Buying or selling residential property involves a legal process known as conveyancing, which typically involves several steps. These steps may vary depending on the state or jurisdiction, but generally include the following:
1. Pre-contract stage: During this stage, the parties will typically negotiate the terms of the contract of sale, including the purchase price, deposit, settlement date, and any other special conditions. The contract is then prepared by the seller's solicitor or conveyancer, and reviewed by the buyer's solicitor or conveyancer.
2. Exchange of contracts: Once both parties have agreed to the terms of the contract, they will sign and exchange copies. At this point, the contract becomes legally binding, and the buyer will typically pay a deposit.
3. Pre-settlement stage: During this stage, the parties will typically arrange for any necessary inspections, such as building and pest inspections, and may also arrange for finance and insurance.
4. Settlement: On the settlement date, the buyer will typically pay the balance of the purchase price, and the seller will transfer ownership of the property to the buyer. This is typically done through the exchange of legal documents, such as a transfer of land document, and the payment of any necessary stamp duty.
5. Post-settlement stage: After settlement, the buyer's solicitor or conveyancer will typically register the transfer of ownership with the relevant government authority, and may also arrange for the payment of any outstanding rates or charges.
Throughout the conveyancing process, it is important for both parties to seek independent legal advice and ensure that all legal requirements are met. This may include obtaining necessary certificates, such as a building certificate or strata certificate, and ensuring that any special conditions are satisfied. It is also important to be aware of any applicable laws or regulations, such as zoning laws or environmental regulations, that may affect the property.