must be addressed to buyers.

Pre-settlement process

Exchanging Contracts (Conditional): usually the contract of sale is conditional upon the purchaser obtaining finance approval, a satisfactory pest, and building inspection report or a valuation, or any other matter, and if the condition is not satisfied by the due date the purchaser must notify your solicitor, the real estate agent or you by the date set out in the contract. The purchaser may request an extension of the time to satisfy the condition or may terminate the contract. If the contract is terminated by the purchaser within the agreed time any deposit paid is refundable. If no notification by the purchaser is given within the agreed time the contract is deemed to become unconditional and purchasers cannot change their minds.

Paying the Deposit: The law requires that the deposit be paid into a real estate agent’s or solicitor’s trust account until settlement, or until an early release of the deposit is obtained in accordance with the requirements of The Conveyancing Act 1919.

Cooling-off period: Under the NSW Schedule 1 of The Conveyance (Sale of Land) Regulation 2005 provides the purchaser with the right to a cooling-off period after exchanging contracts (the day the buyer signs is not counted nor are weekends and public holidays) basically it allows the purchaser a default period of five days to get out of the contract unless amended by the respective solicitors. However, there are penalties if the purchaser rescinds the contract during the cooling-off period. In NSW agents will accept an amount of 0.25% of the purchase price as the initial deposit and then the remainder of the 10% deposit must be paid before 5.00 pm on the day that the cooling-off period ends.

If the purchase withdraws from the deal prior to the end of the cooling-off period, for any reason, they are liable to lose 0.25% of the purchase price to the vendor.

If the purchase withdraws from the deal after the unconditional exchange (after the cooling-off period concludes) they are liable for the whole of the 10% deposit being paid to the vendor.     

The Cooling-off period does not apply to properties sold at auction.  The implications of the cooling-off period should be discussed with your legal representative. To note that if the contract exchange is undertaken between solicitors, the purchaser may choose to waive their right to the cooling-off period and the solicitor will prepare a 66W Certificate, which means that unconditional exchange occurs as soon as the contract is signed and a full 10% deposit must be paid.    

Exchanging the contract of sale (Unconditional): Once the property is sold that is, you have exchanged the contract of sale (the contract is exchanged unconditionally). We will provide your solicitor with a copy of the signed contract and your solicitor will confirm the terms of the sale with you at that time. To note that once the contract of sale has been passed on to your solicitor, any changes that may need to be made to the contracts such as altering the settlement date or issues as may be allowed under the contract must be negotiated between your solicitor and the purchaser’s solicitor.

Insurance: the vendor should maintain at least the building insurance cover so that in the event of any incident prior to settlement, they will not be subjected to financial loss. However, note that some contracts of sale do transfer the onus of responsibility to the purchaser to obtain their own adequate building insurance cover once the contract of sale has been exchanged unconditionally. You must discuss this matter with your solicitor.
Discharge of Mortgage: if your property is mortgaged you will need to contact your bank and complete a discharge of mortgage authority or alternatively give your solicitor the name, address, loan account numbers, and contact at the bank so they can advise them of the sale. In all cases the bank will require you to sign an authority, authorising them to hand over the title to your solicitor at settlement in return for the amount of money required to pay out the loan.
This payout figure will be calculated at approx. 1-2 days prior to settlement and will include a pro-rata interest calculation to the settlement date and also any penalty payable for early repayment under the mortgage (in case of a fixed-rate loan). The bank will also charge a legal fee or a discharge fee for the preparation of the discharge of the mortgage. This will be included in the final payout. Your solicitor is provided with the payout figure only. If you require a detailed breakdown of this figure, you will need to contact the bank directly.

The settlement: Settlement will take place at a time arranged between your solicitor, the purchaser’s solicitors, your bank solicitor, and the Purchaser’s bank solicitor (if applicable). It is not necessary for you to attend settlement. Unless otherwise arranged with the purchaser you must vacate the property by the appointed settlement date.

Post settlement

The keys of the property should be left with the real estate agent unless otherwise arranged with your solicitor. Change of ownership advice will be sent by your solicitor to the local council and the State Revenue Office who will then update their records and issue future notices to the new owners.
A statement of all sale proceeds and distributions will be provided to you shortly after settlement. You should also receive a final statement from your bank showing the payout figure for your mortgage and a final settlement statement from your solicitor.
Please also do remember to notify the relevant authorities such as your banking institutions, tax office, Water Board, Australia Post Electoral roll, etc… of your new change of address.


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