The settlement date is the deadline for all the promises made in the contract to be completed.
If all the contract terms have been satisfied, Landgate (formerly the Department of Land Information) will, upon lodgement of the relevant documents and a fee, transfer the title in the property from the seller to the buyer.
Be careful when negotiating a settlement date with the seller. It is understandable that you may want to move into the property as soon as possible, but it is necessary to leave enough time before the settlement date so that:
- the lender has sufficient time to approve a loan application and attend to all relevant paperwork;
- any inspections required under the contract can be completed and the results of any reports can be considered; and
- relevant enquiries can be made with, for example, the local authority and government departments.
If you, your settlement agent or your bank can't meet the settlement date nominated on the offer and acceptance contract, you might have to pay penalty fees to the seller.
It is recommended that you discuss the settlement date with your lender and settlement agent or lawyer before signing a contract. As an approximate guide, a minimum of six weeks is required for settlement, but you should not rush the settlement and you should also keep in mind that settlements can sometimes become complicated, which may require extra time. Get advice from your settlement agent or lawyer before negotiating a settlement date.
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