The next step after celebrating a successful offer on a property is settlement. Below are the things you need to know to ensure you are organised leading up to the big day!
The settlement of a property is usually conducted between your settlement agents and your financial representatives and those of the Seller. Ownership passes from the Seller to you, and you pay the balance of the sale price, less the deposit already paid.
The seller sets the settlement date in the contract of sale which is usually 30-90 days or any other date that both parties agree on.
On settlement day, at an agreed time and place, your settlement agent (solicitor or conveyancer) meets with your lender and the seller’s representatives to exchange documents. They organise for the balance of the purchase price to be paid to the seller.
The week before settlement, you will have the opportunity to do a final inspection of the property. You will need to contact the agent to arrange this inspection as they will go along with you.
The Seller must hand over the property in the same condition as when it was sold. Check that all the items listed on the contract are there and in the right condition/working order. Some items to check are:
Appliances, hot water system, heating and cooling units, structure, walls, light fittings, window and floor coverings, keys, locks and any garage door remotes.
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 and including the day of settlement. You are responsible from the day after settlement.
You’re also responsible for paying land transfer duty or stamp duty. It’s usually paid on the settlement date. The title to the property won’t be transferred to your name until you have paid this duty.
Once settlement is completed, you can collect the keys from the agent and take possession of your new property.