Property settlement is arguably the core of buying or selling property. It’s the part of the process where legal ownership is transferred.
If you’re buying, settlement day means being able to move into your new home, or owning a new property officially. And if you’re selling, it means finally getting the money from the sale. But while it can be an exciting time, it can also be daunting, especially if you’re a first-time buyer or you haven’t been in the property market for a while.
Thankfully, most of the process is handled by your legal and financial representatives, typically a conveyancer or property lawyer like Settle Easy. This means we will do most of the work once we receive some important information from you. Of course, whether you’re buying or selling property it’s important to understand the process so you can make informed decisions throughout.
What actually happens during the property settlement process?
The property settlement process starts with the seller setting the settlement date in the Contract of Sale. Generally, the property settlement period is between 28 to 90 days, but this also depends on the state you live in. In NSW, the standard settlement period is 42 days, but it can be longer or shorter depending on the circumstances.
During this time, you’ll be organising the things you need to ensure everything can be finalised on settlement day. An experienced conveyancer will be able to help you with these.
They can include:
- organising the money required to complete the sale, including all associated fees (legal costs, conveyancing fees, stamp duty, Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance, bank fees etc.)
- organising building and contents insurance
- conducting a final inspection of the property.
From here, your conveyancer or property solicitor will undertake a series of activities. These can include:
- reminding you to arrange a final inspection if you are buying property
- checking all property transfer documents
- Finalising your settlement using PEXA.
If you’ve chosen Settle Easy as your conveyancer, our friendly team will work closely with you throughout this process to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Pre-settlement jobs and final inspection
If you’re buying a property, the final inspection is your chance to ensure everything is in order before proceeding with settlement. While pre-settlement inspection is optional, you are legally entitled to one inspection and we highly recommend you complete one regardless of whether you’ve already inspected the property or not.
There’s always a chance things can change between your initial inspection and settlement day. Parts of the property may have been broken and require maintenance, or other contract conditions set out might not have been completed.
A final inspection will help you make sure the property is ready for settlement and confirm any special conditions that were set out in the contract of sale have been met.
Ideally, your real estate agent will inspect the property with you, looking for damage, mess, any inclusions and exclusions, and making sure special conditions have been met.
If something isn’t in order, your conveyancer or solicitor will be able to negotiate with the seller’s representatives to rectify the issue.
When it comes to buying or selling property, everything leads up to the settlement day. Among a long list of items, your conveyancer will check that:
- The buyer has funds to purchase the property.
- Any third parties with rights over the property have been removed.
- All clauses and special conditions on the contract have been fulfilled.
Once everything is organised, payment for the property has been organised, and stamp duty has been paid via PEXA, settlement is complete and the property has successfully changed hands.
What do I do after settlement?
Now that the property has been sold, there are a few things that will happen.
If you’re a buyer, your lender will draw down on the loan, debiting the amount paid at settlement from your loan account. You’ll also need to start paying rates and council fees. Then you can pick up the keys from your real estate agent and start moving in!
If you’re a seller, you no longer have to pay rates and council fees from the day after settlement is complete. From here on out, your only job is to make sure all your furniture and belongings are out of the property, if they aren’t already.
Buying or selling property? Settle Easy can help!
Settle Easy can help make settlement easy. Our friendly and experienced team of conveyancers and property lawyers can guide you through the settlement process from start to finish. And with our easy-to-use online platform, you can monitor your entire property transaction in one place.
Whether you’re buying, selling, or just have questions about the conveyancing in Victoria, NSW, Queensland or anywhere in Australia, contact Settle Easy today. A member of our team will be happy to help you on your property journey!
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Other Frequently Asked Questions
It’s rare, but there can occasionally be last-minute hiccups. For example, if the property you’re buying hasn’t been properly maintained, the seller may be required to make repairs before settlement can be completed. In this case, settlement may be rescheduled for a later date.
Sometimes documents can get lost, and bank errors can occur. However, with secure online conveyancing and new technology this is rare. A good conveyancer or property lawyer will be able to take care of everything to ensure things proceed smoothly, even if there are last minute problems. Most issues can be cleared up on the same day, or the next day at the latest.
Settle Easy’s conveyancers keep customers informed throughout the settlement process with real-time updates. If any part of the process changes, you’ll be the first to know.