A GUIDE TO YOUR REAL ESTATE SALE

Your Rights

You have a right to have your Settlement Agent act in your best interest at all times. These rights are detailed in the Appointment to Act document and, where applicable, the Disclosure of Interest document.
Your Obligations

You have an obligation to bring to your Settlement Agent’s attention any matters that you think may affect your interests in the transaction. This is especially important where the Settlement Agent prepares financial information on your behalf, which you think is incorrect, or where you intend to vary the settlement date or give early possession of the property.
General
It is important that you attend to any requests for signing of documents as early as possible and return the documents quickly, particularly when the time frame for settlement is short or if the mail 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 & Acceptance.

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, make sure any necessary documents have been signed and notify your Settlement Agent of your alternate contact details. For example the Transfer of Land document must be an original copy and therefore cannot be faxed or e-mailed, where as many other authorities do not need original signatures so fax and email are ok.
Discharge of Mortgage

If there is a Mortgage currently registered on the property, then you should contact your bank or financial institution as soon as possible and take whatever action is necessary to make sure that they are ready with documents to discharge the mortgage by the settlement date. In most cases, you will be required to sign an “Authority to Discharge” form for your bank or financial institution and you should therefore attend to this without delay. In cases where you are only “partially” paying out the debt, the discharge process may take even longer, especially if a valuation is required on the remaining security property/ies.
Special Conditions

If there are any special conditions on the Offer and Acceptance contract which you as the Seller are required to satisfy, please arrange to take whatever steps necessary to make sure that they are satisfied by the date required in the contract.
Documentation
Your Settlement Agent will forward the Transfer of Land document to you for signing once it has been signed by the Buyer. Please ensure that the document is signed and witnessed as instructed and returned promptly to avoid any delays with settlement. This is particularly important if the time frame for settlement is short or the mail is likely to take longer than the standard one business day.
Certificate of Title

If the property is currently mortgaged, your bank or financial institution will hold the duplicate Certificate of Title (if one is in existence). If YOU hold the Certificate of Title yourself, your Settlement Agent will require you to forward or deliver the Title to their office prior to settlement. Please note that if you are posting the Title, ensure that it is sent by Registered Mail only for security reasons. Once received, you will be issued with a receipt for the Title which will be held by the Settlement Agent and handed to the Buyer’s representative at settlement, in exchange for the correct balance of purchase price.
Settlement Statement

Your Settlement Agent will provide you with an initial settlement statement that will show the amounts payable by you in respect to the real estate agent’s selling fee and advertising costs (if applicable), settlement fees and other disbursements. The statement will either apportion the current year’s rates and taxes or include an amount to be held in trust pending receipt of the relevant details. After settlement, you will receive a final statement setting out the full disbursement of the sale proceeds including any adjustment of rates and taxes.
Rates & Taxes

If you receive any account for payment of water rates, local government shire rates, land tax or strata levies (if applicable) during the period leading up to settlement, you must forward the accounts to your Settlement Agent so that they can apportion them and ensure that payment is made following settlement. If the due date for payment is a date prior to settlement, you may wish to call your Settlement Agent to discuss the situation with interest payable on the account for later payment. If you receive any accounts for any rates and taxes soon after the settlement date, contact your Settlement Agent before making payment, as the payment may already have been made at settlement. If the property has a water meter, an amount of funds will normally be held back from the sale proceeds to cover any final water usage to settlement date.

Home Indemnity Insurance

If a building license was issued since 1 February 1997 for a dwelling or improvements to the value or $12,000.00 or over, the Builder must take out home indemnity insurance in the name of the home owner. This amount has increased to $20,000 since 1 July 2007. If this situation applies to you, Settlement Agent must have a copy of the insurance policy or details of the policy so that they can show to the Buyer that the insurance is in place. Home Indemnity Insurance is also required to be taken out by an OWNER BUILDER if they wish to sell the property within 7 years of issue of the building license and this must be taken out prior to signing of a Contract for the sale of the property. Owner Builders must also receive Ministerial approval if they sell within 3 years of building.

Moving Out

After settlement, please make sure that any keys, remote control devices etc are handed to the real estate agent so that the Buyer can collect them. If the property is your usual place of residence, you are entitled to stay in possession (ie, occupy the property) until 12.00 noon the day following settlement. If the property is sold with “vacant possession” to the Buyer and there are person/s other than yourself occupying the property, please ensure that they are aware of the time and date of settlement as they will need to have fully vacated the property by that time. It’s important that you provide your Settlement Agent with your forwarding address in the event that they need to contact you following settlement.

Safety Switches (RCD’S)

New legislation has passed and comes into effect on 9 August 2009 by the State Government to enforce owners and landlords to install a minimum of two safety switches to each residential property if one or both are not in existence.

Safety switches became mandatory in new houses after 1990.  Since 2000 this was expanded in WA to require at least two for each new house.

Residential premises occupied by an owner

Except as provided in regulations 16(1) and 17, an owner of residential premises that are occupied by an owner must ensure that at least two (2) residual current devices / safety switches are installed in relation to the premises:

–                      before title to the premises is transferred; or

–                      before the owner enters into a residential tenancy agreement in respect of the premises; or

–                      before the owner makes the premises available for hire.

Penalty:       in the case of an individual – a fine of $15,000

In the case of a body corporate – a fine of $100,000

Residential premises not occupied by an owner

Except as provided in regulations 16 (1) and (3) and 17, an owner of residential premises that are not occupied by an owner must ensure that at least two (2) residual current devices / safety switches are installed in relation to the premises:

–                      before title to the premises is transferred; or

–                      before the owner enters into a residential tenancy agreement in respect of the premises with someone other than a person who was a tenant (as defined in the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 section 3) of the premises immediately before the commencement day; or

–                      unless the premises were made available for hire immediately before the commencement day – before the owner makes the premises available for hire; or

–                      in any event, before the second anniversary of the commencement day.

Penalty:       in the case of an individual – a fine of $15,000

In the case of a body corporate – a fine of $100,000

Common Property relating to residential premises

Except as provided in regulation 16(4), an owner of common property relating to residential premises must ensure that at least one residual current device / safety switch per switchboard is installed in relation to the property before the second anniversary of the commencement day.

Penalty:       in the case of an individual – a fine of $15,000

In the case of a body corporate – a fine of $100,000

About Riverside Settlements

Based in Mandurah Western Australia, Riverside Settlements is a proudly independent Real Estate Settlement Agent specialising in real estate settlements and Land Titles procedures.
With a background including Banking and finance Jan Bullen is the Licensee and holds a Settlement Agents License as required by the Settlement Agents Act 1981 and a Diploma in Financial Services (Conveyancing).

As your Settlement Agent we will ensure the following tasks are completed on time and with a minimum of stress.

  • We will make the relevant searches to ensure all property details are correct.
  • We will prepare all documents for your signature before settlement.
  • We will liaise with your bank for updates on your finance or discharge of mortgage.
  • We will liaise with your real estate agent for satisfactory completion of special conditions.
  • We will inform the Local Shire of the change of ownership details.
  • We will lodge your documents for stamp duty purposes.
  • We will ensure all rates and taxes are paid at settlement.
  • We will keep you informed of the progress of your settlement.
  • We will attend settlement on your behalf.
  • We will search Landgate after settlement to monitor the progress of your transfer and send you the Duplicate Certificate of Title or a copy of same.
  • We will act in your best interests at all times.

As your Settlement Agent there are a couple of things we don’t do, they include:

  • We do not inform Telstra or your telephone carrier of change of ownership.
  • We do not inform Western Power of change of ownership.
  • We cannot communicate with Telstra or Western Power for privacy reasons.
  • We do not organize your insurance.
  • We do not arrange your removalist. Although we will liaise with you to ensure that your booking coincides with the terms of settlement.
  • We do not arrange for your property to be cleaned once you leave.
  • We do not generally hold the keys to a property, however, if you are a private seller we will be glad to hand over the keys to the purchaser after settlement.
  • We do not help you pack. (Sorry you are on your own there!)

If you have any questions regarding your settlement transfer or your real estate transaction please don’t hesitate to contact Jan Bullen on 08 9582 3300 or email Jan at Riverside Settlements

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