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Selling PropertyBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Australia - Selling Property
Before you begin the process you need to be aware of the tax situation when you sell your house. Capital gains tax is not applicable if the house you are selling was your main home while you were the legal owner and you did not use the property to earn any money. The house should be on a parcel of land that is less than two hectares in size as this could also push it into the capital gains bracket. The accountant you consult will be able to assess your individual situation and advise you accordingly.
When you sell your home in Australia there are two ways of doing so. You can sell your house under ‘private treaty’. In this case the seller sets a price and invites offers from buyers. The second method of selling is to put the house through an auction. It is a good idea to seek advice from estate agents and those in the area that have sold property as they will be able to tell you which method works best in your region.
It is common practice for sellers to host events known as ‘open for inspection’, where an open day is held to market the house, but viewings by appointment are also popular. An agent will usually guide the prospective buyers around if you are not selling the house yourself so you do not normally need to be present.
If you are selling your house at an auction you must have the auction conducted by a professional. You will set a minimum reserve price and providing the bids go over this level your house will be sold to the person placing the highest bid. If the reserve price is not met then you can negotiate with the person who placed the highest bid. Once a bid has been placed it is legal and binding and the person who succeeds at the auction is obliged to go through with the purchase.
You will then need to appoint a conveyance. If you sold the house through private treaty the buyer has a cooling off period in which they are allowed to change their mind. This cooling off period does not apply in the states of Western Australia and Tasmania and there is no cooling off period for those houses which are sold at auction. The conveyancer is the person who will deal with the exchange of contracts and the transfer of the property to the new owner. You will be obliged to provide the conveyance with proof that you are able to sell the property and that there are no debts on the property which could hold up the sale. You will also need to involve your mortgage company so that they are aware that any outstanding monies are paid when the settlement is complete. Final settlement usually takes place between 30 and 45 days after the contracts have been exchanged. You are also able to negotiate a date for completion if another date suits you better. The conveyance will give you the monies that remain after any remaining debts have been cleared and all relevant fees connected to the sale are paid.
The housing market problems which have affected other countries such as the UK and the US have not affected properties in Australia in the same way. Property sales have remained steady in recent years.
Options such as home exchange which are becoming popular in the UK and other parts of the world are still not in effect in Australia. Home exchange is limited to holiday swaps at the current time.
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