1. The Deposit
The amount of the deposit is negotiated through the Real Estate Agent. The deposit the Buyer has put down on the property is paid into the Real Estate Agent’s trust account. It is unlikely that a Buyer will agree to letting you have the deposit until they own the property.
If it is a house you are selling (as opposed to a unit), you should not cancel your house insurance. You still own the property. If you have a Mortgage, your Lender will insist on insurance remaining in place until you don’t owe them any money. There is no home and property insurance if you own a unit.
3. Tell Your Lender That the House Has Been Sold
The Lender will have you sign a Request for Discharge of Mortgage. You should sign this as soon as possible after Contracts have been dated because it can take a few weeks for the Lender to do what they need to do and you can’t be paid for the property unless a Discharge is handed to the Buyer first.
When the time comes for being paid for the property, that event is called “Settlement”. The Buyer can’t have their name recorded as owner unless they have the Discharge document to lodge at the same time as they are being recorded as the owner.
4. Tell Your Tenant That the House Has Been Sold
If your property is being rented, you must give the tenants notice to leave. The period varies depending on the lease but the period will have been taken into account by the Real Estate Agent and the Buyer when setting the date for paying for the home.
5. Signing the Transfer and Notice of Sale
The Contract of Sale is only the written evidence that contains the terms under which you are selling. There’s a legal document called “The Transfer” and this is what is lodged at the Department of Natural Resources & Mines to register the Buyer as the new owner.
The Transfer is prepared by the Buyer’s Conveyancer and sent to your Conveyancer for you to sign. Your Conveyancer will hold the Transfer until you get paid for the property. At that time, the Seller’s Conveyancer will hand over the Transfer in exchange for the money. This happens at Settlement.
The Buyer’s Conveyancer also prepares the Notice of Sale and sends it to your Conveyancer for you to sign. The Notice notifies the Council, Water Board and other government departments of the sale. The Notice is lodged with the Transfer at the Department of Natural Resources & Mines.
6. Settlement Figures
All council rates, water usage, strata levies (for units) and taxes on the land have to be divided fairly between the Buyer and you. These amounts are called “the adjustments”. The Buyer’s Conveyancer calculates the figures and your Conveyancer agrees to the figures (or not – in which case they are negotiated) and tells the Buyer’s Conveyancer how the cheques are to be made out on Settlement. A time and place is then set for Settlement. Settlement usually happens at the office of the person who has the Title Deed, although that can sometimes be negotiated, depending on the circumstances.