Are you wondering “Can I private sell my house NSW”? The first thing to consider is whether you have a legal right to sell your property without an agent. The answer is yes, you absolutely do. If you’re at all worried about this, you can confirm it with the NSW office of fair trading. With that out of the way, let’s discuss the steps to actually selling your own home in NSW.
Step 1: Preparing the contract of sale for real estate NSW
The first step to selling a property in NSW is having a contract of sale prepared. You must have this done before you begin marketing or conducting inspections. This applies to all properties in NSW except for rural properties. Keep in mind that though you don’t need to have the contract prepared to market a rural property, you will still need it once you have a buyer, so it’s best to get it prepared early.
The contract of sale must include title documents, drainage diagram, current zoning certificate and in some circumstances a swimming pool certificate and other documents, as well as any property exclusions, and a statement of the buyers cooling off rights. If that sounds like a lot to wrap your head around, don’t worry – getting a contract drawn up is really easy, all you have to do is contact a solicitor or conveyancer in your area and they’ll handle everything for you. You can also buy a generated contract online from the NSW Law Society’s ECOS website for a small fee.
Between step 1 and step 2 is when all your marketing and negotiations will happen, these steps are common to all states, so let’s move along to the next step in legally finalising your sale.
Step 2: Signing the contract of sale for real estate NSW
The next step in the legal process of selling a property in NSW is for you and the buyer to sign the contract of sale. You will need to have two copies of the contract, one for you to sign and one for the buyer to sign. You should sign your copy, and give it to the buyer to sign also.
Step 3: Exchange of real estate New South Wales
Exchange simply means that both you and the buyer have signed a copy of the contract of sale and have exchanged these with each other. At this point, the buyer may opt to place a 0.25% or more deposit which would generally be held in your solicitor’s trust account or a trust account you’ve arranged through PropertyNow.
Exchange doesn’t necessarily have to happen in person, it can also be done via mail or via a third party such as your conveyancer. Keep in mind that you and the buyer aren’t legally bound until all copies of the contract have been signed and exchanged.
Step 4: Cooling Off period in New South Wales
Once the buyer has been provided with a signed copy of the contract, the cooling-off period starts. In NSW, the cooling-off period is five business days. During this time, the buyer can cancel the sale. If the buyer cancels the sale in this period, they’ll have to forfeit 0.25% of the purchase price. You will need to refund any deposit paid, (less the 0.25%) and if the deposit was outstanding, the buyer will owe you the 0.25%. The 0.25% won’t apply if the buyer has cancelled the sale under allowance conditions within the contract of course.
After the cooling-off period has ended, the buyer will then need to pay the remainder of the deposit; which is 10% of the purchase price. If they have paid the 0.25% deposit initially, this will mean they need to deposit another 9.75% of the purchase price.
The buyer can also waive the cooling-off period by signing a 66W certificate. When this happens, it is called “unconditional exchange” once the buyer has paid the 10% deposit.
An important thing to keep in mind with regards to cooling-off periods in NSW is that they only apply to the buyer, once you’ve exchanged contracts, you cannot simply cancel the sale as a seller.
Once the sale has cooled off or is unconditionally exchanged, you can go ahead and mark it as sold on your marketing.
Step 5: Settlement of Real Estate NSW
On signing the contract, you and the buyer will agree to a settlement date. Settlement is commonly six weeks after exchange but this can be varied if both parties agree. At settlement the buyer ‘settles’ their purchase by paying the purchase price, less their deposit. If you’re using a solicitor, they may meet with the buyers solicitor to ensure they have everything needed for the sale to proceed.
With those five steps out of the way it’s time to put your feet up and congratulate yourself on a job well done – you’ve just successfully sold your house without an agent and saved yourself some money at the same time.
Cooling Off Period
5 business days. Buyer forfeits 0.25% of the purchase price to the seller.
Want to know more? Read 4 things you should know about the cooling off period
Selling your home during coronavirus
Like most states in Australia, the coronavirus impacted the property market in Australia and NSW was no exception. The Australian Government was quick to roll out some coronavirus stimulus packages and as a result, the market cooled but didn’t drop as dramatically as some had feared.
Due to COVID restrictions in NSW, properties were removed from the market, auctions and inspections were cancelled and as a direct result, overall activity dropped too. However, despite this, NSW property prices during the coronavirus pandemic remained rather buoyant with its capital city of Sydney growing .4% during the restriction-laden month of April. Aside from restrictions (which eased during May/June), the pandemic did not affect the property transaction process, and the NSW property market is returning to normal as buyers and sellers gain confidence in a recovering economy.