Christian Purdue

The Process of Selling a House – what you need to know

Confused about the process of selling a house?

Do you have a property that you are thinking of selling? The process of selling a house can be an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be.

Here I discuss the paperwork required to get your property listed for sale. I’ll also provide answers to frequently asked questions that I receive from clients who are thinking about selling.

The very first thing that you need to do is to decide whether you will use a real estate agent or not. If you’re tempted to sell a house privately you may want to check out my other article on the pros and cons of selling without an agent.

Once you have made the decision to hire an agent there are two documents that you need before your agent can legally advertise or mention the address of your home to buyers.


Those documents are:

An agency agreement, and a contract of sale. 

A Contract of Sale is prepared by your solicitor or conveyancer.
The agency agreement is completed by your agent and signed by you.

Simplify the process of selling your house with these tips.

Things you need to know before you put your property on the market.

An agency agreement is a contract between you and the agent which states that they are authorised to act on your behalf in respect of any sale process. It’s important that this document is signed before any advertising or marketing starts.

The agency agreement outlines the seller’s details, the agency details, the agent’s recommended method of sale, i.e. private treaty or auction, and also the agent’s opinion of price. It also details the period of the agreement. This is usually a 12 week period but you can negotiate a shorter time frame if you wish.

It is a legal requirement that you are provided with a copy of this agreement at the time of signing or within 24 hours. Once you have signed you have a 24 business hour cooling-off period. This means that if you change your mind after signing, and no longer wish to work with that particular agent, you can cancel the agreement without penalty. But it must be within the allocated period of time.

NOTE: I’d advise that any cancellation is done in writing or by text so that you have a record of doing so.

A word of caution – Once the 24 hour cooling off period has expired you are legally bound to this particular agency.  So choose wisely. If you decide after a week or a month that you are not happy you will not be able to change agencies until the term of the agency agreement has expired, or the agent releases you early. Sadly, most wont.

The #1 thing you must have when selling your house - even if you're selling privately.

The other document that needs to be prepared prior to marketing or advertising your property is a contract of sale. This is prepared by your solicitor or conveyancer and is a legal requirement even if you decide to sell without an agent

The process of selling a house can be made less stressful by your choice of legal representative. They will ask you a series of questions including any renovations or improvements that you may have done over the years. 

They’ll also want to know about inclusions and exclusions – basically what is staying with property, as well as anything not staying such as dishwasher, curtains, light fittings, spa and spa equipment for example.

Your solicitor or conveyancer will also want to know your preferred settlement time. This is often a point of stress for many sellers as they try to navigate the logistics of buying and selling simultaneously.

If you choose an experienced agent and legal representative, and you are upfront with them about your plans, they will be able to steer this to a successful outcome for you.

On average it takes anywhere from a few days to a week for your real estate agent to receive the contract from your solicitor or conveyancer. Prior to them preparing this they will need to ask you a series of questions. Most will send you a questionnaire initially and it’s important that you respond to them in a timely fashion so that there is no delay to the launch date for your sale.

If you would like a recommendation to a solicitor or conveyancer, I’d be happy to assist.

Once you have both the agency agreement and a contract of sale your real estate agent can begin to market your home. This process often starts with an open house or two (Covid restrictions permitting) and advertising in the online through portals like or

Selling a property can be an emotional process. But with the right people on your team to make sure everything goes smoothly it can be a smooth and stress-free process.

If you have any questions or if there is anything here that you’re not clear on please feel free to give me a call. I’m here to help.