In NSW, it is a legal requirement that a draft contract is prepared prior to the property being advertised for sale. This is usually the first step in the conveyancing process. Your conveyancer will prepare the contract on your behalf which will include prescribed documents such as a copy of the title for the property, the plan of the land, any notations recorded on the title (such as easements and covenants) as well as a planning certificate from the local council and a copy of the sewer mains diagram.

If the property includes a pool, it is also a requirement that the contract include a pool compliance or non-compliance certificate which is issued by an independent certifier. The contract will also include some detail about what’s included or excluded in the sale, any conditions you may have as well as your preferred settlement timeframe.

Once you have accepted an offer to sell the property, your conveyancer will then update the draft contract to a ‘final’ version noting the agreed terms.

It is then set up for signing (usually electronically) and an exchange of contracts takes place which forms the legal relationship between yourself and the buyer.

Contracts will either be exchanged unconditionally or with a cooling-off period for the benefit of the buyer. The buyer will usually pay the deposit to the real estate agent where the funds are held until settlement takes place, unless negotiated otherwise with the buyer.