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Buying and Selling Property in Western Australia.
The following information is provided to help your settlement proceed with maximum efficiency and by the due date for settlement. Please read it carefully since it may answer many questions that you might have concerning your transaction.
While every effort has been made for the guide to be as comprehensive as possible, we strongly recommend that you contact your nominated settlement agent, should you have any specific questions or any other matters relating to your particular transaction.
You have a right to choose your own Conveyancer (also known as a Settlement Agent) and to have your chosen Conveyancer act in your best interest at all times. These rights are detailed in the Appointment to Act (Form 1) document that they must provide to you and, where applicable, the Disclosure of Interest document (Form 2).
You have an obligation to bring to your Conveyancer’s attention any matters that you think may affect the transaction, such as upcoming holidays or work trips. This is especially important where the Conveyancer prepares financial information on your behalf, which you think, is incorrect or where you intend to vary the settlement date or give early possession of the property.
It is important that you attend to any requests for signing of documents as early as possible and return them quickly, particularly when the time frame for settlement is short or the mail is likely to take longer than the standard one business day.
Take prompt action in attending to any special conditions on the Offer and Acceptance contract, which have either been stipulated or may need to be satisfied. This could include making a timely application for finance approval, scheduling inspections by their required dates for things such as structural or timber pest reports and taking steps to obtain council approval for any unapproved structures on the property.
If you plan to be away during the period leading up to settlement, please contact your conveyancer to make sure any necessary documents have been signed and to let them have alternate contact details.
As a seller, if you have a mortgage currently registered on the property, then you should contact your bank or financial institution as soon as possible to notify them of the sale. They will likely require you to sign an “Authority to Discharge” form before they will progress your file. Most lenders will require around 21 days from receipt of the “Authority to Discharge” form to be ready for settlement.
In cases where you are only “partially” paying out the debt or have more than one property linked to the loan, the discharge process may take even longer, especially if a valuation is required on the remaining security property/ies.
As a buyer, if you intend on obtaining finance to assist with your purchase, it is important that you commence the application process as soon as possible. Each lender will have different processes and timeframes for approving finance and following this, to become ready for settlement. Speak to your finance broker or banker about your particular circumstances.
Once your finance is approved, your bank will then issue you with mortgage documents to sign. Generally, your bank will require around 21 days to be ready for settlement once they have approved your loan. In cases where you are not immediately available to sign the mortgage documents, you should let your conveyancer know as a settlement extension may be required.
If there are any special conditions on the Offer and Acceptance contract which you are required to satisfy, you should take whatever steps are necessary to make sure that they are satisfied by the date required in the contract.
For buyers, this could include things such as structural or timber pest inspections. It is important to have these completed prior to their required due dates. If reports are not completed and provided to the seller by the due date, you may find that you have waived your rights to have any issues remedied. Speak to your conveyancer for more information as it relates to your specific contract.
Your conveyancer will forward the settlement documents to you in the early stages of the settlement process. Along with the conveyancer’s Cost Disclosure, the documentation may also include forms such as the Appointment to Act (Form 1), the Disclosure of Interest (Form 2) (if applicable), the Client Authorisation Form and the Transfer of Land document.
Please ensure that any documents you receive are signed and witnessed as instructed and returned to your conveyancer promptly to avoid any delays with settlement. This is particularly important if the time frame for settlement is short or the mail is likely to take longer than the standard one business day.
All buyers & sellers of land and property in Western Australia must complete a Verification of Identity check with their conveyancer prior to settlement.
The identification process requires each person to produce documents that confirm their identity. Preferred documents are an Australian Passport and Australian Drivers license however there are a number of categories which outline the various sets of acceptable identification documentation.
Your settlement agent may complete this verification of identity with you or they may offer you an alternative option such as attending your local Australia Post outlet.
For more information on the VOI requirements, including for self-represented buyers & sellers, refer to Landgate’s website.
- Your conveyancer is not able to make arrangements to disconnect or reconnect power, gas or telephone services to the property and you should therefore make your own arrangements in that regard.
Please try and call these service providers approx one week prior to settlement to ensure that they have sufficient time to arrange final meter readings on the date you require them.
Your conveyancer will notify the local council and the Water Corporation of the change of ownership and will arrange for the water meter to be read as close as possible to settlement date.
- The property continues to be at the seller’s risk, as far as insurance is concerned, until the date of settlement or the date of possession (ie, the date on which the Buyer takes the keys and commences occupation of the property), whichever is the earlier date.
Your conveyancer will not make arrangements to transfer, cancel or take out any insurance policies either or building or contents and you should contact your insurer to make necessary arrangements.
As the seller, if you pay a proportion of an insurance premium on a strata titled property which is not included in a regular strata levy contribution, you should provide details of the insurance and the amount paid by you to your conveyancer so that they may attend to any necessary adjustment of the premium between you and the Buyer.
- Please provide your conveyancer with your forwarding address in the event that we need to contact you following settlement.
- Remember to notify anyone with whom you are in regular contact, of your new address and contact details.
- It is advisable to make arrangements with Australia Post for re-direction of your mail, if your address is changing after settlement.
- You may wish to obtain quotes and book a removalist prior to the settlement date. Make sure that you are regularly in touch with your conveyancer so that they can inform you if there is likely to be any delay in settlement.