The Seller’s Conveyancing Checklist Made Simple
Selling your home? Here are some important things to remember to get you through the process without breaking a sweat.
Stage 1. Contract of Sale
Often your real estate agent will prepare the contract of sale using a standard template. Whilst it is tempting to just sign on the dotted line remember that it can be costly (and may not always be possible) if you decide to not proceed with the sale. If you have any doubts or concerns then seek legal advice.
Stage 2. Signed Conditional Contract of Sale
Remember that the buyer will you will generally have a 5 business days “cooling off” period during which they can terminate the contract if they no longer wish to proceed – they will need to pay you a termination penalty.
Your solicitor will (if not already done) now order a title search, notify the nominated agent and the buyer’s solicitor they are acting and await transfer documents from the purchaser’s solicitor.
Upon receipt of the transfer documents, your solicitor will examine the title search and other relevant documentation (such as a mortgage to be discharged) to identify the legal and equitable interests in the property being sold. They will then forward the documents to you for you to sign and send back in its original form (returned via post, without the document being stapled or folded).
You should note that although the property is at the buyer’s risk from 5pm on the first business day after the contract date it is strongly advisable that you maintain your insurance policy up until settlement date.
Your solicitor will keep you informed of any issues raised by the buyer’s solicitor in respect of building and pest and finance conditions in the contract and any extensions sought by the buyer.
Stage 3. Unconditional Contract and Prior to Settlement
Once you reach this Stage all conditions (including building and pest and finance) have been met and failure to proceed with the sale is likely to have significant financial implications for you.
Your solicitor will now start preparing a Settlement Statement (containing proposed settlement adjustments for council and water rates) and send this to you, book settlement with your financier (if applicable) and the buyer’s solicitor, seek details from your financier of the cheques required at settlement and seek your instructions as to how you want them to deal with any surplus funds payable to you at settlement.
The buyer is entitled to a pre-settlement inspection to ensure the property has been left in good condition thus you should not modify or damage the property in any way.
Stage 4. Post Settlement
Your solicitor will now send your real estate a settlement letter enclosing any balance owed for sales commission and instructions to discharge keys. They will also send you a final letter containing settlement figures and your tax invoice for the professional fees and outlays of selling the property.