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How to avoid settlement delays

Posted on 24/04/2018 by SuperUser Account in Client news Public Relations GlobalX
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A MASSIVE 80 per cent of buyers don’t understand how the property settlement process works, raising concern over the potential for delays in homes changing hands...

A MASSIVE 80 per cent of buyers don’t understand how the property settlement process works, raising concern over the potential for delays in homes changing hands.

A GlobalX survey found that four in five buyers were “stumped by the settlement process” — steps which experts said were precise but uncomplicated.

The findings came after the conveyancing technology firm surveyed legal professionals to find out how much Aussies buyers understood about the settlement process.

It found the results concerning: “Property buyers are suffering from a serious lack of ‘know-how’ when it comes to property settlement.”

Given the obsession that Australians have with the property sector, it was interesting that buyers did not fully understand how to close out the process, said GlobalX chief executive Peter Maloney.

“As a country, we see property ownership as ‘the Australian dream’, but it seems those who dream about owning a home don’t recognise the importance of properly understanding the process.”

If they did, he said, they could avoid unnecessary hold-ups simply by conducting proper due-diligence and having all the required documents.

“Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer or conveyancer to explain things to you more than once and ask plenty of questions,” he said.

Brisbane first homebuyer Joel Binfield who bought an apartment in Fortitude Valley last year, agreed the settlement process was very confusing at first.

“We were buying in Fortitude Valley and I had to make sure we were prepared for all of the necessary paperwork.

“It can make it even more stressful because if we were missing even one document it could have set the whole process back.”

He advised those heading towards finalising their real estate purchases — first timers especially — to do a lot of research into the settlement processes.

“We were lucky enough to have a great solicitor on board who answered all of our questions,” he said.

Among compulsory steps GlobalX recommended buyers tick off were local government searches, building and pest inspections, and pre-approved financing.

As well as that, the Queensland Government advised that buyers “conduct a pre-settlement inspection no more than a few days before settlement day. If it isn’t in good condition, they can ask their lawyer to delay settlement until (the seller) fix(es) the problem.”

It said settlement day could “be whatever length of time you negotiate” ranging from 30 to 60 days — though most commonly it was four to six weeks after the contract was signed.

As well, it advised that the seller was responsible for paying council rates and other such fees up to and including the day of settlement, with the buyer taking over the day after.

A Property Exchange Australia and PricewaterhouseCoopers report last year found that one in five residential property settlements were delayed because of human error in documentation such as a missing signature.

WHAT HAPPENS ON SETTLEMENT DAY?
• Buyer hands over the remaining amount of the purchase price

• The title of the property is transferred

• The keys and possession of the property are handed over to the buyer

(Source: Qld Govt)

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