Purchasers are only entitled to one additional inspection, just prior to settlement, known as a final inspection, writes Jules Lewin. Image: Canva.
  • A settlement agent or conveyancer is usually hired to handle the settlement process
  • We delve into whether you can make a third inspection
  • A buyer is entitled to possession at noon the day after settlement

In the second part of this series on settlement, we address questions about when stamp duty is payable, inspections, and possession. 

Buying and selling a home involves major financial considerations; one of the most significant decisions and commitments you’re ever likely to make.

Even if you believe you have the experience, confidence and contacts to do it yourself, it can be an extremely frustrating time, energy, and unnecessarily cash-consuming process that is fraught with pitfalls and problems you might never see coming.

In part one, I covered questions about choosing the right settlement agent. In this article, I have answered a set of queries you may have surrounding the mysteries of the settlement process so you will come into the experience armed with sufficient knowledge.

When am I entitled to possession?

If you are a Buyer, you are entitled to possession of the property at noon the day after settlement.

If the property is vacant, a Buyer is entitled to possession as soon as settlement has been effected.

When is stamp duty payable?

A contract needs to be lodged with the Office of State Revenue within two months of signature and handover. Settlement agents pay duty on your behalf using Revenue Online and get a cheque for stamp duty as settlement.

Who advises the Shire/Water Corporation/Ofice of state Revenue?

Your settlement agent lodges an electronic advice of sale advising outstanding charges. These costs are passed on to you and appear as ‘disbursements’ on your final summary.

Am I permitted to inspect the property a third time?

Purchasers are only entitled to one additional inspection, just prior to settlement, known as a final inspection. If the seller is reasonable, you may be able to have more than one inspection to measure curtains etc.

What happens if my bank is not ready on the appointed day of settlement?

If the settlement goes beyond the three business days permitted under the Joint Forms of General Conditions, then penalty interest is payable by the party who is not ready, even if it is your bank that is causing the delay. Interest is calculated on the purchase/sale price less any deposit paid plus or minus any rates adjustment and is charged at the rate of 9% per annum.

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