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Step-by-step guide to Selling a house

Selling your home can be a very stressful time and confusing and this is why we introduce you with our step by step seller guide to help you to understand the stages of selling your home.

  • Step 1: Do the right thing - Contact your Lawyer first
  • Step 2: When you sign the contract
  • Step 3: Upon the contract become unconditional
  • Step 4: After the contract become unconditional
  • Step 5: Possession/Settlement
  • Step 1: Do the right thing - Contact your Lawyer first

    You first need to talk to us about your options and the outcomes you want, including choice of agent, selling methods and price range you are expecting.

    We then obtain the certificate of title of your property and you will be asked to complete our “Instruction details process online form”. If the property is leasehold there will be an additional form you need to fill out.

    We will also ask you to give us the information in regards to the Vendor’s warranties and undertakings that will be given to the Buyer in accordance with the Sale and Purchase agreement.

    If you are selling a unit title property, you will be informed by one of our property teams about your legal obligation to make statutory disclosures to the buyer and when you have to make them available.

    You will then need to select a real estate agent and confirm the sale method (multiple listings (general agency)/Sole agency, auction/tender) and price range.


    • do not sign the agreement before discussing it with your lawyer.
    • If you are selling a unit title property you must not sign the agreement until you have made pre-contract disclosure to the buyer.

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    Step 2: When you sign the contract

    If you chose to sell your property as a private treaty, the draft contract will normally be prepared by us and sent to the buyer's solicitors. We can also help you negotiate the price, settlement date and conditions to achieve the best outcome for you.

    Once everything is agreed (including Settlement date) you will be asked to sign the contract. At this stage the sale becomes legally binding. You should not sign more than one agreement unless it is absolutely clear that the subsequent agreement is a back-up agreement that will take effect only if the first one falls through.

    When you list up the chattels which will be included in the sale agreement, you need to check whether electrical appliances which are included in your chattels list are functioning well. You are selling the house as it is at the time of signing the agreement unless otherwise stated in the agreement.

    If you are selling through the real estate agent, they will be able to help you to enter into the contract within the boundary of their professional duty of care. However we always recommend you to first contact us before you appoint your real estate agent.

    Until the contract becomes unconditional, you will be required to resolve any problems with the title, Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report and any other conditions with the buyer (Yes, problems do happen!).

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    Step 3: Upon the contract become unconditional

    When all conditions are satisfied by the buyer, the contract will become unconditional. You will then have a right to have the deposit. If the real estate agent was holding the deposit as the stakeholder, they will release the remaining balance of the deposit after they deduct their commission first.


    • It is therefore very important that if you are selling your property through the real estate agent, you should make sure the deposit you receive is sufficient to cover any commission to the real estate agent that will fall due when the contract becomes unconditional (even if the purchaser fails to complete the purchase).

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    Step 4: After the contract become unconditional

    We will apply to your bank for any discharge of mortgage and prepare the final accounts. We then apply for the final account of water and local authority rates in order to properly apportion between the seller and buyer. If your property is a unit title, we further apply for pre-settlement disclosure statement to the body corporate.


    • As most rates are payable by instalment (eg, Auckland Council by 4 instalments), we apportion the rates as if all instalment due are paid in full. If you have not paid any instalment in due, we arrange the payment from the proceeds of sale.

    Before the settlement, the buyer has a right to re-inspect the property and therefore you shall allow the buyer to have the access to the property.

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    Step 5: Possession/Settlement

    On the settlement date we will receive the balance of the sale price, in return for which we will release the title to the buyer's solicitors via E-dealing.

    We then redeem (pay off) any loan outstanding that is secured against your property out of the sale proceeds, collect our legal fees and disbursements and will forward any left over money to you, unless you are using it for a related purchase.

    You will be required to organize the keys for handing over to the buyer.

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    No information on this website shall be construed as legal advice and information is offered for information purposes only. You should always seek advice from an appropriately qualified solicitor on any specific legal enquiry. Calls to or from our legal helpline may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes. External links are provided for your convenience, but they are beyond the control of Convey Law and no representation is made as to their content. Use or reliance on any external links and the content thereon provided is at your own risk.
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