After successfully obtaining finance for your purchase, the next milestone in your property-buying adventure is settlement. It’s important that you clearly understand and are fully prepared for the settlement process.
Property settlement is an official process which is usually conducted between your legal and financial representatives and those of the seller. It’s when ownership passes from the seller to you, and you pay the balance of the sale price.
The seller sets the settlement date in the contract of sale and the property settlement period is usually between 30-90 days.
Here’s some things you need to know:
Your Final Inspection
You’re entitled to inspect the property at any reasonable time during the week before settlement. Simply contact the agent who sold you the property to organise this inspection. The seller must hand over the property in the same condition as when it was sold. During this inspection check that all items initially listed in the contract are accounted for and in the right condition.
Your lender will usually recommend you take out building and contents insurance effective from the date the contract is signed. This is to safeguard the sellers interest in the property, as well as your own.
Your solicitor or conveyancer should supply you with a plan of the land so you can check all measurements and boundaries correspond with the ‘Certificate of Title’. You should confirm this or alert them to any discrepancies. Make sure you provide documents and other information promptly when requested, as delays can be costly.
At settlement, all outgoings such as rates and other charges are adjusted between you and the seller. The seller is responsible for rates up to an including the day of settlement. As a purchaser you are responsible from the day after settlement.
The purchaser is also responsible for paying land transfer duty on the sale. It is usually paid at settlement, but as a purchaser you have up to three months after settlement to pay. You cannot receive title to a property until you have paid the duty.
Collect The Keys!
Once settlement is completed, you can collect the keys from your real estate agent and take possession of your new property. Also, if installed make sure that you are given any alarm codes and instruction manuals for pool filters for example. Some purchasers want to collect the keys that day from the agent; others have the keys delivered to their solicitor after settlement. By sorting out the logistics beforehand it removes any confusion on the day. Who doesn’t want to open the door to their new home the moment they own it.
If you are looking for an experienced conveyancing service we can help. Our finance and mortgage broker team work with a range of hand-picked conveyancing firms who make it their business to ensure your settlement process is smooth sailing and a positive experience.