By Morgan Collens

Settlement marks the culmination of your property purchase journey, where the culmination of financial transactions and legal processes brings you one step closer to homeownership. Here is what to anticipate on this pivotal day.

Duration of Settlement

Typically spanning 30 to 90 days, the settlement period is mutually agreed upon by both parties and specified in the contract of sale. This timeframe allows for the fulfillment of financial and contractual obligations and facilitates logistical arrangements for moving.

Key Players

Settlement involves financial representatives (banks or lenders) and legal representatives (conveyancers or solicitors) representing both parties. Conveyancers play a vital role throughout the process, overseeing checks, searches, signings, and certifications essential for a smooth transition.

Property Inspection

Consumer Affairs Victoria stipulates the buyer’s entitlement to inspect the property before settlement. Coordination with the estate agent ensures a final inspection to verify the property’s condition. For new homes, engaging a building inspector is advisable to ensure compliance with building codes.

Financial Transactions

On settlement day, the buyer disburses the balance of the purchase price to the vendor. Conveyancers coordinate with banks to facilitate the transfer, ensuring a seamless financial transaction. Additionally, payment of land transfer duty (stamp duty) and lenders mortgage insurance is settled electronically.

Legal Formalities

Your conveyancer manages the preparation and submission of all legal documents required for property transfer. Once signed by both parties, these documents are sent to the titles office for registration, confirming your ownership. Any outstanding fees are settled to ensure a smooth transition of ownership.

Notification Processes

Following settlement, a Notice of Acquisition is dispatched to relevant authorities, notifying them of the property’s change of ownership. Your conveyancer ensures compliance with legal obligations, including notifying water authorities, local councils, and other pertinent entities.

Settlement Date Adjustments

Any changes to the settlement date require mutual agreement between buyer and seller. While extensions are permissible, penalty interest may be incurred. It’s crucial to adhere to contractual terms to avoid complications.

Additional Considerations

Arrange insurance and utility connections ahead of settlement day to facilitate a seamless transition. Contacting preferred suppliers ensures timely connection of essential services, streamlining your move into the new property.

Disclaimer: This publication contains comments of a general and introductory nature only and is provided as an information service. It is not intended to be relied upon as, nor is it a substitute for specific professional legal advice. You should always speak to us and obtain legal advice before taking any action relating to matters raised in this publication.