Having a First Home Buyers Checklist to follow will help guide you through the settlement process, and reduce the likelihood of issues arising.
1. Confirm ALL details
You are buying a property, so the onus is on you the purchaser to ensure all related details are correct, including the date, time and venue for property settlement. Although you don’t normally attend the actual settlement, you should ensure that your solicitor has received purchase funds, and you may want to revisit the property to ensure it is still in the same condition as it was when you exchanged contracts.
2. Settlement statement
Your solicitor will forward your settlement statement to you for approval prior to submission clearly showing funds required for settlement. It is often difficult to provide this information any earlier than just prior to settlement as they require information from the lender.
3. Council rates
The settlement sheet will usually show the adjustment for local council rates paid between the vendor and purchaser. This process is handled by your solicitor, and they will notify the local council of new ownership.
4. Title registration fees
If there are title registration fees paid to the Land Titles Office as part of the selling process, this amount is credited to your settlement account by the vendor. Your solicitor will discuss any actions required.
5. Money required
You will need to pay the balance of your deposit, you will need to either arrange for a bank cheque or arrange for these funds to be cleared into the Solicitor’s Trust Account prior to settlement, delivered at minimum one business day ahead of settlement. If this is not done correctly, settlement can be delayed and you can incur related costs for late settlement.
Your Solicitor will arrange for your lender to deliver bank cheques in advance to enable the settlement to proceed.
6. Payment direction
Your solicitor will work with the vendor’s solicitor to supply the balance of the purchase price, in payments directed by the vendor, to arrange for payment of their owed rates, legal fees or outstanding mortgage.
7. Solicitor’s fees
Your solicitor’s tax invoice will probably be prepared in advance for the date of settlement. This may be amended, or a further invoice provided by your solicitor if there are any additional disbursements or fees incurred due to additional work required by settlement.
Generally, you will you need to collect keys from the vendor’s agent, after settlement is completed. It is recommended that you seriously consider changing locks for additional security and peace of mind.
9. Title registration
If you have a loan, then following settlement your lender/mortgagee will register the transfer and mortgage at the Land Titles Office. The mortgagee will retain the Certificate of Title as part of the security for the loan. Alternatively, your solicitor will arrange registration of your title.
You will need to arrange for connection of electricity and other related services, including meter readings directly with suppliers upon settlement. Researching this ahead of time will make this process smoother for you.
11. Final inspection
Whenever possible, you should arrange to inspect the property personally or by a trusted third party, just prior to settlement and after the vendor has vacated the property, to ensure it is in the same condition at contract exchange, excluding fair wear and tear.
It is important to take dated photographs to demonstrate their authenticity. Raising any issues in advance with this evidence will allow them to be resolved prior to settlement. It has been known for removalists to inflict damage accidentally, enabling for price reductions to cover any significant damage.
12. Defects liability period
If you purchase an off-the-plan property, your contract should have a ‘defects liability period’, where the vendor is required to fix defects in the property due to faulty workmanship and materials, at their expense.
Documenting any defects found by you, your solicitor or as part of the pest and building inspection. This should be submitted to the vendor via your solicitor, serving written notice to the vendor in advance of the defects liability period expiring. Check the timeframe carefully, as it differs by vendor and contract.
For settlement, you should ensure you have adequate homeowner property insurance for the building and contents in place. Your bank will require a Certificate of Currency from your insurance company to prove the insurance is in place before they will pay the funds for settlement.
Vizion Group Qld is a highly respected local Sunshine Coast development company, offering first home buyers a quality, attractive, affordable home in a highly desirable location close to local amenities. We provide you with one point of contact throughout the entire process, including regular updates showing progress. We can highly recommend our professional contacts because we use them ourselves. Buying your first home doesn’t have to be a stressful experience – use your First Home Buyers Checklist. Contact us today to discuss your needs.