You’ve found your dream property, had your offer accepted and the all-important settlement day is the last hurdle to overcome. The anticipation has been building for weeks!
Settlement day can be both exciting and stressful, as sometimes things can go wrong. In this article, we offer some tips about settlement day and explain how we, as your mortgage broker, can help ensure everything goes to plan. But first let’s explain about settlement day and how it all works.
What is settlement day?
Settlement day is the day ownership of a property is legally transferred from one party to another – in other words, the day you get the keys to your new home! There are all sorts of regulations and procedures that must be followed for this to happen, but your conveyancer will take care of the finer details and we’ll work with them to ensure your finance is all set. The actual date of settlement date will be outlined in the Sales Contract - it’s a good idea to discuss the timing with us, your mortgage broker, and get your conveyancer to review the contract before you sign it. If you don’t have a conveyancer, please ask us for a referral.
What happens on settlement day?
By the time settlement day rolls around, you should have undertaken a final inspection of the property, organised building insurance (this should be done as soon as the seller signs the contract) and your conveyancer will have taken you through all the necessary documentation to transfer the property title to you. On the big day, a representative from your home loan provider and your conveyancer will meet with the seller’s representatives – you aren’t required to attend. Your conveyancer will receive the property title and register you as the new owner, cheques will be exchanged, and any government fees and duties paid. Once the paperwork is completed, you will be notified of a successful settlement and then get the keys and officially become the new owner.
Now for those tips about ensuring settlement day goes smoothly!
Tip #1: See your mortgage broker early
To ensure a hassle free settlement day, it’s important to seek professional advice from experts who understand the process. Talk to us before you start looking for your property, so we can organise pre-approval of your home loan with your preferred lender. It’s also a good idea to talk with us about the property you choose, so we can ensure the lender is happy with the price and value and will grant final loan approval. That way, when it’s time to sign the sales contract, you’ll be confident your finance is secured. We hold your hand and take you through every step right through to settlement and beyond, so you can feel confident that things go smoothly on the day!
Tip #2: Find a reputable conveyancer
You’ll need a reliable conveyancer to oversee the complex legal requirements and paperwork involved in a property purchase. Among other tasks, your conveyancer will ensure there is enough time between the finance approval date and the nominated settlement date. Ask friends and family for a recommendation and be sure to check the conveyancer’s reviews. We can also offer a referral to a reliable conveyancer if needed.
Tip #3: Negotiate a date that works for you
It’s important to remember that you have the power to negotiate the settlement period with the seller before signing the contract. Even if you’re buying at auction and the settlement period is in the contract, you may be able to liaise with the seller’s agent to see if the seller would be open to a different date. This could be useful if you’re moving from one home to another and need to plan the timeframe.
The settlement period begins the day the contract is signed and is usually between 30 and 90 days. So, the settlement period should also allow enough time for your finance to go through, searches to be undertaken and paperwork to be completed. Keep in mind that it can take time for your lender to issue and approve the paperwork – so check back with us about a suitable settlement period for your loan.
Tip #4: Be vigilant about the paperwork (and we will be too!)
There’s often a lot of paperwork involved in a property purchase. If you’re late at returning paperwork to us or you fail to sign a page or tick a box, it may delay loan approval and there may also be issues with settlement if you delay signing documents from your conveyancer. Pay attention to detail when filling out the paperwork and return it as soon as you are asked to by your broker or conveyancer. We have detailed processes to ensure no paperwork gets missed, but it pays to know what you are signing and when at your end as well!
Tip #5: Enjoy the ride
You’re bound to feel nervous as settlement day approaches. But try not to stress too much and enjoy the process. If you have a team of professionals on your side and you’re properly organised, things are likely to go to plan. Remember, our role as your mortgage and finance broker is to help ensure your settlement day goes smoothly, so please get in touch early in the purchasing process and we’ll be there to help you every step of the way!