Selling residential property can be an unknown quantity however we aim to make your sale as stress-free as possible.
In Victoria, a contract must be accompanied by a vendor statement, which provides the buyer with information on the property. It is wise to have a vendor statement prepared before you advertise your residential property for sale to avoid delays and because buyers will often ask for a copy before submitting an offer.
The first step in selling your home is to contact our property team so we can order these documents, prepare your contracts and give you sound advice to ensure you are equipped for the present market.
Preparing the contract – disclosure and warranties
Disclosure documents include a title search and plan, the council planning and information certificates, water statement, building certificates, roads proposal search, contaminated land, land tax and other searches depending on the property type and location.
Owners must also give warranties with respect to the property being sold. These are that there are no ‘adverse affectations’ such as Government proposals, the zoning is accurately stated and the sewer is as indicated on the drainage plan.
It is also implied that there are no work or demolition orders outstanding and that the relevant approvals for the construction and use of the buildings on the property have been obtained.
The objective of disclosure is to enable a purchaser to make an informed decision regarding the property with the implied warranties providing a safety net against latent (unobvious) defects. Presumably, this facilitates a turnaround between negotiations and exchange of contracts.
If, after entering the contract, the purchaser discovers a non-disclosure or a breach of warranty then the contract can be rescinded (cancelled). This of course will delay the eventual sale of your property and, if you are purchasing another property, have serious implications.
If you are aware of any issues such as non-compliant works, then we can disclose these in the contract and prepare a special condition limiting a purchaser’s right to rescind. Alternatively, you may choose to fix defects or obtain reports. We can discuss these issues with you when we meet.
Sale and exchange
Once a sale has been negotiated your agent will provide details of the purchasers and terms of sale so we can complete the contract and forward it to their representative. It is likely purchasers will make pre-purchase enquiries and perhaps obtain pest and building reports. We will answer any questions, negotiate where necessary and facilitate a quick exchange.
Exchange of contracts is the formal process of committing the parties to the agreement.
Identical contracts, signed respectively by the purchasers and vendors, are exchanged between the parties’ representatives. The deposit is usually paid into the agent’s trust account.
What happens next?
The exchange triggers the count-down to the day of settlement which is generally five or six weeks later. If you have a mortgage, we will notify your lender so arrangements can be made to release its security over the property.
Closer to settlement your lender will provide a payout figure stating the balance of your loan which is the amount they will require from the proceeds of your sale to discharge your mortgage.
We will obtain settlement adjustment figures from the purchasers’ representatives and check these with you.
Unless other arrangements are in place, you will need to vacate the property on the settlement date and ensure that it is clean and tidy with all items removed.
On settlement, the representatives meet and exchange funds for the title documents. When the transfer is registered into the purchasers’ names, the Valuer General, local Council and water authorities are advised so that notices issue directly to the new owners.
It is important to understand your obligations when selling property and to draft the contract to ensure your sale is protected by sufficient disclosure. If you are purchasing at the same time, it is likely you will benefit from a simultaneous sale and purchase and we will take your needs into account when representing you.