Step 5. The Settlement Process
Property settlement is the finalisation of a real estate transaction between a buyer and a seller.It is the process of ensuring all the conditions of the standard offer and acceptance are fulfilled. The following is a brief outline of the usual process of property settlement;
- Appointment of a Settlement Agent.
- Receipt of Contract and Authority to Act put in place.
- Identify and Act to ensure satisfaction of any Special Conditions.
- Act as required when contract becomes unconditional.
- Liaise with financial institutions where required.
- Arrange execution of settlement documentation and prepare for settlement.
- Attend settlement.
- Prepare final settlement and disbursement statements.
The settlement agent deals with…
- Search fees (for example, land title office).
- Settlement disbursement fees – telephone calls, postage, photocopying, courier etc.
- Bank cheque fees.
- Your proportion of council and water rates.
- Registration of transfer.
YOU deal with…
- House/contents insurance.
- Removal costs/dates.
- Disconnect/reconnect gas/phone/water.
- Mail redirection.
Things you can do
- Read all correspondence carefully BEFORE signing any documentation.
- If you have any questions – ask your settlement agent or real estate agent.
- Return all documentation promptly and act quickly to any requests from your settlement agent or bank.
- You must be given a reasonable opportunity to inspect the property once within the five days prior to the settlement date and be accompanied by no more than two people.
- The pre-settlement inspection is an opportunity to make sure the property is in the same condition as when you made the offer.