Whether you are purchasing your first or 100th property, it is always a nerve-racking and stressful process. We tend to receive many questions from potential home buyers in relation to the settlement process and how it all works.
To this extent, we have put together a comprehensive outline below, which you should be aware of to ensure a smooth settlement.
Your Lawyer’s Role
Our role in your purchase of a property is to oversee the entire settlement process from start to finish.
Generally, we assist in;
- Advising you on matters we highly recommend you investigate before signing a Contract, or advising you on the Contract once you have signed;
- Arranging for searches and certificates;
- Preparing a caveat to protect your interest in the property, if so requested;
- Co-ordinating with your lender, and sending any required documents to it;
- Preparing the transfer of land, duties online forms and notice of acquisition;
- Preparing an adjustment of the rates on the property between you and the vendors;
- Arranging settlement with all parties;
- Notifying the statutory authorities of the change in ownership of the property; and
- Reporting, assisting and acting on your behalf throughout the entire purchase of the property.
The Purchase of Property Outline Contract of Sale
It is advisable for a Lawyer to review a Contract of Sale prior to you signing, for us to review the Contract and advise on all critical clauses and dates.
Importantly, the Contract will include the following:
- The property address;
- The title particulars;
- The goods to be sold with the property;
- The special conditions under the Contract;
- The purchase price;
- The deposit amount;
- The proposed Settlement Date; and
- The Vendors Statement.
Please note, we can conduct a review of the Contract after you have signed the Contract.
Once you instruct a Lawyer to act on your behalf in relation to the purchase of the property (usually, shortly after exchanging signed Contracts of Sale), the following takes place:
Description of land
We will provide you with a copy of the certificate of title together with a copy of the plan of the property. It is important that you are satisfied that the location and measurements of the property are identical with those shown on the enclosed plan. In addition, please note any easements shown on the Plan and ensure that no buildings or other improvements (if any) encroach on the land affected by the easement (if any).
Title and Statutory Certificates
We then will conduct the relevant Title search to ensure all is in order. Afterwards, we apply for the relevant rate certificates from the appropriate statutory authorities. These certificates relate to matters such as rates and other charges payable in connection with the land including excess water, zoning and also any restrictions on land use. Although the Vendor has already provided some of this information in the Vendors Statement, we verify the accuracy of that information directly with the relevant authorities.
We suggest that separate insurance be arranged by you for the residence, notwithstanding that you are entitled under the Sale of Land Act 1962 to have the benefit of any policy which the Vendor may have taken out. If you rely on the Vendor’s policy, you must take it as you find and you do not have the benefit of a direct contractual relationship with the insurer. Further, the amount or terms of the Vendor’s cover may not be sufficient.
The settlement will be scheduled in accordance with the Contract of Sale (typically 30, 60 or 90 days).
Inspection prior to Settlement
You have the right under the Contract to inspect the condition of the property and chattels at any reasonable time during the period of seven days preceding the settlement date. This is to ensure that the state of the property at the time of the pre-settlement inspection has not changed from its state on the day you contracted to purchase it.
An inspection may be arranged through the real estate agent.
Verification of Identity (‘VOI’)
We advise that all parties to a conveyancing transaction are required to have their identity verified. Accordingly, you will need to make an appointment with your local Australia Post branch to have your identity verified, we will prepare the necessary paperwork for you.
To verify your identification, they are required to sight your original Passport, Medicare card, Driver’s Licence or any other form of photo identification that you may have.
The Australia Post branch is also required to take a photograph of you for the identification process.
If you are obtaining finance for your purchase, you will be required to please provide us with full contact details for your broker/lender to enable us to liaise with them for settlement.
At Arro have extensive experience in dealing with property settlements and are happy to hold your hand through the whole process. If you have any questions concerning the above, please don’t hesitate and contact the Arro Property team today.
Alternatively, to get started on your journey to buying your property, please send a copy of the Contract of Sale for us to commence our review and to advise you on your legal obligations under the Contract.
We look forward to hearing from you.