Property Settlement Process: Everything You Need To Know

What Happens on the Settlement Day for Your Purchase Property?

You saved up and found a property in Sydney that you could afford. Today is the settlement day, and you can’t wait to move into your new home. Settlement is the official process that you finalise the sale. What should you expect to happen on this day?

Your Property Lawyer Meets with the Seller’s Representatives

You usually don’t have to be present in person to complete the transaction on the settlement day. Your conveyancing and property lawyer will exchange documents and cheques with the seller’s representatives on your behalf. If you have taken out a mortgage on the Sydney property, a representative of your bank will also be present at the meeting.

Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) allows buyers and sellers to settle a property transaction electronically. Your conveyancing and property lawyer may be able to complete the transaction with banks and land registries online.

You Pay the Money Owed

In the settlement meeting, you have to pay all the money owed to the seller. The representative of the seller’s bank will check the amount, accept the payment, and discharge the seller’s mortgage on the Sydney property. Your conveyancing and property lawyer will make sure that any existing mortgage is paid off and all clauses on the contract for sale are fulfilled.

Make Final Adjustments to the Purchase Price

Certain adjustments and charges, such as utility bills, taxes, as well as council and water rates and strata levies, may affect the purchase price. Your conveyancing and property lawyer usually prepares these adjustments before the settlement day.

Transfer of Documents

Once settlement is complete, the transfer document will be registered at the Land and Property Information and the title of the property will be transferred into your name. When this is done, you’ll be the proud owner of the property.

Final Inspection of the Property

You should inspect the property on the settlement day to make sure that the property is in the condition described in the contract for sale. You should also make sure that all the fixtures specified in the contract are included. If you can’t do it yourself, you can hire a professional inspector to conduct the inspection for you.

Moving Out and Moving In

On settlement day, once the settlement process is complete and the sale is finalised, if the contract is subject to ‘vacant possession’, the seller should move out and your lawyer will authorise the real estate agent to release the keys to you.

If the contract is ‘subject to existing tenants’ and the tenants are still living in the property, then you cannot move into the property until the tenants move out.

It isn’t unusual for settlements to be delayed by a few hours and therefore, most purchasers plan to move the day after settlement.

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