Settlement occurs in Perth CBD; image by Oatsy40

What is settlement date? When it comes to property, the term ‘settlement’ may refer to:

  1. The settlement process – the process of organising paperwork, having finance approved, checking encumbrances, and all the other steps that must be completed before a property can officially change hands, and
  2. Settlement date – the day and time that the property transaction officially changes hands (or ‘settles’).

Here’s a quick overview of the who, where and what of settlement date.

Who attends settlement?

Generally, the following people attend:

  • A representative from the buyer’s settlement agent (often an outside clerk), bringing with them the appropriate documentation.
  • A representative from the seller’s settlement agent (again, often an outside clerk), again bringing the appropriate documentation.
  • A representative from the buyer’s lender needs to attend settlement to exchange money for the Title.
  • A representative from the seller’s lender – if the seller’s mortgage hasn’t been paid off, someone from their bank will attend to ensure the mortgage is cleared.

Usually the buyer and seller themselves don’t attend – instead, their settlement agents act on their behalf.

Where does it occur?

Under WA legislation, property settlements must occur in the suburb of Perth – ie. in the Perth CBD.

If the buyer is taking out a home loan, settlement will occur at their lender’s Perth office.

What happens, exactly?

Two important things occur at settlement:

  1. Checking that the property on the Certificate of Title matches that listed on the Transfer of Land, and
  2. The exchange of money for the Title.

If you’re using Residential Settlements as your settlement agent, we’ll phone you as soon as the process is completed.

All in all, settlement itself usually only takes around 15 minutes. But while it all seems simple, it’s a very vital part of the settlement process!

Image by Oatsy40 via Flickr.