The process of finalising a property sale is called settlement. It’s where the purchaser pays the remaining sale price (minus your deposit) and becomes the property’s legal owner.
Typically, in WA, you will decide your settlement date when you make your offer. The date you choose is up to you but is usually a set numbers of days from formal finance approval. If you prefer a speedy settlement, you can ask to bring the date forward to expedite the process and the same is true if you prefer a longer, say 90-day, settlement period.
Deciding the settlement date is part of the negotiation process. When you make your offer, ensure all parties reach amicable agreement on purchase price, conditions, and the settlement date.
Is the process the same in every state?
General elements are the same, in that you need to have budgeted enough money to cover settlement fees, including:
- legal costs
- conveyancing fees
- transfer duty, also known as stamp duty
- unpaid lending charges such as Mortgage Lenders Insurance (LMI) or loan establishment fees, if applicable.
Most differences in the property purchase and settlement process between states involve including or excluding a ‘cooling-off period.’ In Western Australia, there is no ‘cooling-off period, so you need to be sure you want to purchase the property when you make an offer.
In Western Australia, the standard residential sales contract contains two sections:
- Contract for Sale of Land or Strata Title by Offer and Acceptance
- Joint Form of General Conditions for the Sale of Land (General Conditions).
We recommend you inspect the property to familiarise yourself with its fixtures, fittings, and condition before making an offer. If repairs are required, it’s imperative to include a condition in your offer compelling the seller to undertake the repairs before settlement. Ensure the offer is conditional on all gas, electrical, and plumbing equipment being in good working order at settlement.
A clear, concise, and thorough offer can avoid issues further down the process, as buyers in Western Australia don’t have the benefit of a cooling-off period, allowing you to change your mind and withdraw your offer. In WA, an offer is a legally binding contract.
Suppose you are First Home Buyer in WA. In that case, your lender must lodge the FHOG application with ReveueWA for a UIN (Unique Identification Number) to be issued upon approval for the conveyancer to claim the duty reduction.
Other Australian states have slightly different processes. In New South Wales, for example, sellers must disclose specific information regarding the property, known as prescribed documents, like:
- copies of a recent title search
- a copy of the registered plan
- any other registered dealings noted on the title search
- a Section 149 Council certificate
- drainage diagrams.
NSW sellers who provide incorrect information may present the buyer with a viable opportunity to cancel the contract. NSW buyers also have a 5-business day cooling-off period, where you can withdraw your offer without penalty. However, it’s not uncommon for buyers in NSW to waive their cooling-off rights in a hot market. NSW also typically has a settlement date six weeks from exchange of contracts.
Choose C&R Settlements as your Perth settlement services
The Perth and South West property market shows no signs of slowing, so you need to act fast to avoid losing out to other interested buyers.
At C&R Settlements conveyancing agency, we specialise in property settlements across Western Australia. Comprised of a team of passionate and dedicated Perth settlement agents, contact us for your commercial and residential property settlement.