There are essentially four stages that cover the breadth of the conveyancing process:
- Unconditional; and
- Settlement/Post Settlement .
Each of these stages offers its own risks.
The importance of this stage, which covers the settlement process and the following period, is often overlooked and matters can “slip through the cracks” as a result.
Your solicitor will generally attend settlement on your behalf and will manage all aspects including the exchange of:
- settlement cheques;
- releases of security interests (Mortgages and Personal Property Security Register entries); and
- transfer documentation.
However, you should ensure that you can be contacted at the time that settlement is planned so that your solicitor can advise you of any “last minute” issues that can arise and obtain your instructions.
Following the settlement, your solicitor will confirm to you and the real estate agent that settlement has occurred so that the keys can be released to you.
Where you have borrowed funds to assist you in making your purchase, your financier will take transfer documentation at settlement and lodge all documents with the Land Titles Office. However, if you have funded the purchase from your own funds then your solicitor will lodge the documents on your behalf.
Recognition of Change of Ownership
Whilst settlement has occurred the land that you have purchased will not be transferred into your name until the transfer documents are lodged with, and accepted by, the Land Titles Office and there can sometimes be a delay.
Your solicitor will generally perform a check search at the Land Titles Office approximately one month after settlement and will liaise with you to advise when you are shown as the new owner of the land. However, if you have not heard from them within a month you should call them to discuss progress.
Once you are shown as the new owner of the land the responsibility for payment of utilities will also pass to you. There can sometimes be a delay and utility providers will often reissue notices to you as the new owner.
However, if notices are not reissued then late fees on existing notices can be charged and you should liaise directly with the utility providers if this occurs to discuss a waiver of these fees. Your solicitor will be able to assist you here.
Body Corporate Fees
If you purchase a unit then your solicitor will lodge the necessary form with the Body Corporate Manager with a request that you be reflected as the new owner in Body Corporate records.
As with utilities if late fees are incurred then you should liaise directly with the Body Corporate Manager if this occurs to discuss a waiver of these fees. Again your solicitor will be able to assist you here.
Buying a House will for most people be the most important financial decision and one that can be highly stressful and we hope that our series of documents covering the four stages of the conveyancing process has helped you through that process.
Naturally, we are happy to advise you on all stages of the conveyancing process.