Property Settlement Tips
for Buyers

Property settlement is the legal process that transfers the ownership of a property from one owner to another.  There is a lot of legal paperwork involved that will be taken care of for you by your conveyancer.

It is where you finally take legal possession of the property.  

Getting Started

You will nominate your conveyancer on the Offer Acceptance document.  Or you can nominate one afterwards and simply add T.B.A. on the Offer and Acceptance document. There are certain legal processes that need to be adhered to.  Most people use a conveyancer or solicitor to help with the settlement process.

Note that there are differences, depending on the state you live in.

Cooling-off Period

Most buyers will have a cooling off period. This may change from state to state and also depending on the contract terms or if the house was sold by auction. Generally the cooling off period lasts for 5 business days.  There are various factors that may affect the cooling off period.

The settlement process normally takes between 30 and 90 days.  The length of the settlement period is stated on the contract of sale and must be agreed by both buyer and seller.

Take Nothing for Granted

It is vitally important to have everything clear and precise. Clearly Outline all conditions, timing, required actions and who is responsible for them.  By being pedantic in the beginning, will reduce potential disagreements and delays.

Follow up any Special Conditions.

You may have special conditions in the contact, for example. Building and pest inspection clauses.  Make sure you have taken care of these by the stipulated date.  Otherwise you may lose the benefit of these clauses.

Your conveyancer will manage most of the paperwork for you.

  • The initial settlement statement
  • Title Search / Certificate of Title / Transfer of Land.
  • Identification of Encumbrances.
  • Stamp Duty Application / Electronic Advice of Sale (EAS).
  • Authority to Proceed to Settlement.
  • These vary from state to state.

Your conveyancer will take care of various rates and taxes. Inc.

– Ensuring there are no outstanding water or council rates owing.

– Check for outstanding special government levies.

– Ensure there are no outstanding strata levies.

It is important that you conduct a final inspection.

The property should be in the same condition as it was, when the contract

of sale was signed. The contract should specify which fittings and fixtures

are included in the sale, and what can be removed by the seller.

During your final inspection, you should check. 

  • Any damage since the contract was signed.
  • Ensure appliances and fittings are working.
  • All chattels and rubbish have been removed.
  • The gardens are tidy, and that no plants have been removed.

Organise insurance
It is a good idea, & often required by lenders, to take out building & contents insurance effective from the date the contract is signed.