Once you’ve made the decision to sell your property, one of the first tasks is to have the Contract for Sale of Land drawn up.
The contract will include not only the legal terms and conditions of sale, but will also specify what items are included or excluded from the sale, and any other special requirements you might have like a longer or shorter settlement than usual, or perhaps that the contract be conditional upon another contract for you to buy your next property. There are a lot of ways that a contract can be varied, so it’s important to discuss your situation in detail with your lawyer/conveyancer.
You also need to know your disclosure responsibilities, as failing to disclose certain things can lead you into a lot of trouble.
Once a purchaser has been found and the contract has been signed and is legally binding, then a deposit is usually paid by the purchaser and is usually held in the trust account of the selling agent.
Settlement (the day that the money is exchanged for the property and keys handed over) is scheduled in accordance with the contract and is usually 6 weeks after signing contracts. During the wait for settlement, your lawyer/conveyancer will liaise with your bank in relation to releasing any mortgage held on the property. In this time you should arrange disconnection of electricity and other services.
Before settlement the purchase price will be adjusted to reflect the council rates, water rates and strata fees that need to be shared between the parties. There may be other adjustments, based on the Contract for Sale.
Once settlement takes place, the real estate agent will be authorised to release the deposit to you, less their fees.