Selling a Property

1. Negotiating a Contract

If you are selling your property you will either engage a real estate agent to market and negotiate the sale on your behalf or you will deal directly with the buyer. There is no requirement that you use a real estate agent. You may advertise your property yourself. Many people prefer to employ an agent to avoid having to negotiate directly with a prospective buyer.

2. Commission

If you engage a real estate agent you will be liable to pay commission to the agent on the sale of your property. This is usually in addition to marketing expenses. The maximum commission that can be charged by an agent is set by the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania. For details of the recommended commission go to Helpful Links.

Commission is negotiable so you can agree to a commission less that the recommended scale. The commission is paid on completion of your sale from your sale proceeds.

Beware of double commission - If you have signed an agency agreement with more than one real estate agency you may risk paying a double commission. We can provide you with a special condition which can be included in your contract which notes that the purchaser warrants that the agent shown on the contract was the one that introduced the property to the purchaser and no other.

3. Contract

When you find an interested buyer you will need to arrange a written contract setting out all agreed terms. All agreements for the sale of land (vacant or developed land) must be in writing and signed by all parties. Verbal agreements are not enforceable. For this reason it is important that a contract is signed as soon as possible. We appreciate this. If you are selling privately we can provide a contract immediately. If you are selling through an agent the agent will usually prepare the contract and have it signed by the buyer.

We recommend that before you sign the contract you or your agent forward the contract to us to check and ensure that the terms and conditions reflect your intentions and are reasonable. Once signed by all parties a contract is binding and cannot be altered without all parties agreeing. There are no cooling off periods or automatic rights to withdraw in Tasmanian contracts unless there is some specific provision in the contract.

4. Inclusions and Exclusions

We recommend you provide details of all chattels to be included and excluded on the contract to avoid any disputes with the buyer. Typically disputes arise over such items as birdbaths, large entrance pots, cubby houses and old property nameplates. Fixtures are part of the land so that items (e.g. built in shelves) are included without further mention. Any fixtures that will not be included must be specified. 

5. Deposit

The contract should provide for the payment of a deposit by the buyer on signing. It is in the interest of the seller that a substantial deposit is paid. The amount of the deposit should be 10% of the sale price but is negotiable. The deposit is held until completion of your sale or is refunded to the buyer if any conditions are not satisfied and the contract is terminated.

6. Conditions

The contract may contain conditions which need to be satisfied by the buyer within specified times. If the conditions are not satisfied within the specified time either party may terminate the contract. In that case the deposit is released to the buyer.

7. Bank

Once all conditions have been satisfied we will contact your bank in order to arrange a discharge of any mortgage you have over the property.

8. Adjustment of Council rates and land tax

On settlement the Purchaser will be required to pay you a proportion of charges (Council rates and land tax) from the date of settlement to 30 June next. We will contact the Council and State Revenue Office on the date of settlement to find out whether there are any amounts outstanding for the current financial year and if so, we will arrange payment from your proceeds of sale.

We recommend paying any instalments that fall due prior to settlement on time to avoid interest.

It your responsibility to ensure the State Revenue Office apply the correct classification to your property . If your property use has changed and it is now your principal residence, or is no longer your principal residence land, primary production land or exempt land, or if you are renting any part of your property, you must notify us and the Commissioner of State Revenue as soon as possible so we can arrange for the classification to be amended prior to your settlement.

9. Settlement

We arrange settlement or completion with you, your bank and the buyer. You are not required to attend settlement. On settlement we will repay your loan to your bank and obtain a discharge of your mortgage. The title deed to your property together with a transfer signed by you and a discharge of mortgage are handed to the buyer’s lawyer in exchange for a bank cheque for the balance of the sale price.


When selling we can:

  • Prepare your contract or advise you on a contract prepared by your agent
  • Deal with your bank. - Deal with the buyer. - Check amounts outstanding to the Council and Land Tax branch
  • Check transfer documents and arrange signing
  • Deal with any issues raised by the buyer
  • Arrange and attend settlement
  • Pay outstanding rates and land tax
  • Pay agents commission
  • Account to you for the proceeds of sale


Disclaimer - All material on this site has been prepared by Sproal & Associates for information purposes only and is not legal advice. This information on this site is not intended to create a lawyer/client relationship and viewers should not act on the information found on this site without seeking professional advice.

The information provided is of a general nature. Sproal & Associates Pty Ltd takes no responsibility for readers or third parties relying on the information in this website and shall not be liable for any loss or damages or costs of any type arising in any way connected with the use of the information contained in this website.

For advice in relation to your specific matter and circumstances please call Sproal & Associates on (03) 6331 5500 or contact us through our Contact Form.

The service was excellent. The staff exceeded their responsibilities. I would not hesitate to use your company again.

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