If you're thinking about selling your house privately in NT, the first thing to consider is whether you have a 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 Northern Territory Consumer Affairs. With that out of the way, let’s discuss the steps to selling your own home in the NT.
Step 1: Preparing the contract of sale:
Ensure you have your contract of sale of land form drawn up by your solicitor or conveyancer before advertising your property for sale. It should include details of the property title, outstanding mortgages, covenants, easements, zoning, and outgoings. Fixtures and fitting are included by default, and you should specify in your contract if any chattels are to be included. Dishwashers, rangehoods, curtains and blinds are generally included in the sale.
If a residential property is less than 1.8 hectares, you will also need to provide documents to the Land Titles Office declaring that there is no pool or spa, or alternatively showing that if there is that it will have a compliant pool safety barrier. There are some exceptions.
Step 2: Setting your price:
When you set your price ensure it does not misrepresent the property’s sale price, as that is illegal. The selling price should not be lower than an agent’s estimated price or the lowest amount you would accept. To research your price, you can:
- Request a free property valuation report online at PropertyNow.com.au, and if available you will also receive a free property suburb report for your postcode. Research similar sold properties and for sale properties online, e.g. at http://www.realestate.com.au , or http://www.sa.gov.au/topics/property-and-land/buying-a-home-or-property/researching-a-property/median-house-sales-by-quarter .
- Obtain a valuation from an independent property Valuer.
- Request a property valuation estimate or range from real estate agents.
Step 3: Open Homes and Private Inspections
Once your property is advertised you will likely need to allow buyers to inspect the property through open homes or private inspections.
Step 4: Receiving the offer:
Generally, offers are submitted in the way of a signed contract of sale. Sometimes buyers may add an expiration clause to the sale contract so that the offer does not remain open indefinitely if the vendor has not signed by a certain date. Have your solicitor or conveyancer review any changes made by the buyer to the sales contract.
If someone makes you an offer on your property you may take a holding deposit of the full amount or a nominated partial amount. This should be held in your solicitor’s trust account or a trust account you’ve arranged through PropertyNow, to be returned if you do not accept the offer.
Step 5: Signing the contract of sale:
The next step in the legal process of selling a property in the NT is for you and the buyer to both sign two copies of the contract of sale. All signatories must be given a copy.
From this point, you could consider marking your property as “Under Contract” on various websites, but you should still keep a record of any enquiries from other buyers in case the sale falls through.
Step 6: Exchange:
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. 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 7: Cooling Off:
In the NT, the buyer is entitled to a cooling-off period of four business days, however this can be waived or amended if both parties agree. The cooling-off period commences the day you or the buyer last signed and exchanged the contract. During this time, the buyer can cancel the sale. However, if the buyer makes their offer on the day of the auction it is generally unconditional with no cooling-off period.
After the cooling-off period has ended, the balance of the deposit is payable by the buyer and should be held in trust until settlement occurs (e.g. 10% of the purchase price less any holding deposit).
An important thing to keep in mind with regards to cooling-off periods in the NT 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 unconditionally exchanged, you can go ahead and mark it as sold on your marketing.
Step 8: Settlement:
On signing the contract, you and the buyer will agree to a settlement date. Settlement is commonly 30 to 90 days 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 buyer’s solicitor to ensure they have everything needed for the sale to proceed.
With those 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. Hopefully we’ve demystified the sale process for you somewhat but if you’re still confused about anything just get in touch with us at propertynow.com.au
Selling via Auction
If there is high demand for your property you may prefer to sell it at auction. Ideally you should book your Auctioneer prior to listing your property, so that the date and time can be included in any advertising.
The auction rules and any extra conditions must be on display at the auction beforehand for buyers to view.
Once the reserve price is met or exceeded, then the property is sold. There is no cooling-off period for a property sold at auction and the contract of sale is unconditional.
If the property is passed in, the highest bidder has the right to negotiate with the vendor.
Settlement occurs in the same way as for a private treaty sale.
Sale by Tender
In the NT you can also sell your property by tender. This means that all offers are submitted by a set date and time for consideration.
Cooling Off Period
2 business days. Purchase deposit and holding deposit are refunded to the buyer.
Want to know more? Read 4 things you should know about the cooling off period
Selling your home during coronavirus
As one of Australia’s most scarcely populated states, the NT draws property data mainly from its capital city of Darwin and when the coronavirus pandemic hit it left many people wondering how the Darwin property market would fare. Having reached its peak in 2010, property prices were slowly recovering before the pandemic occurred.
However, recent data shows that the capital city experienced 1.7% growth for the month of April when the pandemic restrictions across the country were in full force.