The 8 Steps to Selling a House in NT
Do you have a right to sell your house privately in NT 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’ll also need to declare there’s no pool or spa to the Land Titles Office, or demonstrate any existing pool or spa has a compliant pool safety barrier (some exceptions apply).
Step 2: Setting your price
When you set your property’s price, remember it’s illegal to misrepresent the sale price. The selling price shouldn’t 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
- 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 you’ve advertised your property, you’ll need to allow buyers to inspect it via 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 doesn’t remain open indefinitely. Have your solicitor or conveyancer review any changes the buyer makes to the sales contract.
If you get an offer, you can 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 don’t accept the offer.
Step 5: Signing the contract of sale
Signing the contract of sale is the next step in the legal process of selling a property in the NT. All signatories must be given a copy.
Once the buyer and seller has signed the contract, your home is officially “Under Contract.” However, 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 you and the buyer have signed and exchanged a copy of the contract of sale . Exchange doesn’t necessarily have to happen in person; it can also be done via mail or 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 an offer on the day of the auction, it’s generally seen as an unconditional sale with no cooling-off period.
After the cooling-off period has ended, the buyer must pay the balance of the deposit. You should hold this money in trust until settlement occurs (e.g. 10% of the purchase price less any holding deposit).
An important thing to keep in mind about cooling-off periods in the NT is that they only apply to the buyer. Once you’ve exchanged contracts, you can’t simply cancel the sale.
Once the sale has cooled off or is unconditionally exchanged, you can go ahead and mark it as sold.
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.
Now 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 .dWe’re here to help.
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 for buyers to view.
Once the reserve price is met or exceeded, the property is sold. There’s 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
The cooling off period in NT is 4 business days. If the buyer decides not to purchase, their 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 mainly draws property data from its capital city, Darwin. Having reached its peak in 2010, property prices were slowly recovering. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, it left many people wondering how the Darwin property market would fare.
However, recent data shows that Darwin experienced 1.7% growth for the month of April when the pandemic restrictions were in full force across the country.
You don’t have to use an agent to sell your own house in NT
Did you know PropertyNow can list your property on all the major real estate websites, give you all the real estate support you need to sell your own home and help you save thousands in agent commissions? You do now!
Contact the PropertyNow team to learn how easy it is to sell your home without an agent.