Sellers – Be Properly Prepared

Buyers, Sellers checklist

It is well recognised that the sale and purchase of a home is one of the most important decisions made during the course of one’s life. It is crucial that proper advice is obtained to ensure that the process is as streamline and worry free as possible while ensuring that you are legally protected every step of the way.

At Grogan & Webb we have been involved in domestic and commercial conveyancing of all types of property for over thirty years.

There are a number of matters both sellers and buyers must consider and we have prepared a brief checklist which will assist in planning.

The Agent

While it is possible for a vendor to market and sell a property privately it is usual that an agent is appointed to handle the sale. Online marketing of a property is now standard and a search of similar properties in your area will give an indication as to the way each agent presents a property for sale. Questions such as private treaty/auction and open home times can be discussed with the agent. Selling fees and expenses must be agreed when an agent is appointed and the Agency Agreement is an important document which will incorporate these matters. We are happy to advise and assist on any aspects of Agency Agreements.

The property

An agent will give advice on the presentation of the property for sale; whether painting or decorating is advisable and to what extent the property should be cleaned up. Correct presentation of the property will go a long way to securing an early sale.

The Contract for Sale

In New South Wales legislation provides that a Contract must be prepared before a residential property can marketed. There are also a number of important documents which must be obtained and attached to the draft Contract. The documents include up to date searches from the Land Titles Office, a Zoning Certificate from the local Council and a plan of the sewer connection for the Water Board. Grogan & Webb can advise you on the required documents and obtain copies prior to the completion of the draft Contract. You should also prepare a list of any items which will be sold with the property and most importantly any fixed items which are being excluded. While it is usual to include fixed floor coverings, curtains, blinds and light fittings if there is a fixed item you wish to remove it must be disclosed in the Contract.

There are also a number of other documents which can be obtained and, although not specifically required, can lead to a speedy exchange of Contracts. Clearly, if a buyer is given all possible information available in relation to the property their own advisor will be able to provide a sign off on the Contract at a much earlier time. These can include:

i) An identification survey. This is a report which sets out the full measurements of the land and displays a diagram of the house as constructed with its full dimensions, distance from boundaries and easements.

ii) Building matters. The construction of a house should have been properly approved by the local council. While a council file will generally show the process of development approval, construction and final sign off obtaining this information is not easy for a purchaser prior to Contract and can be time consuming and costly. Any recent renovations should have an occupation certificate attaching to them which was issued by the council or the private certifier. A building certificate can be obtained which will involve an inspection by a council officer and a certification that the property has no current building issues and council will make no future orders for a period time in relation to the property.

iii) Swimming Pool Compliance. Recent amendments to legislation will provide that certificates be obtained in relation to proper compliance by a swimming pool with all fencing and other regulations. These certificates are available from all councils now and should be obtained, particularly if a building certificate is not being obtained.