After exchanging contracts on a property, the next milestone in your property-buying journey is settlement!
Settlement is the official process conducted between your legal representative and the representative of the seller and is when the ownership of the property is passed from the seller to you, and you pay the remaining balance of the sale price. Below are some points you need to know about settlement:
When is settlement?
The seller sets the settlement date in the contract of sale and the property settlement period is usually 30 to 90 days. This can be re-discussed prior to a time frame that suits both parties.
Arrange your final inspection
As a purchaser, you’re entitled to inspect the property at a reasonable time during the week prior to settlement to ensure the property is in the same condition as when it was sold. You will need to contact your agent to arrange this.
Your financial lender will usually recommend that you take out building and contents insurance effective from the date of exchange. Not only to protect their interest in the property but your own as well.
Your solicitor or conveyancer will send you a contract with the plan of the land so you can check all measurements and boundaries correspond with the Certificate of Title. You should confirm it is correct or alert them to any discrepancies.
Make sure you provide documents and other information promptly when requested, as delays can be costly.
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 and you are responsible for them from the day after settlement.
You are also responsible for paying stamp duty on the sale. It is usually paid at settlement but you have up to three months after settlement to pay, but keep in mind you can’t receive title to a property until you have paid the stamp duty.
Collect the keys
Once settlement is completed, you can collect the keys from the agent and take possession of the property.