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Home | Property & Conveyancing Law | Buying & Selling Property | Process of buying or selling a house

Pre Contract

A seller will generally appoint an agent to assist in selling. The appointment is done by a written agreement that must make out the terms of the engagement of the agent. The seller then arranges for a contract to be prepared in readiness for sale. The agent cannot advertise the property for sale until they hold a contract that can be inspected by a buyer.


Once a buyer is found, the contract is then completed to contain the detail of the particular transaction. Before committing the buyer usually carry out a pest and building inspection as the buyer will take the house with all faults.

At this time the buyer will confirm they have sufficient finance to complete the contract. Once satisfied with the enquiries, the buyer will then pay the deposit and enter into the contract by way of exchange.

Pre Settlement

After exchange the buyer will make further searches for any affectations of the property and check rates, water rates and other property taxes. Requisitions will be made by the buyer as to any knowledge the seller may have that might adversely affect the property. The buyer will then finalise the finance arrangements and sign bank mortgages as required. Stamp duty will also need to be paid at this time. Insurance will also need to be put into place.


An appointment is made between the buyer and seller’s representatives. The buyer and any incoming or outgoing banks will make a final inspection of the house and, provided this is satisfactory, the contract will be settled. The purchase money will be handed over in exchange for the deed and the buyer will be entitled to the possession of the house at that time.

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