How to ensure a smooth settlement.
The property settlement process, when the property is legally transferred from one party to another, can be a stressful time,, but shouldn’t be provided you have engaged a knowledgable Settlement Agent. Here is a quick guide on how to prepare and what to expect, to hopefully make it a much smoother process:
GET YOUR FINANCIALS ORGANISED
A good finance broker will guide you through all of the bank paperwork to obtain a finance pre-approval (which allows you to bid at auctions and make offers that are not subject to finance). Then when you purchase your property, act quickly to sign and return all of your documents so there will be no delays with settlement. Your conveyancer will provide you with the details of how much money you will need in your account to ensure the correct funds can be drawn by the bank. Most contracts of sale include penalties for settlement delays caused by the buyer, so allow plenty of time to get the required witness signatures and documents signed.
ARRANGE YOUR INSPECTIONS
When you’re purchasing a house, it doesn’t matter if the home is practically new, it is worth organising a structural and pest inspection to ensure the property you are buying is in good condition. If you haven’t managed to organise this prior to signing the contract, make your offer subject to the successful outcome of a structural and pest inspection. No home is perfect – expect some minor problems.
KEEP IN CONTACT WITH YOUR CONVEYANCER
Your conveyancer should be methodical and an excellent communicator. It’s up to them to notify council and water authorities in relation to settling final bills, and they must also liaise with your broker or bank regularly to ensure all of the documentation and approvals are progressing.
You’ll also be entitled to a final inspection in the days leading up to settlement and you should use this time to ensure the property is in the same condition as when you bought it. If something is not in the same condition, for example, the expensive dishwasher has been replaced with an inferior brand, or if there are electrical, plumbing or gas issues, then you must notify your conveyancer following the inspection, and they will intern request these items be fixed prior to settlement, or funds held back to cover the costs of repair.
HIRE A GOOD PROPERTY MANAGER
Renting out the property? You need a good property manager
who cares as much about your property as you do. You can meet with the property manager and inform the of the settlement date prior to the property settling and when the Management Authority can commence.