Selling your property can be one of the most important financial transactions you will make in your lifetime and it can be an emotional time, particularly if selling a family home.
If you have found the ideal buyer who is willing to purchase your property at the right price, taking steps to ensure the contract is water tight will avoid the risk of the contract being terminated at a later date. There are steps you can take before you even list your property for sale which can maximise the return on your sale and ensure the process is as stress free as possible.
Always talk to a Lawyer before signing
Once a Contract has been signed, it is often very difficult to change. This can have unfortunate and unintended consequences. Some real estate agents have a deep knowledge of the conveyancing process however, they are not trained in this area and may not have the skills required to fully protect your legal interests. Lawyers and conveyancers are experts in conveyancing and can ensure that your interests are protected as best as possible.
Pool Safety Certificate
If you are thinking of selling your property and you have a pool, you should arrange for a Pool Safety Certificate to be prepared for the property, if one is not already in existence. You can check if your Pool Safety Certificate is current by entering your property address in the QBCC Pool Register.
Having a current Pool Safety Certificate before you list your property for sale can be beneficial for two reasons:
- You will be aware of any non-compliance issues with your pool and have time to rectify them before your real estate agent finds a buyer for your property; and
- It avoids a buyer crashing or terminating the Contract due to issues with the pool that they are not willing to address.
If you have not had time to arrange a Pool Safety Certificate before finding a buyer for your property, please contact us as we can draft special conditions which will prevent the Contract falling over in the event that there are issues with the pool.
Building and pest issues
Similar to pool safety, you may consider engaging an inspector to complete a building and pest inspection on your property.
Whilst you may not be willing to make any repairs to your property, a building and pest report will put you in a position where you are aware of any underlying issues with the property and can negotiate on those points before you enter into a Contract. This will avoid a Contract crashing under the building and pest provisions at a later date.
If required, we can draft special conditions preventing a buying from terminating a contract due to known building and pest issues.
When selling a house in Queensland, compliant smoke alarms must be installed in the property. Failure to do this could result in the Buyer claiming a penalty of 0.15% of the purchase price at settlement. The best way to avoid this penalty is by providing a Smoke Alarm Compliance Certificate to the buyer before settlement. This certificate verifies that the smoke alarms in the property comply with the relevant legislation and standards.
We recommend attending to this when you first list your property for sale.
Under the standard REIQ Contract in Queensland, there are certain disclosures a seller must make to a buyer. If any of those disclosures are incorrect, a buyer can have rights of termination and/or may claim compensation from you as the seller.
Some things you may need to disclose include:
- Any registered and unregistered encumbrances and easements. This includes things like access easements, stormwater drainage pipes, man holes, tree and fence disputes;
- Whether you have completed work on the property as an Owner Builder; or
- If the land is noted on the Contaminated Lands register.
Additionally, if you are selling a unit within a community titles scheme, you will need to provide the Buyer with a Body Corporate Disclosure Notice, signed by you, before the Buyer signs the Contract.
Non-disclosure of certain matters is probably the most common reason for Contract terminations and claims for compensation by buyers. Some quick searches and advice from a solicitor before a Contract is signed is the most effective way to avoid any non-disclosure issues.
The Small Business Lawyer are experts in property law and conveyancing and offer competitive fixed fee pricing. If you are ever in doubt, please make use of our free initial 20 minute consultation which we offer to new clients. We would be happy to provide you with advice on the sale of your property.