No matter if you are buying, selling, leasing or building, the Conveyancing team at Baldock Stacy & Niven can guide and help you every step of the way. Property deals can be complex and the sale or purchase of a family home can be very daunting as it is often the largest transaction you will ever make.

The Conveyancing team at Baldock Stacy & Niven Orange has decades of experience and local knowledge and know how to navigate through all types of property transactions.

Information Sheet

The team have put together a number of information sheets to help explain the numerous steps and terms used when buying or selling a residential property.  

Today’s post sees Selling Your Home Explained.  (Click here if you would like to read Buying Your Home Explained Parts 1, 2 & 3)

Selling a Property

Contract Preparation

A property cannot be advertised for sale until the seller (or their solicitor) has prepared a Contract of Sale which is available for any potential buyer to read.
A contract typically takes about 3 business days to prepare and has attached to it a title search, a zoning certificate and a drainage diagram.
Property inclusions/exclusions are also included and a statement regarding the cooling off period must be attached. The contract is to be made available for inspection by any potential buyer. It is important that you consult a solicitor about preparing the contract to make sure that everything is in order.

Normally, contracts are made binding by the seller signing the original and the purchaser signing and dating an exact copy of it. Those contracts are then exchanged and a deposit paid. Each party then holds a contract signed by the other party.
Many of the clauses (the fine print) in a Contract of Sale are there to protect both the buyer and the seller by keeping a reasonable balance between the interests of both.

Vendor Disclosure Regulations
Vendor Disclosure Regulations require the seller of any land (whether residential property or not) to disclose certain details and to make certain warranties (promises) in the contract . The regulations require a seller to attach the following documents to the contract:

  • a zoning certificate under s149(2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979
  • a drainage diagram showing where the sewer lines are in relation to the land
  • a copy of the Title Deed where the land is under the Real Property Act
    an official plan of the land
  • a copy of all documents creating easements over the land (right of way etc.) and covenants
  • if it is a sale of a Strata Title unit, a copy of the Strata plan showing all the lots, a copy of the Title Deed for the strata lot being sold,  and a copy of the Title Deed for the common property.
  • If the building was built within the last 7 years, or is being sold by an owner builder, or if building work has been carried out on the property in the last 7 years costing over $12,000, a certificate of Insurance under the Home Building Act.

If the required documents are not included a buyer may back out of (rescind) a binding contract.

Baldock Stacy & Niven Conveyancing can gather all the required documents and properly prepare a Contract of Sale that satisfies regulations and protects your interests.

Negotiate on your behalf
Baldock Stacy & Niven can negotiate for you on your property sale. We understand the rules and how buyers and agents operate – in many cases we have more experience than both.

BS&N will work hard to safeguard your interests and help you achieve the best possible result.

Cooling Off Period

Every sale of property has a cooling off period for the buyer. During the cooling off period the buyer is able to withdraw from the sale for any reason but must pay the seller 0.25% of the sale price.
The cooling-off period ends at 5.00pm five business days after the contract is agreed and the decision to withdraw must be communicated to the seller in writing. The five business days cooling-off period may be waived, shortened or extended through negotiation.

There is no cooling-off period for a contract of sale of residential property if:

  • at or before the time the contract is made, the buyer gives a s66W certificate to the seller.
  • the property is sold by public auction
  • the contract is made after the property has been passed in at a public auction, provided the contract is made on the same day as the auction

Council & Other Rates & Taxes

Council Rates
The usual provision in the contract is that yearly council rates should be adjusted by the seller and buyer at the date of settlement or possession.
We will calculate the proportion of rates payable by the seller up to settlement and the amount payable by the seller from settlement until the end of the rating period (typically 30th June). Outstanding rates become the responsibility of the buyer after settlement.

Water Service Charges
As with Council rates, the usual provision in the contract is that water service charges should be adjusted as at the date of settlement or possession. Water Authority charges start from 1 July each year and bills are issued quarterly. Outside the Sydney Water and Hunter Water areas, Local Councils are responsible for water rates.
We obtain a “Section 41 Certificate” that shows the service charges, the environmental levy and the water usage charges for the current quarter and if the account has been paid.
Usually water usage is adjusted on settlement on the basis of the average water used over the previous period.

Land Tax
A person’s privately owned principal residence is exempt (where the land value is less than $1 million) and so are lands used for primary production, provided they are not owned by a company or trust. If there is any Land Tax owing, we ensure it pro-rated (similar to council rates) and is paid on or before settlement.


Many contracts provide that settlement take place within six weeks from the sale date. Sometimes settlement can be an agreed date that allows time for the buyer’s financial arrangements, inspections, searches and surveys etc to be completed.
Failure of either party to settle on the stipulated date or within a stipulated time can lead to a claim for damages for the loss suffered by the non-defaulting party.
Settlement normally takes place where the seller’s title deeds are located.
On settlement the balance of the purchase money (plus or minus adjustments for rates etc) is paid in exchange for the Title Deeds and transfer documents. The money is paid in such a way as to enable the seller’s mortgage debts to be repaid on settlement so that mortgage discharges can be handed over.
Usually the money is paid by bank cheque – that is, a cheque drawn on the bank’s own funds, as distinct from a private account.
BS&N can attend settlement on your behalf – you do not need to be there.

We will contact you to advise settlement has taken place and we will write to you setting out full details of the money paid over on settlement.
We also prepare a Notice of Sale that is lodged to enable the Transfer to be registered.
The Office of Land and Property Information uses that form to notify the Local Council, the Water Authority, the Valuer General and Rural Lands Protection Boards of the transfer.
We also attend to registration of the transfer of title and any other relevant documents.

Baldock Stacy & Niven Conveyancing

Conveyancing and property transactions still carry some risk and there are many conveyancing services available for you to choose from. With Baldock Stacy & Niven Conveyancing you will have expert, cost-effective conveyancing support backed up by a complete legal team that can deal with virtually any eventually.

We work with you every step of the way, from document preparation and lodgement to representing you in negotiations right through to settlement.

We do not take shortcuts or cut corners. We carefully prepare, review and handle all related documentation and scrutinize all details to ensure that your interests are completely protected.

We pride ourselves on our high level of client service. From the very beginning of negotiations to the final settlement we keep you informed every step of the way in easy-to-understand language. We react quickly to your queries and requests and will provide you with advice you can rely on — every aspect of the sale will be looked after efficiently and cost effectively.

BS&N Conveyancing – Reliable, personalized and cost-effective.

Get in Touch – we can help.

02 6362 2022
64 McNamara Street (PO Box 1070) ORANGE NSW 2800

The material in this information page is a general guide only and is not a replacement for legal or other advice. No person should act or not act solely on the basis of this information sheet. It is not legal advice and your possession of this information sheet does not create a client/lawyer relationship. If you would like to discuss your particular circumstances please contact Baldock Stacy & Niven.