1. Always insist on a deposit that is large enough to cover your costs and inconvenience if things should go wrong. Many agents will tell you not to worry about it especially if there is a cooling off period. Don’t use those agents. Any purchaser truly keen on buying your home will get a deposit. $10,000 is a minimum. Any less and their incentive to settle can disappear very fast.
2. Never forget your real estate agent is working for themselves not for you. Do not trust them. Do not believe them. Insist on seeing all documentation in particular the receupt for the deposit. Agents sometimes say they have received it when they have not.
3. Act promptly and decisively. If you are asked for extensions and the like and the market is not falling, refuse them and forfeit the depost and re-sell. This only works if you’ve seen the receipt showing the agent is holding a decent deposit.
4. Don’t go away during the settlement period espcially at critical dates when extensions are likely to be sought. You should remain contactable at all times.
5. Use a solicitor. They know what they are doing and if they stuff up, you can sue them.
6. Don’t accept contracts subject to the sale of the purchasers home. Keep marketing your property and tell them when they sell theirs they can come back to you with an unconditional offer. At most, accept their offer only in terms that you can keep marketing your home and if you get an better offers they have to match them or you can terminate and refund their deposit.
7. Keep settlement times short. The longer you wait the more things can go wrong. If the purchaser wants one, tell them to sort out whatever they need to and come back. At most, accept their offer only in terms that you can keep marketing your home and if you get an better offers they have to match them or you can terminate and refund their deposit.
8. Do not let the other party into possession until settlement. If you do you have a nightmare and lots of costs to remove them. They can go rent a motel while they sort out their problems. It keeps the pressure on them.
9. Never sell with an exclusive agency.
10. Watch that you and your solicitor have complied with any special conditions and that there are no issues over fixtures.