The deposit is generally 10% of the purchase price. However, it can be any amount agreed by you and the buyer.

It is usually paid on the exchange of contracts, or when you sign the contract, if you sell at auction.

Where is the deposit held?
Your agent, solicitor or conveyancer will usually hold it.

Talk to your adviser about what happens to the interest on this money.

How is the deposit released?
Normally it is released at settlement.

If you want to put the deposit towards purchasing another property, you can ask the buyer to release the deposit before settlement. Talk to your advisor about this.

How long to insure?
You should make sure your insurance continues until settlement. The buyer may take out their own insurance when contracts are exchanged, but this doesn't mean that you should cancel your insurance.

Don't rely on the buyer to insure your home. Get advice about this from the lawyer/conveyancer.

Last Updated – April 2010