Author: A simple trap to fall into when buying a home is to relax too soon after the purchase has been accepted.
Don’t take it for granted that the settlement period will be smooth sailing. Instead, use the period leading up to settlement to ensure the agreed conditions of sale are carried out precisely as per the instructions and that any problems are dealt with.
What should you be doing during the settlement period?
It can be difficult and expensive to iron-out problems with the sale after settlement, so we advise you avoid the temptation to seek a short settlement and instead allow around five weeks. An unreasonably short time can place undue pressure on both parties.
We are lucky enough in Western Australia to have an efficient and affordable property settlement process, one that is frequently envied by other states where things are more complex, but a risk within our local process is the opportunity it allows to squeeze the settlement time.
For most transactions the pre-settlement period is a busy time. Home loan finance is a major consideration and mortgage providers need sufficient time to process approvals.
Finance should not be taken for granted and most lending institutions will require two or three weeks to properly consider applications.
Issues to be aware of
Common conditions applying to property sales are building inspections, termite clearances and other factors like ensuring electrical appliances are safe and in good working order.
You should tend to these matters immediately once the offer to purchase has been accepted by the seller. If a problem then emerges from these inspections there should be sufficient time before settlement to remedy it.
Our Offer and Acceptance Form incorporates standard conditions. This includes the right for the buyer to inspect the property before settlement to ensure it is in the same condition it was at the time of the offer. You also have the right to seek information from the seller about the title of the property, including boundary measurements and any encumbrances.
If it appears the agreed settlement date cannot be met because a problem emerges with a condition of sale, the parties to the transaction should seek an extension to the settlement date as soon as possible or the person who is at fault could incur penalties.
Use your time efficiently during the settlement period. It pays to be meticulous during this time, so that there are no surprises later.