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Thinking of Buying or Selling Before Christmas?

In mid-October we often think that there’s still plenty of time left before Christmas.  However, that’s not necessarily the case if you are planning on buying or selling property before Christmas.  The property industry closes for the Christmas break a few days before Christmas and often does not reopen until mid-January.  While your conveyancing lawyers may open earlier in the New Year, often the other party’s lawyers may be closed, and nothing can happen.  To avoid these difficulties, we suggest you act sooner rather than later.


In the ACT, Queensland and Victoria, settlement usually takes place about 30 days after the Contract has exchanged or gone unconditional.  That’s a short period of time, but it doesn’t take account of the 2 to 3 weeks before Contracts exchange when you are preparing to do so by getting your finance finally approved, having building inspections carried out and receiving legal advice on the Contract.  So, if there are no complications, you are looking at about 7 weeks from the time you first set eyes on the property to when you receive the keys at settlement.  This takes you through to early December.

In NSW this period is longer as most Contracts specify a 42 day settlement period.  So adding on 3 weeks to allow for the finance approval, building inspection and legal advice, you are looking at 9 weeks to settlement.  This takes you up to the Christmas closure period from the end of this week!

This time period may be shortened if you either do not need any finance from a bank; are buying from family or friends and they don’t have any mortgage on the property; or you are extremely organised.


In the ACT you need to have your full disclosure Contract prepared before you can place the property on the market.  This means you need to have your property inspection booked and carried out beforehand to generate the inspection report for the Contract, you need to have engaged your agent and your conveyancing lawyer.  Your lawyer has to prepare the Contract and send it to your agent.  We advise our clients to allow a minimum of 3 weeks for this to take place. Then your agent just needs to find a buyer!

In Queensland, you agent will prepare the Contract once a buyer has been found. This allows you more time in the lead up to Christmas to have the property listed for sale and to find a buyer.  However, you would want to get going soon.

In NSW, your conveyancing lawyer needs to prepare the Contract and obtain documents from your local Council.  This can take some time in some particular Council areas.  You also need to have decided upon an agent to sell the property and inform your conveyancing lawyer of their details.  Once the Contract is prepared, it’s over to the agent to find a buyer.

Selling may or may not take place before Christmas depending upon the buyer and their requirements.


If you want to buy or sell before Christmas 2019, we recommend you get in touch with us soon to discuss your needs – or call us on 1300 136 386

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