January 18, 2024

What Happens on Settlement Day

Buying and selling property is an exciting, and sometimes stressful process, and that is never more true than on settlement day.

For Buyers, you’ve found your dream property, put in an offer, signed the contract, and had your conveyancing solicitor assist you to navigate all the milestones in the contract period, such as building and pest and finance conditions. But it’s not quite time to collect the keys yet!

For Sellers, you’ve chosen your agent, prepared your property for open homes, gone through negotiations and progressed through all the contractual steps until your contract is unconditional.

Whether you are buying or selling, settlement day is a nail-biting time. Read on to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes at settlement. 

What Is Settlement?

Property settlement is the process by which ownership of property is formally transferred. The legal and financial representatives of both the buyer and the seller will meet (either in person or online through an electronic settlement platform such as PEXA), and do everything necessary to transfer the legal ownership of the home from the seller to the new owner.

How Does The Property Settlement Process Work?

1. Money Changes Hands

On settlement day, the balance of the purchase price is paid to the seller. Any commission owing to the real estate agent is paid to them, and other fees and charges, such as your conveyancer’s fee, are also paid.

Buyers need to ensure that they have sufficient funds available to cover all the payments due at settlement.

2. Seller’s Bank Receives Loan Account Payout And Releases Mortgage

If the seller has a registered mortgage on the title, this is usually discharged at settlement, and the balance of the seller’s loan is paid.

3. Final Documents Are Signed And Exchanged

During the settlement process, all the documentation is finalised. Once this occurs, transfer documents are sent to the Titles Office and the new owners are registered.

Once this occurs, the buyers will assume legal ownership of the property, and be able to collect the keys from the real estate agent and start moving in!

How Do Conveyancing Solicitors Prepare for Settlement Day?

How Do Conveyancing Solicitors Prepare for Settlement Day?

Part of your conveyancing solicitor’s role is to have all the relevant paperwork prepared ahead of time, including transfer documents to be lodged at the Titles Office and stamp duty paperwork. Your legal representative will also have liaised with any bank involved, adjusted the amount of water, electricity and rates payable by you and the other party, and prepared a settlement statement ahead of time so you can see an accurate breakdown of costs.

With all the paper completed before the settlement date, your solicitor will be ready to facilitate your property settlement.

When Do I Pay Stamp Duty?

Stamp duty (or ‘transfer duty‘) is usually payable at settlement, and will be facilitated by your conveyancer. You’ll be provided with an itemised breakdown of costs prior to settlement day so you won’t be surprised with any unforeseen costs.

More Questions?

Our friendly, experienced conveyancing solicitors are ready to answer any questions you might have about settlement day. Contact us today!

The above is not legal advice and is general information only.