The 8 Steps to Selling a House in SA

Are you wondering “Can I private sell my house SA”? 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! 

And, with that out of the way, let’s discuss the steps to selling your own home in South Australia.

Step 1: Preparing the contract of sale in real estate in SA

Get your contract drawn up by your solicitor or conveyancer before advertising your property for sale. You’ll need a Vendor’s Statement (called a Form 1), which includes details of the property title, outstanding mortgages, easements, zoning and outgoings. 

In your contract, specify if you’re excluding any chattels. Dishwashers, rangehoods, curtains and blinds are generally included in the sale.

The Vendor’s Statement must be given to a private treaty buyer at least 10 clear days before settlement.

Step 2: Setting your price:

When you set your price, remember it’s illegal to misrepresent the property’s 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, 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
  • 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 through open homes or private inspections. At this time (or on request), you should provide prospective buyers with a copy of the Buyers Information Notice (‘Form R3’), available here. You can supplement this with the ‘Assessing suitability of a property statement’, downloadable here.

Step 4: Receiving the offer

Every offer and counter-offer must be put in writing and signed. Sometimes buyers may add an expiration clause to the sale contract so that the offer doesn’t remain open indefinitely if the vendor hasn’t signed by a certain date. Have your solicitor or conveyancer review any changes the buyer makes to the sales contract.

If someone makes you an offer on your property, you may only take a holding deposit of up to $100, to be held in your solicitor’s trust account or a trust account you’ve arranged through PropertyNow, and returned if you don’t accept the offer.,

Step 5: Signing the contract of sale for real estate in SA

The next legal step is for you and the buyer to both sign the contract of sale. Once an offer is counter-signed by the vendor, it becomes an enforceable contract of sale.

There should be two copies of the contract, one signed by you and one signed by the buyer. Once this is done, you can mark your property as ‘Under Contract.’ Keep a record of any enquiries from other buyers in case the sale falls through.

Step 6: Exchange of real estate in SA

Exchange simply means that you and the buyer have signed a copy of the contract of sale and exchanged them. 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 SA, buyers are entitled to a cooling-off period of two business days, commencing from receipt of the vendors statement or signing the contract, whichever comes last.

The buyer can cancel the sale during this time. If they do, they’ll forfeit any holding deposit.

To withdraw from a sale, the buyer must complete a signed cooling-off notice and deliver it to the vendor or their agent via registered post, fax or in person.

After the cooling-off period has ended, the buyer must pay the balance of the deposit, which should be held in trust until settlement occurs (e.g. 10% of the purchase price less $100 holding deposit).

Remember, cooling off periods in SA only apply to the buyer. Once you’ve exchanged contracts, sellers can’t simply cancel the sale.

Once the sale has cooled off or unconditionally exchanged, you can go ahead and mark your property as sold.

Step 8: Settlement of real estate in SA

On signing the contract, you and the buyer will agree to a settlement date. Settlement is commonly six weeks after exchange but this can vary if both parties agree. 

At settlement the buyer ‘settles’ 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 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 probably saved yourself a lot of commission money.

Selling via Auction: Real Estate in South Australia

If there’s 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 vendor’s statement (Form 1) and buyer’s information notice (Form R3) must be available for inspection for at least three business days prior to the auction at the auctioneer’s or agent’s office, and at the auction for at least 30 minutes prior to the start time. The reserve price can’t be more than 110% higher than the price you stated in the sales agency agreement if you are using an agent.

Once the reserve price is met or exceeded, the property is sold. There’s no cooling-off period for properties sold at auction. If the property is passed in, but the sale is negotiated on the same day as the auction, the no cooling-off period still applies.

Settlement occurs in the same way as for a private treaty sale.

Cooling Off Period

The cooling off period in South Australia is 2 business days. Deposits paid over $100 are refunded in full, however the buyer forfeits their holding deposit.

Want to know more? Read 4 things you should know about the cooling off period

Selling your home during coronavirus

Real estate property prices in South Australia amidst the coronavirus pandemic have remained rather stable and somewhat resilient. In fact, recent figures show property sales are pretty much on par for March and April 2020 as they were the year before, holding South Australian property in good stead.

The Real Estate Institute of South Australia predicts the property market will remain buoyant as the country navigates its way out of current pandemic restrictions. It notes a drop in the amount of properties on the market during this time, however, property prices haven’t really been affected. As the market returns to normal, more sellers will list their properties and more active buyers will return to the market.

You don’t have to use an agent to sell your own house in SA

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.


1300 664 773

Sign Up