|CW Hooper & Hooper|
|CW Hooper & Hooper|
By Pamela Wardle, Legal Practitioner Director
If you are selling a residential property you have probably heard the word “settlement” repeatedly. A contract and subsequent residential conveyancing process is focussed toward the Settlement Date when the Seller hands over possession of, and the keys to, the property in exchange for the buyer handing over the Purchase Price (adjusted as required).
Your solicitor usually takes care of the administrative details of ensuring the correct parties, cheques and documents are available at a time and place agreed with other solicitors and banks. Accordingly, is absolutely vital to make sure you are available at all times in case your solicitor or mortgagee needs further information or to sort any last minute issues that arise. Your solicitor will also need to contact you to advise when settlement has been effected.
But what are your other responsibilities as seller?
Unless it has been agreed otherwise, you will need to remove all of your possessions from the property before settlement, including any Excluded Fixtures listed in the Contract. You will also need to ensure any Included Chattels listed in the Contract and all fixtures (eg including curtains/blinds) remain.
Usually, the buyer will undertake a pre-settlement inspection on the Settlement Date. If this is the case, it is customary for a seller to remove all possessions before the pre-settlement inspection so the Agent can lock the property and ensure no damage may occur between the pre-settlement inspection and settlement.
You should also ensure power or gas accounts are cancelled or transferred and any insurances are cancelled (however, it is best to wait to cancel any insurances until you hear from your solicitor that settlement has been effected).
You do not need to cancel your water/sewerage account or rates as these are transferred when the Transfer has been registered with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines and notice has been given by that department to the relevant entities.
If you are selling a property, contact us to discuss any other requirements which may be relevant to your circumstances.