Property settlement is the legal transfer of property ownership from vendor to purchaser.  The settlement process is handled by either a conveyancer or a solicitor. Settlement periods range from 30 to 90 days and are nominated by the vendor.

When settlement is effected, ownership of the property passes to the purchaser, and the purchaser pays the balance of the agreed purchase price to the vendor. The vendor must hand over the property in the same condition as it was when it was sold and the contract was signed so the purchaser has the right to arrange another inspection during the week prior to settlement. The purchaser’s bank will expect building and contents insurance to have been arranged prior to settlement, which will take effect from the date the contract is signed.

During the period leading up to settlement the conveyancer should provide the purchaser with a plan of the land as well as a copy of the Certificate of Title.  It is the purchaser’s responsibility to ensure the boundary measurements correlate with those on the Certificate of Title.

If there is any doubt, a Surveyor should be engaged by the purchaser before settlement takes place. The purchaser’s conveyancer will provide a list of documents required for settlement.  The purchaser should ensure these documents are available and correct to avoid costly delays in settling. The purchaser is responsible for paying land transfer duty (stamp duty) at settlement.  The Title to the property will not be released to the purchaser until the duty is paid.

Once settlement is effected, both parties will be contacted by their respective conveyancers / solicitors and the handover of keys will be actioned.

Just remember, a pre-purchase building inspection should be conducted before or immediately after an offer is accepted prior to the expiry of the cooling-off period in order to ensure that there are no major defects that could result in an undesirable loss of utility or significant outgoing costs post-purchase. Pre-purchase building inspections are also of vital importance in identifying any potential safety hazards that may exist with the property. More detail at here.

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