Settlements – taking the hassle out of the big day


Buying a property, whether as your home or as an investment, is exciting times. However as settlement gets closer, clients often start wondering – what do they need to do? Do they need to turn up to settlement?

Do I need to turn up to settlement?

Unless very unusual circumstances exist for your sale or purchase, there is very little for you to do on the day of settlement.

Your solicitor will attend settlement on your behalf and will let you know soon as settlement is complete.

Should I complete a pre-settlement inspection?

If you are buying, you can arrange with the sales agent to complete a pre-settlement inspection. This is usually done the day before settlement or on the morning of settlement.

We strongly recommend that buyers arrange a pre-settlement inspection to go into the property to satisfy yourself that nothing has drastically changed since you last saw the property.

You may want to check that the seller has moved out completely, hasn’t damaged the house or unit when moving, has left anything that you agreed to buy with the property and everything that you are relying on getting, is there.

What will happen after settlement?

After settlement, both solicitors will notify the sales agent. Once the sales agent has received confirmation of settlement from both the buyer’s and seller’s solicitor, they will release the deposit to the seller and release the keys to the buyer.

What do I need to do prior to settlement, if I am selling?

If you are selling, you need to ensure that any mortgage on the property is released. This will generally require you to get in contact if your bank to lodge a Discharge Authority. At settlement, your bank will provide us with a release of mortgage based on the information in the Discharge Authority. If you are selling, please ensure that you have lodged a Discharge Authority as soon as possible.

If there is a paper Certificate of Title, you will need to locate it and give it to your Solicitor as soon as possible.

Settlement cannot go ahead without any Certificate of Title or without your bank providing a release of the mortgage at settlement.

What do I need to do prior to settlement if am buying?

If you are buying, you need to make sure that –

  1. Funds – all funds needed for settlement are available. If you are not obtaining finance, you may need to transfer the funds needed into our trust account. They will let you know how much is needed. If you are obtaining finance, your bank will typically bring the amount loaned to you, minus any costs, to settlement. However, any difference between the loan amount and the amount needed to settle, will need to be transferred into an account the bank can access. That way the bank can access and bring all funds necessary to settlement.
  2. Loan and Mortgage documents – you will need sign and return all loan and mortgage documents given to you by your bank to sign. You will need to do this ASAP so that your bank will be ready to settle on time.
  3. Insurance ­– you will need to arrange insurance. Ideally, this should be arranged as soon as you get the Contract. Your bank will typically want to see a copy of a certificate of currency of insurance as well.

This is an exciting time for buyers and sellers alike.

Do you have any questions regarding property settlements?

If you have concerns about settlements and what you need to do, please contact our office to discuss.

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