Understanding the Property Settlement Process in NSW

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Approaching settlement day can be a stressful time for most homeowners and buyers – but it doesn’t have to be. All you need is the right preparation and a trusted conveyancer and you’ll be stress-free and ready in no time.

Read on to learn more about how the property settlement process in NSW works or speak to one of our experienced conveyancers today.

What is property settlement?

The property settlement process in NSW is the final stage of buying or selling a house. This is when the terms of a sale or purchase are finalised and the transfer of the ownership is initiated. The settlement is facilitated by a solicitor or conveyancer and a financial advisor.

Before contracts and settlements are exchanged, there are crucial steps that are undertaken. These include: completing property inspections, discussing the contract of sale with your conveyancer and confirming financial arrangements.

Property settlement process NSW

The property settlement process in NSW typically takes 1 to 3 months after the contract of sale has been signed. There are 5 steps involved in the process, which are outlined below:

  • Settlement date is agreed upon

This date is written in the contract and will usually be 6 weeks after the contracts have been exchanged. The date marks when the buyer will pay the seller all the costs for the property to change ownership of the property. Sometimes, if the buyer cannot pay all the fees by the date, interest will be charged.

  • Preparation for settlement 

This is completed by conveyancers and financial advisors where they will exchange cheques and important documentation. In New South Wales, the buyer is responsible for any damage on the settlement.

  • Final inspection is conducted

As settlement day approaches, the buyer will be able to inspect the property. This is to check that nothing has been changed or damaged since the contract of sale has been signed. Buyers will also be able to ask sellers to complete any unfinished repairs that have been included in the contract.

  • Final payments are made 

Before the settlement date, your conveyancer will draw up a settlement adjustment statement. This adjusts the price depending on things such as first-home owner grants and stamp duty concessions.

  • Ownership documentation is transferred to buyer

Now that the day of settlement has arrived, the seller will receive their payment and the legal possession of the property will be transferred to the buyer. The payment is taken to the conveyancer where they will provide the transfer documents. Any outstanding mortgage or caveats on the property are released before the transfer of ownership. The lender will then process the settlement from the buyers loan account and the property is then transferred.

Talk to an experienced conveyancer

If you’re in the process of selling or buying a house, Owen Hodge’s conveyancers are here to help with your property settlement. Our conveyancing and property lawyers are experienced in all types of property transactions, and will help to finalise your settlement with understanding and ease.

Contact 1800 770 780 to schedule an initial consultation with one of our conveyancers today.

For more information:

Property settlement process (NSW) FAQ

How long does a house settlement take in NSW?

The property settlement process in NSW commonly takes around 6 weeks after the exchange of contracts. Both parties will need to have the money covered for settlement in terms of legal fees and the house payment. The conveyancer can negotiate the settlement period if needed.

What steps should be taken to prepare for a property settlement?

The property settlement process can be quite stressful for many people, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have a reliable team of conveyancers, financial advisors and property managers, this period should be easy. To prepare for the settlement process we recommend that you:

  1. Make sure you have all your documentation prepared
  2. Ensure you have the correct funds
  3. Organise an inspection for the buyer
  4. Chat with your conveyancer for advice
  5. Hire a good real estate agent to protect your assets

What can go wrong on settlement day?

Settlement day is usually a smooth process. However, if someone is unprepared the process can be delayed. For example, there could be missing documentation, insufficient funds, someone may fail to show up, legal issues and more. To avoid this, speak to your trusted conveyancer to check what will be required on the day.

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