Buying a new home or property can be one of the most exciting events of your life. In an ideal world, it would be as easy as simply finding the money, paying the owner and receiving the title of the property. Unfortunately, however, there are all sorts of pitfalls and possible traps that can appear during the property settlement process on settlement day, and as your home is most likely the biggest investment of your life, it is wise to get reliable legal advice from the start to protect your interests. Having a Conveyancer represent your interests ensures someone has your back and will walk alongside you and guide you should you encounter any problems during settlement.
Somewhere in between the champagne and the celebratory social media posts, you try to wrap your head around everything you need to organise. Final Inspection. Insurance, removalists. The list seems endless.
What Does ‘Settlement Day’ mean?
Before you’ve had a chance to catch your breath, it’s settlement day. But what does that even mean?
Settlement Day is the day that the ownership of the property is transferred from the Vendor to the purchaser. There is a lot of preparation before the day comes and you may feel overwhelmed if you aren’t armed with the facts. The actual settlement date is set in the Contract for Sale.
A settlement is a legal process that is facilitated by the legal and financial representatives.
How does Settlement Take Place?
As of the 1stof July 2019 Electronic Conveyancing is mandatory. Settlement takes place electronically via an electronic platform called PEXA. All parties are invited to the one electronic workspace, this includes both parties’ legal representation and incoming and outgoing banks. The property title is checked, funds are uploaded to the workspace along with any mortgages that will be discharged at the time of settlement ensuring you get a clear title to the property.
With electronic settlements, the transfer of title will be immediate and the local authorities, Council and Water, will get notified of the change of ownership.
What to prepare?
Make sure you have adequate legal representation.
Obtain adequate insurance over the property that’s effective before settlement.
Go through the full settlement statement and associated purchase costs with your Conveyancer before settlement day to ensure you have adequate funds available.
Do a final inspection of the property before settlement day.
Why a Final Inspection is so Important?
Buyers are entitled to receive a property in the condition it was sold to them at the time Contracts were exchanged. You have the right to do a final inspection before settling on your purchase. It’s always recommended to do the final inspection as close as possible to settlement day and preferably when the property is vacant.
What should you look for? You have a right to receive the property in the condition it was in on the day you signed the Contract, fair wear and tear accepted so look out for the following:
- Is everything that was in working order still in working order
- Are the inclusions listed on the Contract still on the property
- Has anything been damaged (other than fair wear and tear)?
- Is there a substantial amount of rubbish left on the property (so much that you are unable to have ‘vacant possession’ of the property)
- Have the Vendors (or tenants, if applicable) vacated the property?
- Are all remotes for applicants or garage doors left at the property?
Remember once you have settled, the property is “as-is” and you have no grounds to negotiate so any issues found at your final inspection should be negotiated BEFORE settlement. If repairs need to be made, funds can be withheld on the settlement date until this occurs, or if there is substantial damage or breach of Contract you may have grounds to rescind if the Vendor is not agreeable to restoring the property to the condition it was at the exchange.
Take your keys, move in and make your new house your ‘home’. Where our work ends, yours begins.
The Conveyancing process of buying or selling a property can be complex and confusing at times but as experienced Conveyancing professionals, Hunter Legal & Conveyancing will make your journey easier and you can be confident you are in safe hands.
We go above and beyond at Hunter Legal & Conveyancing to ensure our fixed fee service includes everything you need to buy and/or sell your property with ease. With over 30 years experience in Conveyancing and with HLC being a 7 day a week service, any questions you may have can be answered immediately. After hours also includes weekends, so if you want to secure your sale and/or purchase quickly you can call our professional Conveyancing team to get your matter underway.
We look forward to assisting you to ensure your property matters are on time and hassle-free.