Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

Property Negotiation

Negotiating the Property Sale

When selling a property through private treaty, you will need to negotiate a selling price with prospective purchasers. Both parties involved in a property sale are looking to get the best deal. The buyer will want to get the property for the lowest price possible and the seller will want to get the most amount of money possible for their property. To get a win-win situation for both parties, you’ll need expert negotiators to help.

Six things to consider are:

  • Start with a fair price and a fair offer as overpricing your property will only drive interest away
  • As a buyer, offering lower than the asking price can alienate a seller
  • Asking and offering prices should be based on recent sales prices of comparable homes in the local area
  • Understand and respect the priorities of the opposite party
  • Mutual respect can help iron out more difficult parts of the property sale, such as one party taking on the transaction costs or forgoing some major repairs
  • Be prepared to compromise in order to achieve a win-win situation for you both.

The contract of sale

The terms of a property sale are assembled in the Contract of Sale. When you sell property, this contract will also stand in addition to standard legal terms and conditions in a real estate transaction.

It will include agreed terms that relate specifically to the transaction including price, deposit, date of settlement, the inclusions and exclusions, and other special conditions. Once an agreement is reached, the agent will normally take a deposit.

Different states have slightly different documentation processes:

  • In New South Wales, the contract of sale is prepared by a solicitor who is instructed by the agent on behalf of the seller. The solicitor will prepare the documentation following the agreement of terms between the seller and purchaser, and also the collection of a deposit from the purchaser.
  • In Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, the contract of sale is prepared by the agent – once the contract has been signed by both the seller and the purchaser, a deposit is accepted by the agent on behalf of the seller

Preparing for the settlement of the property sale

The settlement date is the date on which the balance of the purchase price is paid and the title to the property is transferred to the purchaser. Here are some things to consider about the settlement of your property sale:

  • The settlement occurs once the contract of sale is signed by both parties, the cooling off period has expired and all special conditions have been satisfied
  • The conveyancer or solicitor for the seller will prepare a transfer of title documents and settlement statements
  • This will include the adjustment of outgoings, such as council rates
  • They will also establish communication with the buyer’s conveyancer or solicitor and the lending body if applicable
  • All parties, solicitors, conveyancers and lenders if applicable will meet on the date of settlement to exchange funds for signed mortgage documents and the title to the property on which the mortgage will be registered

Pest and building inspections

When a potential buyer becomes serious about a property, many will want to conduct professional building and pest inspections.

  • These inspections are not compulsory and are the buyer’s responsibility
  • The buyer will have to make it clear if they wish to conduct an inspection
  • Arrangements will be made by the buyer prior to bidding at auction or signing the contract of sale
  • Sellers should prepare themselves for visits from the professionals and companies involved
  • Most visits will take place during normal working hours
  • Sellers will most likely be able to work with their Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agent to arrange access to their property

For expert help with your property sale, contact your local Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate branch.