Selling your home 

Using a real estate agent to sell your home, you are employing them to work for you. You will sign an agency agreement with them which is a legally binding contract and pay them a fee, usually in the form of a commission.

Be realistic about the price

Don’t simply sign with an agent because they give you the highest estimated selling price. Keep watch in your local area for sales of similar properties–take note of the sale prices to get an idea of how much your property could be worth. It is against the law for an agent to falsely overestimate the selling price of a property. This can be a dishonest way of influencing you to sign with them if you think they will get you a higher price for your home.

Agency agreements

Once you choose an agent you will sign an agency agreement. By law an agent must give you information about the different types of agreements so you can decide which one is right for you. Agents must give you a Fair Trading fact sheet called Agency agreements. Do not sign an agency agreement before you understand what it means for you in terms of cost and what the agent is committing to do for you. If there’s anything you don’t understand, contact Fair Trading or your solicitor. You can cancel an agency agreement during a 1-day cooling-off period which starts from the day the agreement is signed. Do this in writing and be sure to keep a copy.

A contract is essential

A contract of sale must be prepared by your solicitor or conveyancer before your property can be advertised.

Advertising your property

Research how you think your home should be marketed by looking around at what others are doing. Advertising can be expensive and you should be wary if your agent recommends a campaign that you can’t afford or don’t believe is required.

Private treaty or auction?

Research the pros and cons of selling your home by private treaty versus auction so you can make an informed decision in consultation with your agent.

Exchanging contracts

You sign one copy of the sale contract and the buyer signs another before they are swapped, or ‘exchanged’.

No cooling-off

Once contracts are exchanged, you are generally bound to complete the sale. Sellers do not have a cooling-off period to withdraw from the contract.