Everything you need to know about selling property in South Australia

Selling real estate in South Australia can be a complicated process, but with this information by your side everything should be quite simple.

Ready to sell your South Australian real estate? Tolcher Realty are here to help you.

From finding an agent to finalising the settlement, we've got you covered with these links, resources and the right information.


Choosing an Agent

Real estate agents can be the cornerstone of your SA property sale. They provide advice, negotiate on your behalf and do all the marketing legwork that you might not have time for. However, you must make sure you're working with someone that is right for you. Here are some of the questions you should be asking an agent before you sign on with them:

  • Do they have the appropriate license?
  • Have they made quality and ethics assurances to Consumer and Business Services SA?
  • How long have they been licensed and working in your area? What is their local sales history?
  • Are they experienced at selling your type of property? How would they market and sell it? 
  • What is their commission and fees? When and how would these be paid? Have they filled out a disclosure of benefits form?
  • Do they have previous sale references?
  • What is their estimated sale price? Do they have evidence to back up their estimate? 
  • Does marketing and advertising cost extra? Exactly how much does it cost and what are the services? 

If you are satisfied with this, you can sign a sales agency agreement with your representative. This appoints them as the sole authority to sell your home, or joint authority with other agents. This document will include the answers to the above questions, as well as any grounds for termination - more details can be found through the SA Government


Methods of selling SA real estate

There are several methods of selling SA property and each has its own benefits and risks. You Tolcher Realty agent can provide you with in-depth analysis of how each method would apply to your property specifically, but here is an overview of the main methods:

Private treaty

This is a process where buyers negotiate with your agent to meet a sale price set by you at the outset. Your real estate agent will negotiate as close to your listed price as possible and the sale may be conditional on inspections or home loan pre-approval. A cooling-off period of two business days applies here, wherein the buyer can withdraw from the sale. 


An auction is a single event, rather than an ongoing process like private treaty. You set a reserve price (no more than 110 per cent of the price outlined in your sales agency agreement) and buyers register before placing bids at the auction.

If the reserve is reached, the highest bidder is obliged to buy the property and pay a 10 per cent deposit on the spot - there is no cooling-off period. If reserve is not reached, the property is passed in and buyers may negotiate with your agent for a fair price. It is important to set a realistic reserve.


The tender process is one whereby you receive offers accompanied by a deposit from purchasing parties. You can reject these and accept one you deem satisfactory. This is a confidential process with no limit put on the offered bids. 

Get in touch with a Tolcher Realty agent for more details on the benefits and drawbacks of each for your SA property sale methods. 


Marketing your SA property

No matter the method of sale for your SA property, the marketing process is going to be vital - this dictates the exposure and interest your home generates.

Print advertising

In South Australia, The Advertiser is the biggest newspaper and a likely candidate for print advertising. It has a readership of 434,000 during the week and 456,000 on Saturdays. Combining this level of advertising with local papers and magazines, as well as leaflets, is an excellent way to promote your SA property sale.

Online advertising

All big newspapers have online listings now which can provide excellent exposure. For example, The Advertiser's total readership (including online) is more than 1.5 million. Combine this with sites like realestate.com.au, domain.com.au for heightened advertising. 

Couple this with professional photography and video to improve the appeal of your home. Tolcher Realty have excellent contacts for providing these services.



Contracts of sale in South Australia

The contract of sale is a document usually prepared by your real estate agent, which becomes a legally binding agreement once signed by both you and your home's buyer. It should contain the following information:

  • The price of the property and deposit details
  • What the date of settlement will be
  • Any title documents required for the property transfer
  • Any conditions of the sale (for example pre-approval for a home loan, building and pest inspections)
  • If any furniture or appliances will be left in the property

This is a very important document for the sale process, and it is highly recommended that a REISA or SAA standard Residential Sales Agreement be used or have a solicitor/conveyancer assist you and your agent to draw up a custom contract of sale. 


The costs of selling property in South Australia

Every cost, big or small, should be factored into your planning. When selling property in South Australia, it can include the following: 

  • Agent commission (this is stated in your sales agency agreement)
  • Fees for conveyancers and solicitors
  • Pest and building inspections (usually paid by the purchaser)
  • Marketing fees and any reimbursement of your agent's expenses (outlined in sales agency agreement)
  • Rates and taxes up until the settlement date 
  • Paying off the remainder of your home loan, or fees for establishing a new mortgage with your lender
  • Moving costs
  • The costs of cosmetic work (a few hundred dollars) or renovations (as much as $15,000 for a full plumbing fix)
  • Auctioneer fees

Your Tolcher Realty agent can help you stay on top of and minimise every cost that will be incurred when selling your SA property, so you can budget accordingly. 


Settlement of an SA property sale

If enough interest is generated and you receive offers on your home, then you will be ready for the next step - the settlement of your SA real estate. For the paperwork and negotiations, you will usually use a solicitor or conveyancer - the state division of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers can help you source someone for this. 

The exact process will be slightly different depending on your sales method: 

Private treaty

If you accept an offer or your agent negotiates to a satisfactory price point, you and the buyer sign and exchange contracts and form1 the purchaser then has 2 full working days to cool off .the If the buyer does not cool off 10 per cent or the agreed amount of deposit is paid into a trust account and the settlement process continues - normally over 30 to 90 days.


The exchange of contracts for auction occurs either when the highest bidder above reserve emerges, or you negotiate to a satisfactory price when the property passes in below reserve. Without a cooling-off period, the settlement period begins upon the exchange of contracts and payment of deposit. 

At the settlement date, all documents are finalised, the remainder of the money is paid and keys and title are transferred to the buyer. For any further questions about selling property in South Australia, make sure to get in touch with your local Tolcher Realty agent.