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Selling a Property in Canberra — FAQs

Do I need to use a solicitor when selling my house?

It’s not compulsory to use a solicitor when selling your house. However, as the conveyancing process is very complex it can be difficult for people who are not familiar with it.

I signed an exclusive sales agreement with an agent. Can I change agents?

You will have to wait until your current exclusive sales agreement has expired before you can change agents. You will also need to advise the current agent in writing that you no longer require their services before you sign up with another agent. If you sign another exclusive agreement while you already have one, you may have to pay two lots of commission.

Depending on the terms of your agreement, an agent may still be able to claim a commission even after your agreement has expired if the buyer was originally introduced by them.

Do I, as the seller, have to pay for the building & compliance and pest inspection reports?

These reports are required to be attached to the contract for the sale of a residential property before the property is listed, so it is your responsibility to pay for those reports at that time. When you have a buyer for your property you are entitled to recover the costs for the building & compliance and pest inspection reports from them.

You can also adjust the selling price of your home to cover the costs of obtaining the required reports.

How do I obtain the various documents I need to sell my home?

Most of the documents can be obtained by making an application to the ACT Registrar General’s Office and the ACT Planning and Land Authority. The remaining documents can be obtained by engaging a building inspector/building consultant, pest inspector and energy efficiency rating assessor.

What qualifications do I need to look for when seeking the services of a building inspector, etc?

Before you hire anyone you should check their qualifications and experience and make sure that they hold professional indemnity insurance.

What is the fine for not complying with the laws relating to required documentation?

The Office of Regulatory Services has the power to issue on the spot fines of $250 or prosecute (with potential penalties of up to $5,000) any person who offers property for sale and does not have the contract for the sale of residential property and required documents available for inspection by a buyer.

Am I allowed to make a bid at my auction to boost my selling price?

You are allowed one seller bid at your auction. You must declare your intention to use a seller bid in writing in the auction conditions. If a seller bid is made, it must be announced as a seller bid. If you make more than one seller bid, it will be considered a dummy bid and you and the auctioneer may be fined.

What is an EER and why is this important?

An Energy Efficiency Rating, or EER, identifies the energy efficiency of houses in the ACT. Houses can achieve zero to six stars in the rating scheme. Houses with a higher EER are more cost and energy-efficient, use less energy for heating and cooling, generate lower greenhouse gas emissions, and are more comfortable.

Once the EER statement is obtained from an accredited energy assessor the rating must be included on all property advertising. A copy of the statement must be given to the purchaser and the statement must form part of the contract of sale.

Can I begin to promote my home in the paper or on the internet if I haven’t received my contract or EER?

You are not allowed to advertise your home as being for sale in the ACT without first obtaining an EER for the property.

If you have any other questions in relation to selling your home, please call your agent. They will be more than happy to help you.