We often get asked by our first home buyers what happens on settlement day? In this blog, we will answer this question so that you’re prepared for the ride.
What is property settlement?
Property settlement is the legal process of transferring ownership of a property from one owner to another. In each state, there are complex regulations and procedures that must be completed before the property can legally change hands, which is why property purchasers and vendors usually engage the services of a Conveyancer or Solicitor to ensure the process is handled correctly. We are always happy to refer you to one of our two reliable Conveyancers. Getting ready for the big day Settlement day, or the day when the sale of a property will be completed, is usually outlined on the contract of sale you sign when you agree to purchase the property and pay your initial deposit. It pays to get your Conveyancer to look at this contract prior to signing it as the wording will affect the way your settlement is conducted and how settlement day proceeds. This contract should contain the conditions of the sale and what is included in the sale, what actions are required to complete the sale and who is responsible for them. Some of these actions will be the responsibility of your Conveyancer and some of them will fall on you.
During the settlement process, your Conveyancer will:
- Inspect the contract of sale to ensure it is reasonable and correct
- Ensure all clauses in the contract of sale are met by both parties
- Ensure any existing mortgages against the property are paid off
- Conduct a title search and ensure that all measurements and boundaries are in line with the Certificate of Title
- Ensure that there are no caveats or debts legally held against he property—like unpaid council rates and so on
- Register the transaction will all appropriate authorities
- Ensure that all paperwork is correctly completed and filed by both parties in plenty of time before settlement day actually occurs
- Work with us so that your lender can organise a property valuation, if required, and get the cheques ready or organise the lender’s representative to be at the exchange, where applicable.
Prior to settlement day you should:
- Inspect the property to ensure everything is still in good order
- Check that the fixtures and fittings outlined in the contract are there and in good working order
- Organise building insurance to go into effect as soon as the vendor signs the contract of sale
- Sign the documentation your Conveyancer prepares to facilitate transfer of ownership— transfer of land, stamp duty application, authority to proceed etc.
What happens on settlement day?
Settlement day is the big day when your mortgage comes into effect and your lender pays the balance of the purchase price to the vendor. Other fees and duties payable to the Government must also be paid on settlement day. On this day, your Conveyancer will officially receive the property title and officially register you as the new owner. Cheques will be exchanged and the vendor can claim the deposit from the Real estate Agent. Usually these exchanges occur in a meeting between your Conveyancer and the vendors, and often your lender’s representative will be present—so you will not be required to be present personally. Once all the paperwork is completed successfully and all the loose ends are tied up, the keys to the property are handed over to you and you can officially take possession. Talk to us while you’re still looking for your property purchase so we can organise your preapproval with your chosen lender nice and early—we’re happy to help.