Legal tips & advice when selling a home

  • 14 February 2023

Selling a house is not something you do often but you want to make sure you get it right. There are many things that you need to consider and decisions to be made that can cost you time and money. If you’re interested in selling your home, our property lawyers at MNG are here to help. Our clients sell their home every day and have put together their top tips of what to do when selling your house. 

Check your real estate agent agreements

Most people use a real estate agent when selling their home. This can often save you time and allows you to benefit from the expertise and networks that a real estate agent has. When you agree to use an agent they will provide you with a contract to sign. This often covers a range of issues, some to pay attention to include:

  • The commission you will pay.
    This is the amount that you will need to pay the agent if they are able to sell your home. The amount of the commission is often negotiable, but you will need to do this before you sign;
  • The amount of time the agent has to sell your house.
    This is an often overlooked but important clause as it can lock you in to using one agent even if they are having trouble finding a buyer for your home. Consider how much time you want to give the agent to sell your home before inviting another agent to help you; and
  • The cost of marketing and advertising.
    Before agreeing to costs, ask the real estate agent to give you a marketing plan so you can see how they plan on spending your money. You will need to decide if this is reasonable or if you would like to negotiate more or less marketing spend.

If you are not sure about some things in the agreement you can always ask a lawyer to review it and give you advice on it. 

Talk to your lawyer about any potential issues with your property

There are several issues that can derail a potential property sale and you want to try and avoid as many of these as possible. These can include:

  • Any disagreements that you have with your neighbours like fencing disputes;
  • Compliance certificates or council approvals for any changes you have made to the house like renovations or adding a pool;
  • Any notices that you have received from the council or government departments that affect what you can do to your home, like a heritage listing for example;
  • Any disagreements that you have had with the Owners Corporation or if you have received a special levy notice from them;
  • Any building defects or pests that you are aware of as the purchaser may choose to have the property inspected for this; and
  • If the property has tenants you should provide details of the lease and when it expires.

By talking to your lawyer before you put your house on sale, they can give you advice on the best way to prepare your house for sale. 

Prepare your Section 32 Statement (Vendor Statement) and contract early

If you have someone who is interested in buying your house, you want to make sure you have all the documents ready to go so you don’t miss out on an opportunity to sell your house. It can take quite a while to get all the information that has to go into these documents, that is why it is a good idea to ask your lawyer to prepare the contract and Section 32 Statement (also known as a Vendor Statement) early.

A Section 32 Statement includes information about the title of the property including any financing, council zoning, outgoings like rates and any covenants or easements. This is a legal document and you can face serious issues if it is not correct. 

In the contract of sale, you need to include all the relevant details about the sale of the house like the price and settlement date. If there are some parts of the property that are not included in the sale, like curtains or a shed, this will also need to be included in the contract. Your lawyer can help you make sure that you have covered off everything you want in the sale agreement and that your rights are protected. 

Know your rights when an offer is made

When a purchaser makes an offer that does not necessarily mean you can breathe a sigh of relief just yet. In Victoria, when you sell a house the purchaser may be entitled to a cooling off period. This means for three business days the purchaser may be able to change their mind. Whether a purchaser is entitled to a cooling off period will depend on whether the house was sold in a private sale or at auction. Your lawyer will be able to explain these to you and what your rights are. 

Get legal advice from MNG Lawyers

Our conveyancing & property lawyers in Melbourne and Ballarat have been helping people buy a home in Victoria for over 60 years. They understand what the fine print in your home sale contract means and can explain it to you in plain English. They will also listen to your concerns, help you negotiate your agreement and make sure all the paperwork is in order so you can focus on your new property. 

Contact a MNG Lawyer

Get in touch today, always in confidence.

We’re here to help. It’s our top priority to ensure your needs and concerns are met every step of the way.

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