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Selling Property

With a focus on commercial, residential and mixed-use, our property team delivers the certainty you need. Whether you are purchasing your first property or are a property developer, an investor or a landlord, we’ll protect your interests.

Our expertise includes:

  • Buying or Selling Property
  • Buying or Selling a Business
  • Commercial + Retail Leasing
  • Liquor Licensing
  • Finance Negotiation
  • Joint Ventures
  • Contract Review
  • Off-the-Plan Developments
  • Subdivisions
  • Transfer of Properties
  • Planning + Development Agreements


The Contract
Your property can’t be advertised by a real estate agent until a Contract for Sale of Land has been prepared. Once you have hired a real estate agent to sell your property Sanford Legal will then prepare a Contract for Sale of Land.

Sanford Legal must obtain certain “prescribed documents” including a zoning certificate (section 149 certificate) from your local council, a copy of the title, copies of all registered title documents, registered plans for the property and a sewer diagram. This contract can usually be prepared in around three to five business days.

Auction or Private Treaty
These are the most common methods of selling your property. And you should make this decision after you’ve met with your agent who will advise you on the best method.

PRIVATE TREATY – involves selling through the setting of an asking price. The property is sold through negotiation around that asking price. Vendors must establish an asking price that will be competitive within the existing market – and also with those other properties that are already for sale. It’s important to get this asking price right. A price that’s too low will cost you, however, a price that’s too high will make other properties more attractive than yours and will ultimately cost you potential buyers, your time and marketing costs.

AUCTION – involves a public sale where the property is sold to the highest bidder, after the vendor’s reserve price has been reached or exceeded. There is no cooling off period with auctions and contracts are exchanged immediately following the sale. The contract becomes unconditional and the successful buyer will be required to pay an immediate deposit. This is usually 10%. If the property doesn’t meet the reserve it’s passed in.

Offer and acceptance
Your real estate agent should let you know when an offer is given by a prospective purchaser. Once you’ve accepted an offer, the agent will issue a sales advice to all parties with details of the agreed price and possibly some special conditions that have been agreed. The contract is legally binding on both parties when contracts are exchanged and a deposit is paid.

Usually, 10% of the purchase price is the deposit paid on exchange of contracts. However, this may be negotiated before exchange to accept a 5% deposit, bank guarantee or deposit bond. Most cash deposits are held in an interest-bearing account that’s arranged by the agent with the interest being split equally between the purchaser and vendor after settlement. If you haven’t involved an agent in the sale, we’ll hold the deposit in a trust account for you.

Contracts are exchanged when you and the purchaser have signed separate but identical copies of the contract and the agreed deposit is paid. Contracts are dated and your signed contract is given to the purchaser’s solicitor, and the purchaser’s signed contract is given to Sanford Legal (that’s why it called, “exchange”).

Cooling-off period
A standard Contract for Sale of Land of residential property includes a five business day cooling-off period which starts the day contracts are exchanged. This cooling-off period exists in case the purchaser changes their mind after the exchange. As the vendor, you don’t have this right. If the purchaser backs out, they have to pay you 0.25% of the purchase price. There is no cooling-off period if the property is sold at auction. Cooling-off periods can be extended if agreed by both parties in writing before the expiry of the cooling-off period.

Waiving the cooling-off period
The cooling-off period can be waived as part of the negotiation process. A Section 66W certificate provided by the purchaser’s Licensed Conveyancer/Solicitor, will waive the cooling-off period on exchange of contracts.

Settlement is also known as completion and it’s the date that your property is legally transferred to the purchaser. This is also the day the purchaser takes possession of the property, and the balance of the purchase price is paid to you.


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