Basic Legal Steps to
Selling Your Home

There are a number of legal processes that need to take place after you have accepted an offer on your property.  A lot of this is taken care of by your agent in conjunction with your conveyancer. This time is called the “settlement period” and usually takes around 60-90 days. 

Normally there will be 2 legal teams working on the final settlement of the sale of your home.  Your conveyancer and the buyer’s separate conveyancer. There are also other third parties included such as inspectors, valuers, council, and banks (yours and the buyers).

The basic steps to complete the transaction include:  

Contract of Sale
This is the agreement/contract between yourself and the buyer that states:

  • Sale price
  • Deposit required
  • Settlement date
  • Contingencies
  • What is included in the sale

There will be two duplicate copies, both signed by both seller and buyer and then formally exchanged.

Vendor Statement
The contract of sale is accompanied by a “Vendor Statement.  This is a statement you provide regarding any issues the buyer needs to be aware of.  For example: Zoning, Flood, easements, outstanding mortgage.

The Deposit
When the contract of sale is exchanged the buyer must pay the required deposit at the same time.  This money is normally held in a trust account by the buyers conveyancer.

The buyers’ conveyancer will manage most of the paperwork.

  • The initial settlement statement
  • Title Search / Certificate of Title / Transfer of Land.
  • Identification of Encumbrances.
  • Stamp Duty Application / Electronic Advice of Sale (EAS).
  • All conditions in the contracts of sale have been met. 
  • Authority to Proceed to Settlement.
  • This vary from state to state.

Conveyancers will work together to take care of various rates and taxes. Inc.

  • Ensuring there are no outstanding water or council rates owing.
  • Check for outstanding special government levies. 
  • Ensure there are no outstanding strata levies.

Your conveyancer will liaise with your bank to ensure the correct money is paid to release the mortgage on the property.  

Final Settlement
This is when the funds are transacted and the property keys are handed over.  This completes the transaction.  You (or the buyer) do not need to be present for this, as it is a legal formality.  You will then be advised by phone that the transaction is complete and the funds (less expenses and mortgage payout) have been deposited into your nominated account.