If you are selling your home without using a Real Estate Agent in NSW then this guide is for you.
Have you decided to sell your home without using a real estate agent? If so, please read on for important information to ensure you comply with NSW laws…Many people are not aware that it is actually an offence under NSW law to put your house on the market without a proper Contract for Sale being drawn up. Further, you must have specific documentation attached to it. You must know what you are doing to avoid being fined. Or have your potential buyer be able to pull out of a sale, it’s important that you understand what is lawfully needed to be included in your Contract for Sale.NSW law requires that sellers include specific information in the Contract for Sale. This also means that they also need to provide certain “warranties” or promises about the property in question—in all these obligations are known as Vendor Disclosure Requirements.
The necessary documents
Typically these documents will include:
A zoning certificate. Also known as a Section 149 Certificate, this document is issued by the local council and demonstrates planning controls and other circumstances which might affect the property.
A drainage diagram (showing the location of sewer lines).
Copies of any documents creating easements, rights of way, restrictions and covenants.
If the property features a swimming pool or spa, one of the following must also be attached to the contract:
a copy of a valid certificate of compliance, or
a valid occupation certificate (issued in the past 3 years) and evidence that the pool has been registered, or
a valid certificate of non-compliance.
This requirement does not apply to a lot in strata or community schemes that have more than two lots or for any off-the-plan contract.Also necessary to include in the Contract for Sale are any property exclusions as well as a statement of the buyer’s ‘cooling-off’ rights. Note that sellers do not have any ‘cooling-off’ rights.
Certain warranties are implicit unless expressly stated otherwise in the Contract for Sale. This includes warranties that the land is not subject to “adverse affectation” (governmental proposals that could affect the land), that there are no sewers on the land which haven’t been shown in the drainage diagram, and that the zoning certificate provides a true indication of the land’s zoning at date of contract.As well as being liable to fines under NSW law if you do not meet your Vendor Disclosure Requirements, a buyer who discovers a problem with the property could have the right to cancel the contract and you would have to return the deposit, which could lead to you experiencing financial difficulties if you have already purchased a new home.
The sale process
You can either sell your property by auction or by private treaty, with the majority of properties in NSW being sold via private treaty. With a private treaty, you advertise the price you’d like to sell for, and negotiate a final price with buyers. One important difference between selling by private treaty and by auction is that if you sell by auction, your Contract for Sale will not include a ‘cooling-off’ period. The buyer is required to go through with the purchase unless there are major issues with the Contract or the property. With a private treaty, the ‘cooling-off’ period can be waived, reduced or extended via negotiation.
The sale of your property becomes legally binding when contracts are signed and exchanged between the buyer and seller. At this time, a deposit is typically paid by the buyer (usually between 10 and 20%). Until this time, neither the buyer or seller are legally bound to proceed with the sale.
The finalisation of the sale occurs at settlement. This is known to happen around six weeks after the Contract for Sale was signed and exchanged. At this time the buyer pays the full amount owing to “settle” the purchase. This may include repayment of utility bills the seller has already paid, and any tax calculations the seller’s solicitor has made.
Stamp Duty, GST and CGT
Buyers in NSW are required to pay stamp duty on the purchase of the property, and sometimes other taxes as well. Sellers are not usually required to pay GST on the sale of a residential property unless under certain circumstances. Those are if the property also has a commercial use and in limited other circumstances as well.The above information is not exhaustive and if you are selling your own home in NSW without a real estate agent, it’s important you seek legal advice from a conveyancer. This professional will be able to properly advise you on all the legalities of your transaction. At CS Conveyancing we have years of experience helping homeowners sell their properties in NSW. So please give us a call on 02 4285 6653 today to arrange an appointment with one of our expert team. We can organise your conveyance and will help you remain within the law when selling or buying.