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What does ‘settlement’ mean?
Before we look at what happens on settlement day, let’s briefly explain what settlement covers. Settlement is the legal process when a property is transferred from one party to another.
It is not simply an exchange of the purchase price as it can include financing from your bank, pre-settlement adjustments such as stamp duty, concessions, grants (if applicable), and adjusting and compensating the seller and third parties for items such as council rates, water rates, and body corporate fees.
Learn more: What Does A Conveyancer Do?
How long does the settlement process take?
The time between signing the contract and settlement can vary. The usual period is between 30 and 90 days but it just depends on the circumstances of the buyer and what is attractive to the seller. The default at auction settlement period is 30 days and if that doesn’t suit, then a buyer may negotiate a longer settlement; but that needs to be done prior to the auction.
Learn more: Why does the settlement process take so long?
What happens on settlement day for a house?
So, exactly what happens on settlement day? On settlement day, all of the parties to the transaction get together and make it happen. If there is an existing mortgage over the property, that mortgage needs to be discharged and the property needs to be transferred to the buyer. If there is a new mortgage arranged, that mortgage needs to be registered on the title.
All parties involved sign and exchange the updated documents; usually this happens online using one of the property exchange platforms. Your new place is finally yours, although you might be sharing it with the bank for a while. You will get a call from one of our conveyancers with the good news and then it’s time to move in.
Now you know what happens on settlement day. If you still have questions that aren’t answered below, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
How long does the settlement process take on the day?
The process itself on the day doesn’t take long at all – it’s lining up the parties involved in the transaction that can take time. Usually your conveyancer will ‘book’ a time for the settlement to occur but it’s worth noting that this can move if, for example, one of the banks involved is not yet ready.
Do you need to be present on settlement day?
No, you don’t need to be present on the day of settlement as your conveyancer will already have arranged for you to have signed the relevant documents and these days, it all happens electronically. You’ll just need to arrange with your agent when, where and how you pick up or handover keys to the property.
Who can help with the settlement process?
There are literally hundreds of settlement agents, lawyers and conveyancers in Adelaide who can help you – whether you’re buying a property or selling a property. At Eckermanns, we have been arranging the settlements of South Australians for more than 45 years.
With such a long history in the conveyancing business, we’ve come across the smooth and the truly bumpy. However, if you have worked with us before, you’ll know that we take smoothing the bumps for you very seriously. We call it “friction-free conveyancing” and we have become adept at working out where problems tend to lurk and how to troubleshoot them. Our communication is second to none and we will take the time to explain the steps and procedures so that there are no surprises. Check out our reviews – our clients tell our story best!