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The 7 steps in selling a house
1. Engage a real estate agent
Deciding who to entrust with the marketing and sale of your property is generally the first step in selling a house. Consider word of mouth recommendations as well as local area research when shortlisting your agents, and be sure to check out reviews before you commit.
2. Prepare to market your property
Now the hard work begins. You want your property to be in the best possible state for photographs and open home viewings, so now’s the time to tidy up the garden, declutter and fix any broken fixtures.
3. Notify your home loan provider
Once you have decided to sell your home and have engaged an agent, you should contact your financial institution to discuss the discharge of your mortgage (if applicable).
4. Engage a conveyancer
One of the most important steps in selling a house is choosing and engaging a conveyancer. Be sure to put them in touch with your real estate agent and home loan contact.
5. Sign documents
Immediately sign and return any documents you receive from your conveyancer (e.g. Memorandum of Transfer documents, authorities, or any other forms).
6. Arrange disconnections
It is your responsibility to arrange disconnections of personal utilities, such as gas and electricity, internet etc. Government services, like water and council rates, will usually be handled as part of the settlement process. Arrange for final meter readings to be taken at least two days prior to settlement. You’ll also need to cancel your house insurance policy (if applicable).
Prior to settlement, you will receive a Settlement Statement from your conveyancer. One of the final steps in selling a house is to check this statement carefully, and if you have any queries, telephone your conveyancer immediately.
7. Settlement day
Arrange to move out of the property by 10.30am on the day of settlement and leave all keys with the agent (or other arranged place) by 10.30am on settlement day. Your house and property should be left clean and tidy for the purchaser with none of your belongings remaining aside from any items included in the contract of sale.
Learn more: What happens on settlement day
Finance approval for your purchaser
If finance is not approved at the time the contract is signed or the purchaser is not a cash buyer, a finance condition will be included in the contract as a measure to safeguard the buyer. In the contract, this will state that the contract is ‘conditional’ on, or ‘subject to’ the purchaser being lent a specific minimum loan amount. By having a contract of sale drawn up with a ‘Subject to Finance’ clause included, it enables the purchaser to withdraw from the contract if they are unable to obtain the necessary finance to purchase the property.
When ‘Subject to Finance’ can’t be used
Some purchasers incorrectly presume that by including a ‘Subject to Finance’ clause, if they are then unable to obtain finance for the property purchase, that the contract is simply cancelled and that they will have the deposit they paid refunded to them.
‘Subject to Finance’ clauses typically contain a special condition stating that the purchaser will use their best endeavours to apply for and do everything necessary to obtain the loan. In the event that the purchaser fails to meet this requirement, for example by not even trying to obtain the loan, the vendor may then choose to take legal action against the purchaser. Trying to use the ‘Subject to Finance’ clause to get out of an unwanted purchase is not the intention of this clause.
FAQs about the process of selling a house
What is the process for selling a house in SA?
There are 7 steps to selling a house in South Australia: engage a real estate agent, prepare for viewings, engage a conveyancer, notify your mortgage provider, sign documents, arrange disconnections, and settlement day.
What paperwork is needed to sell a house in SA?
You will need to provide your potential buyers with a Form 1 (sometimes referred to as a Vendor Disclosure Statement). Sometimes your agent will prepare these documents, while others may outsource the task.
You’ll also need to prepare a Contract of Sale – again, if you are selling through an agent, they will take care of this for you. There are other documentation requirements for the conveyancing process, although the majority of these can be done digitally.