A Guide to the Settlement Process
Before settlement day
In the days leading up to settlement, there’s a few things you need to tick off your list to be completely prepared for the day. Firstly, you’ll need to organise a settlement agent, which often comes in the form of a solicitor or conveyancer who will guide you through the process and minimise any hiccups. You’ll need to have signed the contract with a mutually agreed settlement date. You’re also given some time to organise the funds to cover stamp duty, lenders mortgage insurance and other fees and charges.
Most importantly, you’ll be given the opportunity to complete a final inspection of the property, during which you can double check everything is working and present, as per the contract, and that the locks and keys you were provided with are all in working order. If you’re moving into a home you’ve built or bought off the plan, invite a building inspector to join your final inspection is a great way to ensure that the building is up to code.
On settlement day
Your settlement agent (that’s the solicitor or conveyancer you organised) will meet with your lender and the seller’s representative to sign and handover all documentation and any required cheques. These are then sent off to the titles office to register you as the new owner.
Your lender will then register your mortgage and pay for the property. Your settlement agent is there to guarantee that your mortgage will be paid off, that the contract is fulfilled and that the transfer or land and mortgage is registered within your state.
Neither you nor the seller need to be present while this takes place, so you may go about your life as usual until you hear otherwise. Your settlement agent will call you if there are any issues, including the need to reschedule. They’ll also call you when the entire process is complete, to confirm the finalisation of your purchase.
You own a house! At this point, it’s time to organise a removalist to move you into your new property and start planning a house warming party.