The conveyancing process begins once all parties have signed the Contract. It is strongly recommended that you provide a copy of the draft contract to your solicitor for review prior to signing. Risk regarding damage to the property moves to the buyer after signing so it is strongly recommended that you immediately arrange insurance.
You will receive an initial documents pack from your solicitor outlining critical contact information and the due dates. Complete, sign and return the items requested. Standard contracts have a 5 business day cooling-off period during which time you are entitled to terminate for any reason upon payment of a termination penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price.
Searches and investigations
Your solicitor will provide you with a “search checklist” that outlines all searches that can be conducted over the property, what each search will reveal and their price. Some searches are “standard” and it would be very unwise not to have them performed. Your solicitor will recommend other searches that may be applicable. You should be sure to discuss with your solicitor any specific concerns you have about the property.
Should the Contract be subject to satisfactory Building and Pest report, arrange for a licensed inspector to attend the property and provide a report by the due date. When you have it, provide a copy to your solicitor and advise them whether you are satisfied with the outcome. If not, your solicitor may be able to request a reduction of the purchase price, request that the Seller fix specified issues prior to settlement or terminate the Contract.
You should immediately provide a copy of the Contract to your financier or broker and advise them of the due date for finance. Provide a copy of your finance approval to your solicitor immediately upon receipt.
If you anticipate that your finance will not be approved by the due date, you should immediately contact your solicitor to advise them of the date to which you expect an extension will be required. N.B. it is up to the Seller’s discretion as to whether they approve any extension requests. You should, therefore, do everything you can to ensure that the results of your finance application will be received by the due date.
Once finance is approved, your bank will provide you with a number of loan documents for you to complete. Ensure that you return the loan documents to your bank as soon as possible as any delays in returning documents may result in delays of settlement.
Your solicitor will draft the Transfer documents based on the information you have provided to them. They will then arrange for the Transfer document to be executed by the Seller. Your solicitor will likely sign the Transfer documents on your behalf.
Your bank will confirm with your solicitor once the settlement is ready to be booked in.
Your solicitor will arrange for settlement with the bank and the seller’s solicitor. They will also calculate the settlement adjustments (ie. rates and water adjustments) and attend settlement on your behalf or arrange for a settlement agent to attend. If your bank will not be providing sufficient funds to cover the settlement and you have not provided your bank with an authority to draw funds from another nominated account, you must transfer any shortfall funds into the solicitor’s trust account.
Your solicitor will arrange for the Transfer and Contract to be assessed for payment of stamp duty which you must pay prior to settlement. Your solicitor will contact you and the real estate agent to confirm once settlement has been effected. The agent will then release the keys to the property to you.
Ordinarily, cheques will be drawn at settlement to pay any outstanding local authority invoices such as rates and water. Your solicitor will then forward payment to the relevant authorities. The Transfer documents will be handed to your bank at settlement to lodge with the Titles Office. You should contact your bank one month after settlement has been affected if you have not received confirmation of the Transfer being registered.