The Contract of Sale
The purchaser usually signs the Contract of Sale first. From the moment the buyer signs the contract, it becomes a legal and binding document.
The initial Contract of Sale is usually prepared on the selling side, either by the seller’s real estate agent or by their conveyancer or solicitor. A cooling-off period of 5 days applies to contracts for residential property. Buyers are free to change their mind during this time. This does not apply if you sell via the auction process.
Contract to settlement
From the time both parties have signed the contract and up until settlement you will need to ensure all special conditions are met that were outlined in the contract. You and your agent and solicitor should work together and continue to keep in touch throughout this stage to ensure you get all the help you need.
The buyer is entitled to inspect the property 2–3 days before settlement to make sure it’s still in the same condition as when all parties signed the contract.
If you’re concerned about penalties or other issues that impact your moving date, you should speak to your your solicitor and conveyancer to work out what can be done if it becomes delayed for an unreasonable amount of time.
Once you have handed over the keys to your agent, the property must be completely vacant and ready for its new owners.