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9 Easy Steps to Selling Your Home

9 Easy Steps to Selling Your Home


  • 9 easy steps that can help you prepare for a successful sale
  • Where to start when you’re thinking of selling your property
  • How the sale process works

Whether you’re planning to sell your home in the next few weeks or several years from now, these 9 easy steps can help you prepare for a successful sale.

  1. Engage a Licensed Conveyancer or Solicitor

Did you know that a Real Estate Agent cannot legally market a residential property for sale unless and until they hold a Contract for Sale? For this reason, the first and most important step in the selling process is to engage a Licensed Conveyancer or Solicitor and instruct them to start preparing a Contract for Sale.

  1. Engage a Real Estate agent

Once you have engaged a Licensed Conveyancer or Solicitor and instructed them to start preparing a Contract for Sale, you should engage a Real Estate Agent to sell the property. The Real Estate Agent will likely ask you to enter into an exclusive agency agreement. This agreement gives exclusive rights to one Real Estate Agent to sell your property, usually for a set period of time. The agreement sets out the services the Real Estate Agent will provide, the amount of any commission payable for those services, when payment of commission falls due and the estimated sale price, amongst other things.

  1. Your Licensed Conveyancer will commence preparing your Contract of Sale

Your Licensed Conveyancer or Solicitor will obtain details about you and the property being sold so they can obtain the documents required by law from the relevant third parties to be attached to the Contract and prepare the Contract in full. This process takes approximately 5-10 business days.

  1. Issue a Contract of Sale to the Agent

Once all of the documents obtained from the relevant third parties have been provided and your Licensed Conveyancer or Solicitor has prepared the Contract in full, they will issue it to your nominated Real Estate Agent. Your nominated Real Estate Agent can then commence marketing the property for sale. In most instances, the Contract is issued electronically.

  1. Accept an offer on your property

Once the property is on the market, prospective Purchasers may inspect it and/or make offers. The offers are submitted to the Real Estate Agent who will contact you for instructions. You can reject the offer, make a counteroffer, or accept the offer. Once you accept an offer, the Agent will arrange for Contracts to be exchanged.

  1. Exchange of Contracts – 0.25% deposit will be payable to the agent or the vendors legal representative

Once you have accepted an offer, the Agent may ask the Purchaser to pay a ‘holding deposit’ and instruct both parties, that is you and Purchaser, to sign a Contract. The holding deposit is calculated by determining 0.25% of the agreed purchase price and is payable to the Agent’s trust account. Where the Agent does not hold a trust account, it’s paid into your Licensed Conveyancer or Solicitors trust account. Once the deposit is paid and the Contracts are signed by both parties, the Agent can perform an ‘exchange of Contracts’. This is where they are compared and then dated. Once dated, the Contract becomes binding on you, and you cannot accept any other offers. The Purchaser, however, has the benefit of a cooling off period and during that time they can rescind (cancel and get out of) the Contract.

  1. Cooling off period commences; the purchaser will obtain inspections of the property

Once the Contracts are exchanged, the cooling off period commences. The law provides for this to be 5 business days from the date of Contract, with exception. During the cooling off period, the Purchaser will conduct their due diligence – this includes obtaining inspection reports such as pest and building reports or a strata report. During the cooling off period, the Purchaser may also obtain unconditional loan approval, obtain legal advice on the Contract terms and negotiate the Contract terms.

  1. Cooling off period expires, and the Contracts become unconditional

Once the cooling off period ends, the Contracts become ‘unconditional’ and Purchaser is locked – both parties are locked in at this point. Prior to the expiration of the cooling off period (which is typically 5pm on the 5th business day after exchange), the Purchaser must pay the balance of the deposit to the Agent being 10% of the agreed price less the holding deposit unless otherwise negotiated during the cooling off period.

If the Purchaser exercises their right to rescind (cancel and get out of the Contract), the holding deposit is forfeited to you, and you can re-list the property for sale.

  1. Settlement! The balance of the purchase funds are paid to you and the title is transferred to the purchasers

The majority of settlements now take place electronically. You may have heard the term ‘PEXA’ used. This is one of the electronic platforms where settlements take place. A time and date are set for settlement. Once settlement has taken place, you are removed from the title of the property and receive the proceeds of the sale. The title is transferred to the Purchaser, who now becomes the registered owner.

At Coutts, we understand the complexities of the conveyancing and property law process. Our team of experts is here to guide you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with all your conveyancing and property law needs.


Melina Costantino

Melina joined the Coutts team in 2010 working as a Licenced Conveyancer within our Property & Conveyancing team, based out of our Campbelltown office. Her commitment to client services saw her progress further and into the role of a Senior Licensed Conveyancer in July 2022.

She graduated with a distinction in the Advanced Diploma of Conveyancing and is accredited with the Australian Institute of Conveyancers NSW.

For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:

Melina Costantino
Senior Licensed Conveyancer & JP
1300 268 887

Contact Coutts today.

This blog is merely general and non-specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.

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