Selling Real Estate in the Northern Territory
Everything you need to know about selling property in NT
From choosing a real estate agent to final settlement of an NT property sale, here is every resource you need to be a successful vendor.
As soon as you buy real estate, you're probably going to start thinking about when you will sell it. This could be in five years or fifty, but eventually nearly all of us will come to a point where it's time to change pastures. When it comes to selling property in the Northern Territory, what are the specifics you need to know to complete a successful sale?
Choosing an agent in NT
Your real estate agent is going to be a key element in the NT selling process. They will help you decide how much to sell for, what the marketing campaign is going to be and they can negotiate on your behalf for a better price. However, you need to make sure you ask them the right questions. After all, you want to make sure they know how to get a good result. As the NT Government points out, you should check up on at least the following:
- Are they qualified with Licensing NT?
- How long have they been working in NT? Do they know the local market?
- What is their estimate of your property's sale price? Can they back this up?
- Are they a member of the Real Estate Institute of NT and do they follow a code of conduct?
- What do they think is the best way to sell your property and why?
- Have they sold similar types of property, or sold homes in a specific way?
- What is their marketing strategy - how will they sell your home?
- What is their commission? Are there extra fees and what services will this cover?
If you have found an agent you think is right to represent you, then you both sign an agency agreement. This outlines their fees, commission, sale price, strategies, length of the sale and more. It is a legally binding contract to ensure a good result for your NT property sale. For more information, a local LJ Hooker real estate agent can walk you through the process.
Methods of selling NT real estate
When you are selling NT property, there are three main methods that you can use:
This is where your home is listed at a set price and your agent negotiates offers from buyers to get you a good price. This is an ongoing process and can be subject to conditions like passing a building inspection. There is also a cooling-off period of four business days, in which the buyer can back out of the sale.
An auction is a one-off event run by an auctioneer, after a marketing campaign from your real estate agent. Prospective buyers place bids, building up to and ideally surpassing the reserve price, which is set by you. There is no cooling off period.
There are no conditions imposed by buyers at auction and if bidding passes the reserve then the highest offer will secure your home. It is important to set a realistic reserve - your real estate agent can provide advice on how to achieve this.
When selling NT property by tender, a price is not listed. Buyers make offers with their conditions and a deposit, and your agent relays these to you. You are under no obligation to accept any of these.
It can be difficult to ascertain what the best way to sell your NT property is - but this is where your local LJ Hooker real estate agent can be of service.
Marketing your NT property
Before the sale process begins, you and your agent should work out the marketing campaign that will take place. You want to expose your home to as many people as possible, to maximise your opportunity for a profitable sale. There are a few main ways of advertising the home:
The NT News is the main print publication in the territory, with readership of 63,000 for both Monday to Friday and the same again on Saturdays alone. This can be used in conjunction with local papers and circulations from your real estate agency to maximise publicity.
Listing your home in the online pages of realestate.com.au, domain.com.au and ljhooker.com.au is a sure-fire way to get a wide range of people casting their eyes on your home. For example: the NT News has a total readership (print and online) of 352,000.
You can also market on local television or radio. Whichever method you and your agent decide on, it is recommended that you use professional photography and maybe even video tours to boost appeal. Local LJ Hooker agents can tell you more about how to do this.
Contracts of sale in NT
The contract of sale is a very important document in the NT selling process. It must be approved by the Law Society of the NT or a Registrar and it is a legally binding document that outlines the particulars of the sale of your NT property. It should include:
- The details of the buyer, seller and any real estate agents, solicitors or conveyancers involved in the process;
- Title details for the real estate;
- Any chattels and improvements;
- The price to be paid and deposit, the buyer's financing and when the transactions will take place;
- Special conditions, inspection reports and the related conditions; and
- Any registered interests or ongoing tenancies related to the property.
This document is required to move forward with the NT selling process and will be signed and exchanged with any successful buyers before settlement.
The costs of selling NT property
No matter how you sell your NT property, you are going to incur certain costs. This can include:
- Agent commission is outlined in your agency agreement
- Fees for conveyancing services including title search, Land Title Office Charges, and local rates (can be $1,500 to $3,000)
- Pest and building inspections (anywhere from $300 to $700);
- Changing home loans or insurance policies (upwards of $1,000);
- Paying off the balance of your home;
- Council rates and land tax until the settlement date;
- Renovations or cosmetic changes to boost the appeal of your home (anywhere from $500 for minor works to $15,000 for a kitchen renovation - sometimes more);
- Auctioneer fees (around $1,000);
- Moving costs ($500 to $3,500).
This is just a broad overview of the costs associated with selling NT property - your LJ Hooker agent can help you stay on top of the full spectrum of costs and when you will need to pay them.
Settlement of an NT property sale
The close of a property sale is the exchange and settlement process which is going to differ slightly depending on your method of sale.
In a private treaty sale, you and the buyer exchange and sign contracts of sale which outline the conditions of the transaction and the settlement period (usually between 30 and 90 days). Inspections can take place and a deposit (normally 10 per cent of the total price) is paid to you at exchange.
A cooling-off period of four days applies, wherein the buyer can withdraw from the sale. Nothing is binding until the contracts are exchanged.
Without conditions or a cooling-off period, a 10 per cent deposit and contract exchange occurs on the auction day, if the property passes reserve. If bids do not reach this price point, your agent or auctioneer can continue negotiating with bidders to find the right price that suits you.
Once the exchanges have occurred, the settlement process begins. Paperwork is completed while the balance of the property and transfer of keys and title occurs on the final settlement day. In the NT the buyer may negotiate for early access to the property, but this should be outlined in the contract.
For any further questions about selling property in NT, make sure to get in touch with your local LJ Hooker real estate agent.