What to expect on property settlement day (and how to get ready for it).

For new homeowners, there’s a romance that settlement day evokes. You picture all the people who helped it happen, together on the front lawn of your new Adelaide Hills property, handing you the keys, with celebratory applause. You, the seller, both conveyancers and the bank, all sharing in the special moment.

Date:

30-Jun-2021

Category:

Buying

Tags:

Author:

Amanda Smith

What to expect on property settlement day (and how to get ready for it).

For new homeowners, there’s a romance that settlement day evokes. You picture all the people who helped it happen, together on the front lawn of your new Adelaide Hills property, handing you the keys, with celebratory applause. You, the seller, both conveyancers and the bank, all sharing in the special moment.

There’s no denying this is one of the most memorable days of your life, but the reality of this milestone moment is different – because so much happens behind the scenes in the leadup to the handover, it’s often invisible to you. It’s a huge process to wrap your head around and it’s worthwhile learning about it now, to make it as smooth as possible.

Settlement day, explained

The basic function of settlement day is to transfer ownership from the seller to the buyer. Each party has legal representation, the conveyancers, who are worth their weight in gold. If you’re the purchaser, you’ve already paid the deposit into your real estate agent’s trust account. It’s their responsibility to make sure the balance is available to the vendor’s conveyancer leading into settlement. Ask us about conveyancer recommendations in the Adelaide Hills.

What you need to ensure, as the purchaser, is the balance of deposit funds ready and available in your conveyancer’s trust account. A lot of settlement really is preparation. Delays do happen and you’ll likely know about it one or two days ahead of time. Keep in mind, Murphy’s Law is undefeated, like we always say at Nitschke – you can’t control what you can’t control. Bottlenecks can be caused by the bank, for example, on the seller’s side as the mortgage waits to discharge. This is where having a great conveyancer following up on items is worth every dollar.

Let’s talk money

Say, for example, you’ve paid a 10% deposit on your new Adelaide Hills house. You need to make sure the 90% is made available on settlement day. Advise your borrowing vendor ahead of time. A finance broker, as well as your conveyancer, can help with this step. The mortgage is registered on the title when it’s changed from the seller’s name to yours. The bank has the title to the property until it’s paid off, as security.

The conveyancer will prepare a settlement statement, which covers details such as where the money’s going and council rates. If the seller paid in rates in full for the year and the settlement goes through in July, it’ll be credited back. It’s the conveyancer’s responsibility to give you an idea about all these numbers, as well as handling the stamp duty payment.

At this stage, it’s also important to think about an insurance policy, engaging a removalist, and organising your utilities. There’s an awful lot that goes into preparing a house for settlement day. Be realistic about what you can handle on the day and reduce compounding stress by spreading out tasks across the week of settlement.

“The settlement has gone through. You’re a homeowner!”

It’s all worth it when you receive this first call from your conveyancer. That Adelaide Hills house is finally yours. From here, you’ll hear from your real estate agent (hopefully us), confirming that you legally own the house and to arrange the handover of keys.

We understand the process can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. Our team of Adelaide Hills real estate agents are here to guide you through. We do this every day (and have done for over 20 years). Get in touch to talk with our property agents.

Enjoy every step of this milestone process, with us.