A GUIDE TO YOUR REAL ESTATE PURCHASE
The following information is provided to help your purchase proceed with maximum efficiency, and by the due date for settlement. Please read it carefully since it may answer many questions you might have concerning your transaction. While every effort has been made for the guide to be as comprehensive as possible, we strongly recommend that you contact us should you have any specific queries concerning matters not covered by the guide or any other matters relating to your particular transaction.
You have an obligation to bring to your Conveyancer’s attention any matters that you think may be of effect to your interests in the transaction. This is especially important where the Conveyancer prepares financial information on your behalf which you think is incorrect or where you intend to vary the settlement date or take early possession of the property.
- It is important that you attend to any requests for signing of documents as early as possible and return documents promptly, particularly when the timeframe for settlement is short or the post is likely to take longer than the standard one business day.
- Take prompt action concerning any Special Conditions which you have either stipulated or may need to satisfy in your Contract for Sale by Offer and Acceptance (including having your pest and building inspections and finance done by the required due dates).
- Make sure that payment of any monies, e.g. deposit or balance of deposit, is made by the date set out in the contract.
- If you plan to be away during the period leading up to settlement, please contact Prompt Settlements to make sure any necessary documents have been signed and provide us with alternate contact details.
If you require finance to complete the purchase, i.e. your contract is conditional upon you accepting a loan offer from a financial institution, ensure that you take immediate steps to obtain the loan. Promptly attend to any request by the financial institution concerned to sign documents and to avoid delays in settlement.
Once you have accepted a loan offer you should contact Prompt Settlements and let us know the date on which you accepted the offer of finance. If your financial institution is to be ready to settle on time, you will need to make an appointment to sign your mortgage documents at least two weeks prior to the due settlement date. If you are dealing with a finance broker, please contact the broker who will assist you to find out from the Lender when the documents will be ready for you to sign. The Lender will advise you of any application, mortgage preparation fees or stamp duty which are payable in respect of the mortgage. The bank’s fees and disbursements WILL NOT be included in the Settlement Statement you receive from us, however they may be deducted from your loan funds at settlement, therefore increasing any balance amount that you may need to pay prior to settlement.
DOCUMENTATION AND SETTLEMENT STATEMENT
We will send a ‘Transfer of Land’ document to you for your signature/s together with a preliminary settlement statement which will show amounts payable to you in respect of stamp duty, settlement fees and other disbursements. Please promptly sign and return the document together with a cheque for any funds requested. The statement will either apportion current rates and taxes or include an amount to be held in our trust account pending receipt of the relevant details.
If you receive any accounts for rates from either the Water Corporation or the Local Government Authority soon after the settlement date, please contact us before making payment since payment may already have been made following settlement.
STAMP DUTY REBATES
If you are buying a residence and you will reside in the premises OR this is your first home, you may be eligible for a rebate of stamp duty. If you believe you are eligible for a rebate of some kind, please let us know. First Home Owners MUST be approved to receive the First Home Owners Grant to be also eligible for the First Home Owners rate of stamp duty on the contract. Fact sheets are available on the Office of State Revenue website at www.osr.wa.gov.au or call our office to further discuss your circumstances.
RATES & SERVICE ENQUIRIES
We will make enquiries on your behalf to the Water Corporation (concerning the availability of services and the current rates), to the relevant local authority (concerning rates, orders and requisitions, and housing indemnity insurance details), the State Revenue Department (concerning any current or outstanding land tax) and to the State Planning Commission (concerning re-zoning issues). Fees are payable to the authorities concerned to provide this information, we will advise you of the fee which applies in the case of your property and include it in your settlement statement.
Responses to the enquiries mentioned above are not always received prior to the settlement date in the case of a short settlement time. You might, therefore, wish to make your own enquiries direct with the Water Corporation concerning availability of services (connection to water and sewerage and any building restrictions which may apply) and with the Local Government Authority concerned to ensure that there are no outstanding orders or requisitions which apply to the property.
HOUSING INDEMNITY INSURANCE
If a building licence was issued for a dwelling or for substantial improvements after 1 February 1997, the builder, (including an owner builder), must have indemnity insurance for the work. You will need details of the insurance in the event you need to make a claim for structural defects within the period of the insurance. If you believe this applies in your situation, please contact us so that we can obtain the necessary details.
If the property is not connected to sewerage then, in certain circumstances, it may be your responsibility to connect to the sewer line either within one year of the date of settlement or within five years of the Water Corporation issuing a notice to you to connect to sewerage
Under the Health Act, if the property you are purchasing is connected to a sewer and septic tanks are still on the property and have not been de-commissioned, then within 60 days of settlement, you must de-commission any septic tanks on the property. Failure to comply with these Regulations is an offence that will render you liable to a fine of $1000 or $100 a day while the offence continues.
De-commissioning is done by:
- emptying the tank by a person licensed to do so
- either removing the tank or, if that is not practicable, breaking up the base of the tank; or
- back-filling the tank with clean fill.
STRATA TITLE PROPERTIES
If the property you are buying is a strata title property, the Strata Titles Act states that you must receive a disclosure statement (Form 28 & 29) either prior to or at the time of making your offer to purchase the property. If you have not received the required disclosure information, the law gives you certain rights to avoid the contract. Please contact us if you have any queries and we will refer you for legal advice if necessary.
Title Insurance is a new specialised type of property insurance available to purchasers and home owners. It protects your ownership and use of the property by guarding against certain risks that may cause loss or affect ownership. For example, loss caused due to forced removal by the Council of a structure illegally built by a previous owner, loss of land due to survey errors, zoning non compliance, or complete loss of legal ownership due to fraudulent sale of your property.
INSPECTION OF PROPERTY
Your contract gives you the right to a final inspection of the property at some time during the seven days prior to the settlement date. You should contact the real estate agent concerned and make arrangements to inspect the property to ensure that it is in the same state and condition as it was when you made your offer to purchase, and that the vendor has satisfactorily attended to any repairs required by the contract.
Prompt Settlements will notify you once settlement has taken place at which time you should contact the real estate agents concerned to arrange to collect the keys to the property. If the property is the seller’s normal place of residence, the vendor is entitled to stay in possession (i.e. occupy the property) until noon on the day following settlement. That provision is intended to allow adequate time for the seller to vacate the property.
If a Mortgage will be registered on the property, then the Certificate of Title will be kept as security by your financial institution. If you are paying cash for the property, we will forward the Certificate of Title to you by certified or registered mail once it has been returned to us by Landgate. You should make adequate arrangements for safekeeping of the document since it can be difficult, time consuming and expensive to replace. You might, for example, wish to make arrangements for the document to be held in safekeeping at your bank.
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO
- It is your responsibility to make arrangements for connection of power, gas and telephone services to the property. We WILL NOT attend to those matters for you. We will notify the local council and the Water Corporation of the change in ownership and arrange for the water meter to be read.
- As far as insurance is concerned, the property is generally at your risk from the date of settlement or from the date of possession (i.e. the date from which occupy the property), whichever is the earlier date. With the exception of common insurance on strata titled properties, we will not make insurance arrangements for you. It is strongly recommended that you make adequate arrangements for insurance for both the property and contents direct with your insurer and prior to settlement or taking possession of the property whichever occurs first.
- You may wish to organise redirection of your mail to your new address.
- Don’t forget to notify friends, relatives, sporting organisations, schools and anyone else with whom you deal regularly of your new address and contact details.
- You may wish to obtain quotes and book a removalist prior to the settlement date. Make sure you are regularly in touch with us to that we can inform you if there is likely to be any delay in settlement.
If you have any queries concerning any aspect of your transaction, contact Prompt Settlements without delay.