Buying or selling a home is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. These transactions usually involve the largest amounts of money you’ll be dealing with in your life and it’s vital that you seek legal advice from an experienced property lawyer.

Before you start

If you’re selling, your first step is to have the Contract of Sale and ‘Section 32 Statement’ drawn up.

If you’re buying you should make sure you have a pre-approval from your lender so you know your financial limits.

The deposit

Once you’ve successfully purchased or sold and the contract is signed then a deposit will usually be paid from the purchaser to the vendor and will be held in trust by the vendor’s estate agent. Make sure you’ve read the contract completely and if you’re buying then it’s a good idea to obtain legal advice on the contract and Section 32 Statement before you sign.


Settlement will be scheduled according to the contract. The usual settlement period is 6 weeks after signing the contract, but this can often be negotiated by agreement to be longer or shorter before you sign. During this period, your lawyer will communicate with your bank in relation to discharging any previous mortgages and ensuring that sufficient funds are available on the day of settlement if you’re the purchaser. Once settlement occurs, the real estate agent will be authorised to release the deposit to the purchaser after taking their commission.

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