Negotiating the property sale

If you've decided not to sell property through a public auction, you will need to negotiate a selling price for your property with prospective purchasers who have put forward offers. You may also need sales negotiations if your property's reserve is not met at auction and unsuccessful bidders wish to try to secure a sale with you post auction.

Both parties involved in a property sale are looking to get the best deal. The buyer will want to get the property for the lowest price possible and the seller will want to get the most amount of money possible for their property. To get a win-win situation for both parties, you'll need expert negotiators to help.

Six things to consider are:

  1. Start with a fair price and a fair offer as overpricing your property will only drive interest away.
  2. As a buyer, offering lower than the asking price is also a sure way to alienate a seller
  3. Asking and offering prices should be based should be based on recent sales prices of comparable homes in the local area
  4. Understand and respect the priorities of the opposite party
  5. This mutual respect can help iron out more difficult parts of the property sale, such one party takes on the transaction costs or forgoes some major repairs
  6. Be prepared to compromise in order to achieve a win-win situation for you both

The contract of sale

The terms of a property sale are assembled in the Contact of Sale. When you sell property, this contact will also stand in addition to standard legal terms and conditions in a real estate transaction.

It will include agreed terms that relate specifically to the transaction including price, deposit, date of settlement, the inclusions and exclusions and other special conditions. Once an agreement is reached, the agent will normally take a deposit.

Different states have slightly different documentation processes:

  1. In New South Wales, the contract of sale is prepared by a solicitor who is instructed by the agent on behalf of the seller to prepare the documentation following the agreement of terms between the seller and purchaser, and also the collection of a deposit from the purchaser.
  2. In Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, the contract of sale is prepared by the agent - once the contract has been signed by both the seller and the purchaser, a deposit is accepted by the agent on behalf of the seller.

Preparing for the ‘settlement' of the property sale

The 'settlement' date is the date on which the balance of the purchase price is made and the title to the property is transferred to the purchaser. Things to consider about the ‘settlement' of your property sale include:

  • The settlement occurs once the contact of sales is signed by both parties, the cooling off period has expired and all special conditions have been satisfied
  • The conveyancer or solicitor for the seller will prepare transfer of title documents and settlement statements
  • This will include the adjustment of outgoings, such as council rates
  • They will also establish communication with the buyer's conveyancer or solicitor and the lending body if applicable
  • All parties, solicitors, conveyancers and lenders if applicable will meet on the date of settlement to exchange funds for signed mortgage documents and the title to the property on which the mortgage will be registered

Pest and building inspections

When a potential buyer becomes serious about a property, many will want to conduct professional building and pest inspections.

  • These inspections are not compulsory and are the buyer's responsibility
  • The buyer will have to make it clear that if they wish to make an inspection
  • Arrangements will be made by the buyer prior to bidding at auction or signing the contract of sale
  • Sellers should prepare themselves for visits from the professionals and companies involved
  • Most visits will take place during normal working hours
  • Sellers will most likely be able to work with their CENTURY 21 real estate agent to arrange access to their property

For expert help with your property sale, contact your local CENTURY 21 branch today.