What documents are needed to sell my house? The paper trail to settlement
By Amanda Scali

5/01/2017 12:00am

What documents are needed to sell my house? The paper trail to settlement

Most of us don’t sell our homes frequently and the laws and regulations that govern real estate transactions do change periodically, so it is crucial to ask, what documents are needed to sell my house, when talking to your agent.

Once you’ve taken the big decision to sell what is likely your biggest asset you’ll want the sale process through to settlement to run smoothly and to schedule.

Here is a rundown for beginners or a refresher for old hands on the paperwork required to enable the legal transfer of your home to its new owner and the discharge of your mortgage.

We’ll cover the following elements:

  • Contract of Sale
  • Form 1
  • Certificate of Title
  • Verification of Identity (VOI).

Your expert team of real estate agent, conveyancer and finance provider will help you through the process, but it is ultimately your responsibility and in your best interests to ensure that all your documentation is complete and correct.

What documents are needed to sell my house? Contract of Sale

Your contract is the key document in the sale transaction, so it must be accurate and include all information pertaining to the sale.

The Legal Services Commission of South Australia lists the following items (among others) to be specified in your contract:

  • the names and addresses of the vendors and the purchasers
  • an exact description of the land being sold (and whether the whole or a part)
  • details of the chattels (that is, the fixtures and fittings) that are included (or not) in the sale *
  • the purchase price
  • how it is to be paid
  • the settlement date.

*   To avoid confusion and conflict it is important to be comprehensive and specific about these details, particularly if any verbal agreements have been made during negotiations. See my previous article for more details: What must I leave when selling my house? Meeting your obligations

What documents are needed to sell my house? Form 1

Your real estate agent will complete the Property Interest Report (PIR)/Form 1 on your behalf.

Again, it is your responsibility to provide accurate and complete information to enable your agent to fill out the form.

The Government of South Australia’s website provides the following information about the Form 1:

A PIR/Form 1 will show:

  • title and valuations details
  • any registered or unregistered documents lodged within the last 90 days on the property
  • a copy of a register search for the certificate of title
  • any government interests associated with the land.

The seller has an obligation to do all the specified government searches, however, your conveyancer would normally carry these out on your behalf.

What documents are needed to sell my house? Certificate of Title

A certificate of title is an official record of land ownership in South Australia—you will be required to provide one to sell your house.

If you have a mortgage your finance provider will probably hold this document; copies can also be purchased online or from the Lands Services and Lands Titles Office.

Obtaining your Certificate of Title (also commonly known as ‘a title’) is another matter with which your conveyancer will help you.

What documents are needed to sell my house? Verification of Identity (VOI)

As part of the National Electronic Conveyancing scheme introduced in South Australia this year you will be required to complete the property transfer document Verification of Identity (VOI).

Your conveyancer will also guide you on the correct completion of this form.

To submit the VOI you will need to provide identification documents of a similar nature to that required to apply for a passport, driver’s licence or Medicare card.

What documents are needed to sell my house? Settlement in sight

Reaching the end of the paper trail can come as a relief and if you have been diligent and have received good advice, your sale should go through without any issues.

McGrath Real Estate, your Adelaide western and coastal suburbs experts, have the experience to shepherd you through the process and the paperwork to needed to complete the sale of your home.

Talk to us about how our 6-star customer service can make the difference for you between a satisfactory selling experience and a great one.