Selling A Property

If you are selling a residential or commercial property in Victoria, you will need a contract of sale and a Section 32 vendor’s statement prepared.

The contract includes the legal description of the property and details about you, your agent, lawyer or conveyancer, as well as some property information, such as items included in the sale. It also contains various terms and conditions setting out the rights and obligations of the buyer and seller and any additional special conditions.

The section 32 statement discloses further information about the property and is required by law. It enables purchasers to understand details pertinent to the property they propose buying. A vendor’s statement is a legal document and must be factually accurate and complete. If it contains false, incorrect, or insufficient information, a purchaser may be able to withdraw from the sale or take legal action. The vendor statement should be prepared by a conveyancing professional to ensure that it contains all the prescribed disclosure information.

Appointing a real estate agent

While you can choose to sell your property without an agent, it is common to engage a real estate agent to market and sell your property. The licensing and activities of real estate agents are regulated by legislation. They must act in your best interests and are bound by specific rules of conduct.

An agent can help you decide on the method you use to sell your property (for example, by private treaty or by auction). Sale of a property by auction is slightly different to sales by private treaty. For instance, there is no cooling-off period in a sale by auction.

Your agent will arrange all marketing activities, open houses, and conduct all negotiations between you and the buyer.

Exchanging contracts

Once you accept an offer, contracts will be completed with all pertinent information that relates to the sale including, but not limited to the purchaser’s details, purchase price and agreed settlement date will be noted in the agreement.

Once negotiations have ceased and any amendments to the contract terms are settled, contracts can be exchanged and preparations made for settlement, including ensuring that any mortgage on title is removed on or before settlement.

Preparing for settlement

Unless the property has been sold subject to an existing lease or licence agreement, it must be vacant with all items removed in time for completion. You will also need to arrange for the disconnection of electricity and other services.

The buyers are entitled to one pre-settlement inspection known as a final inspection which can be undertaken by them up to 7 days prior to settlement. This is usually co-ordinated with the selling agent.

Final adjustments are usually prepared at least 5 days prior to settlement and the adjustment and statement of account will outline the balance of funds to be received from the buyer at settlement, taking into account the purchase price, the deposit held by the agent and adjustments such as council rates, water rates and strata fees (as applicable).

Conveyancing transactions were traditionally completed when the legal and lending representatives met to exchange title and transfer documents and bank cheques. Settlements now have moved to an electronic platform through Property Exchange Australia (PEXA). Electronic conveyancing enables lawyers, conveyancers and financial institutions to lodge documents and complete settlements online providing greater convenience and faster access to settlement funds.

After settlement your agent will be authorised to release the keys to the buyers and account to you for the deposit held, less their agreed commission/selling fees.

We understand that the decision to sell a home or investment property can arise for various reasons. Some sales are relatively straight-forward, however some can be quite complex. We can help you understand your disclosure and legal obligations when selling property to ensure the completion of your sale is affected as smoothly as possible. We will draft compliant documents and ensure that the contract terms and conditions protect your interests and meet your specific circumstances.

If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] or call 03 9726 9569 for a no-obligation discussion and for expert conveyancing advice.