The 8 Steps to Selling a House in Victoria
If you’re thinking “Can I privately sell my house Victoria?” 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, you can confirm it with Consumer Affairs Victoria).
Now that’s out of the way, let’s discuss the steps to selling your own home in Victoria. Keep in mind while reading these steps that, if you decide to sell with PropertyNow, we’ll be there to help you every step of the way.
Step 1: Preparing a contract of sale for real estate in Victoria
Get your contract of sale drawn up by your solicitor or conveyancer before advertising your property for sale. They will also need to prepare a Vendor’s Statement (also known as a Section 32), which includes details of the:
- Property title
- Outstanding mortgages
- Covenants, easements, zoning, outgoings
- Declaration if located in a bushfire-prone area.
You must sign this legal document and, if it’s found to be inaccurate or incomplete, the buyer can take legal action or back out of the purchase.
In your contract, specify if any chattels are to be excluded, such as pot plants or appliances. Dishwashers, rangehoods, curtains and blinds are generally included in the sale.
The Vendor’s Statement must be made available at all open for inspections, and given to the buyer before the property is sold.
If you’re selling in an owners’ corporation, you’re required to provide an owners’ corporation certificate with related documents.
Step 2: Setting a price on real estate in Victoria
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 PropertyNow.com.au and, if available, you’ll 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 you’ve advertised your property, you’ll probably need to allow buyers to inspect the property through open homes or private inspections. At this time (or on request), you must provide prospective buyers with a copy of the Due Diligence Checklist, available here: https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing-and-accommodation/buying-and-selling-property/checklists/due-diligence
Step 4: Receiving the offer
Generally, offers are submitted as a signed contract of sale. Only written offers can lead to a binding contract. 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. Always have your solicitor or conveyancer review any changes made by the buyer to the sales contract.
If someone makes you an offer, 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 don’t accept the offer.
Step 5: Signing the contract of sale for real estate in Victoria
The next step in the Victorian legal process for selling a property 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. All signatories must be given a copy.
From this point, you can mark your property as “Under Contract” on various websites, but you should still keep a log of enquiries from other buyers in case the sale falls through.
Step 6: Exchange of real estate VIC
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, email 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 for real estate VIC
In VIC, the buyer of a residential or small rural property is entitled to a cooling-off period of three business days (there are some exceptions). The cooling-off period commences from when the buyer (not the vendor) signs the contract of sale. During this time, the buyer can cancel the sale. If the buyer cancels the sale in this period, they’ll forfeit the greater of $100 or 0.2 per cent of the sale price, with any balance being refunded.
Be aware that an offer accepted within three full business days before or after an auction has no cooling-off period.
To withdraw from a sale, the buyer must complete a signed cooling-off notice and deliver it to the vendor or their authorised agent.
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 holding deposit).
An important thing to keep in mind with regards to cooling-off periods in VIC is that they only apply to the buyer. As a seller, once you’ve exchanged contracts, you can’t simply cancel the sale.
Once the sale has cooled off or unconditionally exchanged, you can go ahead and mark it as sold on websites.
Step 8: Settlement
On signing the contract, you and the buyer agree to a settlement date. Settlement is commonly 30 to 90 days after exchange, but this can vary 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.
It’s now time to put your feet up and congratulate yourself on a job well done – you’ve just successfully sold your house without hefty agent fees.
Selling via Auction
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 the date and time can be included on your advertising.
A Victorian auction rules and auction information statement must be on display at the auction for at least 30 minutes prior to the auction start time. Penalties apply for breaking these rules.
Once the reserve price is met or exceeded, the property is sold. There is no cooling-off period for a property sold at auction (or within three days before or after) and the contract of sale is unconditional.
Settlement occurs in the same way as for a private treaty sale.
Cooling Off Period
The cooling off period in Victoria is 3 business days. The buyer must pay 0.2% 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
When the Coronavirus pandemic hit Australia in the first quarter of 2020, it had a profound effect on the inspection process, which in turn affected property sales across the state. It left a lot of people wondering how the coronavirus would affect the property market.
In April, home inspections were banned across Victoria (with the exception of vacant properties), which meant the only way a buyer could view a property was through a virtual tour.
Statistics show a large number of sellers removed their homes from the market during this time and the state’s capital. Melbourne, showed a slight slide in property prices as a result.
As the market returns to normal selling conditions, homeowners continue to sell their properties in the same way as prior to the pandemic.
You don’t have to use an agent to sell your own house in VIC
Did you know PropertyNow can list your property on all the major real estate websites? WE give you the real estate support you need to sell your own home and help you save thousands in agent commissions!
Contact the PropertyNow team today to learn how easy it is to sell your home without an agent