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A guide to settlement

Ready to make it official? This useful guide covers everything you need to know about the settlement process and what to expect next. Learn more.

What is property settlement?

Settlement is the official process of transferring ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer. Settlement is conducted by the legal and financial representatives of both you and the seller. The transfer of legal title of real estate or land from one person to another can also be referred to as conveyancing. In Western Australia, conveyancing can be done by a solicitor or licensed settlement agent (also known as a conveyancer).

What does a settlement agent do?

A settlement agent prepares the legal documents for you to complete and return to their office to allow settlement to occur. You'll need to appoint a settlement agent to conduct settlement on your behalf. The seller will also have a settlement agent involved.

Settlement day is the actual date you become the legal owner of your home. In fact, settlement occurs at a specific time and location, but you won't need to be there as your settlement agent will do this on your behalf. All the parties need to agree on the date of settlement and representatives will sign the official sales documents on the same day.

It usually takes up to four weeks to set up this process but may take longer or shorter depending on what conditions are needed for settlement. Please contact your settlement agent for a timeframe.

Settlement agents charge a fee for their service and they will advise you in writing of the cost.

If you are a first home buyer building a new home then your settlement agent fee may be covered by the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG).

If you are buying an established home then you'll need to have funds available to cover your settlement agent fee.

Your broker or your Keystart Home Loan Specialist will go through all of this with you and will outline the costs you will need to cover well before settlement.

How do I choose a settlement agent?

You might find it useful to ask around your friends and family for a recommendation of a settlement agent. Look in your local area too. You can enquire about the fees involved before you select your agent so you know what to expect. 

On the day...

Once the documents have been signed and funds exchanged, you will be notified that this has occurred by your settlement agent. You will then receive the keys to your house, or if you are building a new home, you will become proud owners of a block of land!

Generally settlements go ahead as planned, however if any crucial document or information is not available or completed on the day, settlement can be delayed.

What happens next?

It’s official! Once settlement has gone through, you are the new owner of your home. You will see your home loan account set up and ready to go.

After settlement, your lender will draw down your loan, debiting the amount they’ve paid at settlement from your loan account.

Now the moving-in process can begin.