Buying or Selling Property

When buying or selling property, thoughtful consideration has to be given as to the terms of the contract and how the contract is formulated.


When buying or selling property, thoughtful consideration has to be given as to the terms of the contract and how the contract is formulated. For example, when selling a residential property, you need to:

  1. Select an agent, negotiate the terms of the Agency Agreement, and sign the Agency Agreement;
  2. Have a lawyer prepare the necessary Contract of Sale, as the contract has to be made available to the agent to market the property;
  3. Advise the lawyer of any necessary provisions that need to be included in the Contract, such as:
    • The date you wish the Contract to be completed (in New South Wales, this is usually 42 days after you’ve entered into the Contract);
    • Details of all the improvements to the property, including a swimming pool;
    • Whether the property is your principal place of residence, and if not, whether you want land tax to be adjusted if you are paying land tax;
  4. Obtain a Land Tax Certificate for attachment to the Contract;
  5. Obtain a Foreign Capital Gains Tax Clearance Certificate from the Australian Taxation Office;
  6. Consider whether it is necessary to attach to the contract a Building Certificate from the local council evidencing that the council had no problems with the improvements on the land, an Occupation Certificate, and an Identification Certificate. All of these make it easier for a Purchaser to be satisfied as to the terms of the Contract;
  7. Provide identification of yourself by way of Drivers Licence or Passport.

When buying or selling property, particularly a residential property, which is one of the most important purchases in your lifetime, it is essential that you have the Contract checked out by a lawyer carefully. There is also a number of things you must do to ensure that when you complete the purchase, you have purchased the property in the condition that you are fully aware of. Therefore, it is essential:

  1. You obtain finance to complete the purchase or you have sufficient monies available to complete the purchase, and you carry out a number of inspections of the property before entering into the contract. For example, a building inspection and a pest inspection if applicable;
  2. If the property you are purchasing is a strata titled unit, then a Books and Records Search is carried out to check the state of the harmony in the building, current financial position, all the insurances are in order and that there are no existing problems with the building which have not been reported in the Books and Records of the Owners Corporation;
  3. The terms and conditions of the Contract are fully explained to you by your lawyer, and you have an opportunity to negotiate any changes that are recommended so that there are no nasty surprises.

Our property team have over 40 years of experience in providing complex advice in purchases and sales. If you would like an advice on buying or selling property or if you have any questions, please contact our property term on 02 8987 0000 or by email at