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What happens after settlement? – Are we done now?

Today I thought I’d share with everyone a little bit about what happens after settlement. Following on from our last three blogs.

At settlement day, in theory, everything’s finalised now. But in fact, there are still a couple of things left to ensure.

Luckily for you, whether you’re the Vendor or the Purchaser, most of these last few tasks are your conveyancer’s responsibility. Here today I’ll explain what they are and how they happen.

First up, you won’t need to attend settlement. I do that for you. You also won’t need to sign anything. Unless you’re the Vendor, you don’t need to do anything at all. Except simply wait for my phone call to say that everything’s done.

Vendor?

If you’re the vendor, you’ll only need to make sure you’ve dropped the property keys off to the Agent. It’s important that this is done before the property settles.

Purchaser?

As the Purchaser, all you need do is pick up the keys from the Agent. I’ll phone you when it’s time.

When I act for the Vendor, part of my role is to make sure the mortgage is paid. This is done, in full, at settlement. I also ensure that any outstanding rates, the Agents fee’s, and of course my fee’s, are all paid out too. As of settlement day, no more mortgage payments will be deducted. The account balance should say zero as of the next business day. On your internet banking, any mention of the mortgage account may already be removed completely (Woo Hoo!).

When settlements take place, the council rates, emergency services levy and land tax are all paid up to the end of the financial year, and the water and sewer charges are paid to the end of the relevant quarter that settlement takes place in. Then the amounts are prorated between the Vendor and the Purchaser, and a credit from the Purchaser is given to the Vendor for the number of days that they will own the property for. The reason this is done is that when a settlement takes place, the Vendor needs to give the Purchaser a ‘clear title’, meaning that there are no current financial liabilities passing with the property.

Stamp Duty?

The Purchasers stamp duty costs are also paid at this point. As are the registration fees for transferring the property into the new owner’s name.

The Transfer documentation and any other documents that may be required (i.e. the discharge of the existing mortgage on the Title and the new mortgage document for the purchaser) are all lodged together in a series at the Land Titles Office.

Registration can take anywhere between one and three weeks to complete. Once completed the Purchaser’s Conveyancer receives a ‘Confirmation of Registration’. We then send this on to the client as evidence that the registration is now completed and that the Title which is held by the Land Titles Office, is now in their name.

Notifications are also sent to the government rating authorities (council, SA Water and Revenue SA) and the new Property Manager (if applicable) and the Body Corporate Manager (if applicable) to let them know the new owner details and to update their records accordingly.

Occasionally rate notices may still be sent to the new owner if there is a crossover between our notification being entered into the system and the issue date of the next notice. However, if this happens, we just ask that the Purchaser sends a copy to us so we can check if it’s an error and get it rectified.

After settlement and registration are completed, we then arrange for the file to be stored in a safe and secure off-site storage location to reduce the risk of illegal hacking of any personal information. After the required timeframe of seven years, the file is then destroyed.

There’s a great article here that also covers off what happens before, during, and after settlement.

If you want to ask me something specific, feel free to drop me a line here.