Essential tips for a smooth property settlement

6 essential tips to help buyers navigate their way through a home purchase settlement.

The final component involved in buying a home is settlement, which doesn't always go as smoothly as one would hope. Here are a few tips to help prevent those unpleasant surprises. 

Tip 1:
One of the most important tips when buying a home is to allow sufficient time for the settlement of the property when completing the contract. Generally, you should allow at least 21 days for finance approval, and then at least 21 days after that to allow the necessary documentation to be finalised. However during busy periods (such as End of Financial Year and the lead up to Christmas) these time periods should be extended out to 28 days.

Tip 2:
A simple mistake that can cause delays to the settlement process is when the contract is completed incorrectly by the buyer.  If there are any mistakes or changes to the names on the contract, the contract will need to be rescinded.  It is also a way for sellers to back out of the contract if they want to. 

Tip 3:
Another important tip is to ensure that all special conditions of the purchase are should be in writing on the contract and not made verbally. These conditions include issues such as termite/timber pest inspections and structural reports.

Tip 4:
Inspect the purchase property prior to settlement.  Check all the items listed in the contract are there and are in the right condition and ensure you are getting the property you inspected at purchase. 

Legislation does vary from state to state, but in Queensland, for example, it provides that buyers are entitled to inspect the property at any reasonable time during the week before settlement, simply by contacting the agent to arrange the inspection. 

Tip 5:
Stay in close contact with your legal representative when planning removal van booking times. It’s crucial that your belongings will be delivered to your new home at a time that fits tightly with the legal process.

Tip 6:
Your agent cannot hand over the keys to your new home until instructed in writing to do so by the vendor’s solicitor (in writing). You must be prepared for possible legal or banking delays when moving out of your current residence.