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  • MCW Lawyers

Residential Conveyancing - Selling

Updated: Jul 30, 2021

There a number of steps in selling your property, these include:

Selling a property

  • Prepare a contract

  • Advertise the property for sale

  • Sign the contract

  • Exchange and date the contracts

  • Arrange and discharge of mortgages

  • Settle/complete

The costs involved in purchasing a property

Initial deposit for our costs and disbursements (incurred in drawing up the contract and the searches requires.

  • On settlement

  • Adjustment of rates

  • Agent's commission

  • The balance of our costs and disbursements

The timing involved when purchasing a property

  • Approximately 48 hours for the preparation of contract

  • Once a purchaser is found, contracts can be signed and exchanged

  • Exchange can take place as soon as both parties have signed their contract

  • Exchange to settlement is usually six weeks

  • On settlement you will receive your cheque. Keys for the property will be released to the purchaser

1.The contract

Before you or your agent can advertise a property for sale, you must have a draft contract drawn up. For the contract to be valid, it must contact the following searches:

  • Title search (this shows the ownership of the property

  • Deposited Plan/Strata Plan

  • Any dealings affecting the land (ie. restrictions, easements)

  • Section 149 zoning certificate

  • Sewerage diagram

  • Any other search that affects the property

Upon receiving instructions from you, we will apply for the searches and draw up the contract. This takes 48 hours, depending on the availability of the documents from the Council.

We will send you a Warranty Disclosure form statement which contains questions relating to the property. This helps us draw up the contract to protect the sale. If these questions are not raised and answered correctly, a prospective purchaser may be able to rescind the contract.

2. Advertising your property

Once the draft contract is ready it will be delivered to your agent, or forwarded to you, so that the property can be advertised. The draft contract does not contain the purchase price, the purchasers' details or any other agreed terms of the sale. These details are finalised when the purchaser is found.

A contract does not have a "use by date", however we would highly recommend that if a property is on the market for more than three months, updated searches be obtained. This is to protect your sale.

If the details contained in a search change from the time the contract was issued, the purchaser may have a right to remedies and relief available to them, such as to rescind the contract, and possibly compensation for damages.

3. Signing the contract

Once a purchaser is found and negotiations on the price have been reached, the terms of the sale, including the purchaser's details, the purchase price, the agreed inclusions/exclusions, are completed on the draft contract. Two identical contacts are made up. Once for you to sign, the other is for the purchaser to sign.

Signing the contract with us

We will discuss all the details of your sale, including the contract, the timing, discharge of your mortgage (if applicable) and moving arrangements. You will be required to sign the contract. The contract can either be forwarded to you for signature or you can arrange an appointment to sign the contract in our office.

Signing the contract with the agent

The agent may ask you to sign the contract held by them. If you sign the contract with the agent, please contact this office immediately so that we can discuss the details of your sale with you.

4. Exchange of contracts

Exchange of contracts is simply a swapping of signed identical contracts and payment of a deposit. The end result is that we have the contract signed by the purchaser, and the purchaser has the contract signed by you.

Once contracts have been exchanged, both you and the purchaser are locked into the contract and are bound by the terms and conditions contained in the contract, unless it is subject to a cooling off period.

On exchange the contracts are dated. This is the date which starts the contract - ie if the contract calls for settlement in six weeks, the time starts from the date on the contract, date of exchange.


The purchaser will pay a deposit on exchange, this is usually 10%. The deposit is held by the agent, in their trust account, until settlement.

On settlement, we will authorise the agent to release the deposit to you. The agent will obtain your instructions to deduct their commission from the deposit, prior to releasing the balance to you.

Please note trust accounts do not accrue interest. If your sale has an extended settlement date, we would suggest that the deposit be invested in an interest bearing account. On settlement any interest accrued on the deposit is usually divided equally between you and the purchaser. This can be arranged through this office or with your agent.

5. Discharge of mortgage

On settlement we will be required to hand to the purchaser's solicitor, a discharge of your mortgage. After exchange of contracts, we will obtain all the necessary details from you to contact your financial institution to arrange the discharge of your mortgage.

Closer to settlement, we will be given a pay-out figure by your financial institution. This is the amount required to clear the debt owing. Once we have the pay-out figure we will contact you to confirm the details.

On settlement a cheque a cheque will be drawn for this amount to clear the debt.

Following settlement your financial institution will forward you a statement showing the amount paid to them on settlement.

6. Settlement/Completion

Settlement is when the deeds (title) to the property are handed to the purchaser and the purchaser hands over the cheques for the balance of the purchase price. On settlement the purchaser becomes the legal owner of the property.

You do not need to attend settlement, we attend on your behalf.

A purchaser is entitled to vacant possession of the property on settlement, unless the property was sold subject to the tenants remaining in the property. This means all your possessions that were not noted on the contact as inclusions, must be removed from the property.

On settlement the keys to the property must be available to the purchaser. The keys should be delivered to the agent, or if there is no agent, to this office.


We will obtain your instructions prior to settlement as to how you would like the balance of settlement funds drawn. The cheques received on settlement are bank cheques.

Unfortunately bank cheques still require a three business day clearance after depositing into your account.

Your cheque will be available for you to pick up from our office the next business day. If it is more convenient, we may be able to arrange for your cheque to be banked into your nominated account.

Notice of Sale

On settlement the following authorities will be notified of the change of ownership:

  • Local Council

  • Local Water Authority

  • Valuer General's Department

You will need to notify the following authorities:

  • Electricity

  • Gas

  • Telephone


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