Buyer's Guide To Sale & Negotiation

Making an offer

There are two types of offers:

  • Conditional - having one or more conditions to be met within a specified period for example, subject to a building inspection, house sale, finance
  • Unconditional
  • All contracts relating to land must be in writing. That means that any offers made on a property will be drawn up by the salesperson on the Real Estate Institute Sale and Purchase agreement.
  • This offer needs to be signed by the customer and is usually accompanied by a 10% deposit cheque.
  • The offer is then presented to the client for their consideration. If the offer is at an acceptable level, the client will sign as acceptance and the sale is concluded.
  • If it is not at an acceptable level, the offer may be counter-signed by the client and sent back to the customer for their consideration. This may happen several times until the price and conditions are satisfactory to both parties and a sale is concluded.
  • At this point, the Sale and Purchase Agreement is dated, and the agreements are forwarded to both the client's and the customer's solicitors.
  • It is normal practice for the salesperson to give copies of the completed agreement to both the client and the customer so that all parties have documentation detailing the possession date and of what chattels go with the property.


Paying a deposit

The deposit must be paid when the agreement has been signed by both parties and is usually payable to the real estate agents' Trust Account. A deposit of 10% is usually required. When we receive confirmation from the seller's solicitor that the agreement is unconditional, we forward the deposit to their solicitor, less our commission. The conclusion of the settlement is carried out between your solicitor and the seller's solicitor. Once an agreement is unconditional, the deposit is not refundable.

When can I move in?

The process by which the settlement/possession date takes place is commonly conducted through lawyers and involves the payment of the purchase price (less any deposit already paid) in exchange for which the purchaser will be electronically registered as owner on the Certificate of Title to the property. This electronic registration will also ensure that all previous charges over the property are released.

Keys to the property are usually either handed over to the purchaser or their lawyer at settlement, or able to be picked up from the salesperson immediately following settlement. Normally, the settlement date and the possession date are the same.