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Information for Buyers

Settlement process for buyer Residential

Settlement process for buyer Vacant Land

Buyer Settlement Guide

Most buyers aren’t really sure what happens during the settlement process, so here is a very simple step-by-step guide to help you through.

If you have any questions about your settlement, please contact your Conveyancer and they will assist.

Offer and Acceptance

• Once you’ve chosen a property to purchase, your real estate agent will write your offer. Make sure you check your names are spelt correctly and add any special conditions you require. Make sure you set a realistic settlement date.
• We recommend you nominate Vicki Philipoff Settlements at the time of signing your contract. The Real estate agent will get your contract sent straight to us to get started.


• Meeting specific time frames that are set on the contract is critical.
• Make your arrangements to pay the deposit amount on time to the real estate agent.
• It’s very important this is paid by the due date.


• If finance is required for your purchase, you must provide a copy of your Offer and Acceptance to your bank or broker as soon as possible. Your finance approval letter must be provided to the real estate agent by the due date to meet the contract condition.
• If you are a First Home Buyer, complete your application for the First Home Owners Grant with your bank now too.

Special Conditions

• If your contract authorises certain inspections to be carried out on the purchase property, such as a building inspection report or termite inspection these must also be completed by the due date.
• Please keep us informed once these have been completed.

Settlement Quote

• If you called our office to obtain a settlement quote before making your offer – then when your contract is sent to us by the real estate agent, we’ll match up the quote with your contract and have your file allocated to a Conveyancer.

Settlement Documents

• Your Conveyancer will send you an initial set of settlement documents.
• We ask that you promptly complete the information in Section B and return in the envelope provided.
• If you need to see your Conveyancer, please make an appointment to ensure someone is available to meet with you, as the Conveyancers are not always in the office.

Loan Documents

• As soon as your finance is approved, make plans with your bank to sign the mortgage documents as quickly as possible – the bank will usually need these signed at least two weeks before settlement to avoid risking delays.
• At this stage your bank should be able to advise you how much money they will be providing for settlement.


•Arrange a Certificate of Currency and provide to your bank, and decide if you will take title insurance to provide protection against risks associated with real estate transactions. Please contact us for information regarding title insurance.
•Make sure you arrange to complete your final settlement inspection with the real estate agent, and advise your Conveyancer of the outcome.

Final Inspection

Make sure you arrange to complete your final settlement inspection with the real estate agent, and advise your Conveyancer of the outcome.

Settlement Funds

• If you are contributing funds toward your settlement, arrange to have these deposited into our trust account in the week prior to settlement. A preliminary statement was provided with the settlement documents.
• Please work with that statement, and once settlement is completed a final statement will be provided with any refund due to you.

Settlement Booking

• Settlement can’t be booked until your bank documents have reached the bank settlement department. Once settlement is booked, your bank will notify us of the amount they have available for your settlement. Usually we are only advised on the morning of settlement.
• If you are a First Home buyer, your bank will also confirm that the FHOG has been approved for settlement.

Settlement Effected

•We attend settlement on your behalf, together with the settlement agent for the seller, and your bank, and the sellers’ bank. The settlement documents are checked against mortgage documents before money is exchanged for the title, and settlement is complete. We will then contact you to congratulate you on your successful settlement.

After Settlement

•After settlement has been completed, we notify the Council and Water Department and Land Tax Department to confirm settlement has taken place. A copy of the Title in your name will be sent to you after settlement if you are the buyer.
• If you haven’t already done so, change your accounts with your telephone electricity and gas services, and arrange a mail redirection with Australia Post.

Tips for Buyers

What if I’m going away during settlement?
If you plan to be away whilst we are attending to your settlement, please advise our office and we can arrange for the preparation of a Power of Attorney document.
Some lending institutions do not accept a Power of Attorney and may instead require an Enduring Power of Attorney. Philipoff Legal can assist you with this document. We recommend that you check with your Lending Institution which Power of Attorney document is acceptable to them, and make the necessary arrangements.
If you require us to prepare a Power of Attorney, please let us know. Additional charges will apply. Registration Fees are also payable as levied by Landgate.
Will you search if the property I am buying is a contaminated site?
If you are buying property that is, or has the potential to be, contaminated from previous land uses, the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) recommends you seek professional advice from an environmental consultant experienced in contaminated site assessments who can undertake an environmental investigation of the property.
If you don’t establish prior to purchase what contamination is present, you may be held responsible for the remediation of the contamination in the future.
If you wish to search all records of suspected contaminated sites reported to DEC, including sites that have not yet been classified, or sites classified as:
• Possibly contaminated – investigation required;
• Decontaminated;
• Not contaminated – unrestricted use; or
• Report not substantiated
We can submit a Form 2 – Request for a summary of records in respect of land to DEC on your behalf. The Government Cost of this search is approximately $30.00 for a basic Summary, and $300.00 for a Detailed Summary.

Who is responsible to connect my Electricity/Gas/Telephone?
Unfortunately due to privacy issues, your settlement agent is unable to assist you with these connections as you are required to provide personal information to establish your accounts with the service providers of your choice.

RCD AND Smoke Alarms – do I need them?
RCD’s are a Residual Currency Device. This is a safety device and all residential properties are required to have a minimum of 2 fitted by an authorised electrician to be compliant with State Law, which must be installed by settlement date.
Any licensed electrician can supply and fit RCD’s to the switchboard of the property. There can be an exemption where the buyer will be demolishing the property. A specified date for demolition must be nominated and cannot be more than six months from the date of transfer. The seller is required to send the buyer’s statement to the Director of Energy Safety.
If settlement takes place and the seller has not complied – then the seller will be in breach of the regulations and face penalties from the State Government. Therefore the onus is on the seller to ensure the matter has been attended to prior to settlement date.
Please ensure that you check the property for 2 RCD switches at the time of conducting your final inspection.
For more information about RCD’s you can contact the Division of Energy Safety at the Department of Commerce in Perth on 6251 1900.
It is also law for all residential properties to have mains powered smoke alarms installed. In dwellings where the construction of the building does not permit a space to conceal the wiring or where no mains power is available, smoke alarms with a 10 year battery life are permitted.
Under Building Regulations Amendment 2009 an electrical contractor must install mains powered smoke alarms before a property is sold. The Building Regulations Amendment 2009 also specifies where smoke alarms should be installed. Refer to for further information.
All sellers will be in breach of these regulations if a smoke alarm is not installed before settlement.

What are Forms 28 & 29?
If the property you are buying is a strata title property, the Strata Titles Act states that you must receive a disclosure statement (Forms 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. Also when purchasing a strata title property, you are entitled to inspect the records of the Strata Company prior to settlement if you wish.

What type of searches do you do?
The searches undertaken by us for the purchase of your property are as follows:
Title Search and Plan – reveals correct title details and the full and correct names of the registered owner/s. We also obtain a copy of the registered plan, which enables you to identify the property being purchased. These preliminary searches have been conducted.
• A check Search is also conducted on the day of settlement to ascertain whether there have been any charges registered over the property since our initial title search. A final Title search is also conducted after the property has been transferred into your name.
• Local Government Search – advises the rates payable on the property and whether they have been paid. A List of Orders and Requisitions will also be requested. This request may include information regarding swimming pools/outdoor spas and extensions. However, the answers may not be available prior to settlement, therefore it is suggested you make your own enquiries to your Local Government. If you have any concerns that any buildings or extensions do not have the necessary Local Government Authority approvals, you should make these enquiries yourself as we do not physically see the property and cannot assist you with this matter.
• Land Tax – reveals whether any land tax is payable by the seller.
• Clause 42 Certificate – reveals whether the property is affected by a reservation eg, parks and recreation or road widening. We cannot guarantee a reply prior to settlement and you may wish to telephone the Department for further information on 9264 7777
• Body Corporate Information Certificate if applicable – advises the body corporate levies, (including special contributions) payable for the lot and whether they have been paid.
To ensure that you are adequately protected the searches must be ordered so that the results are received prior to settlement. Results of some of the searches can take up to three (3) weeks to be received.

When can I do my final inspection?
The seller must allow you access to the property in accordance with the Joint Form of General Conditions within 5 business days before settlement to conduct a pre-settlement inspection. This will also provide you an opportunity to confirm any specific conditions on the contract have been met.
Please contact the real estate agent directly to arrange the pre-settlement inspection. You must advise us immediately if you have any difficulties.

When will I get my keys?
If the Seller occupies the property as the Seller’s principal place of residence then the Seller is entitled to remain in occupation until 12 noon on the day after which settlement takes place. Therefore, if the property you are buying is not the principal place of residence of the Seller, you are entitled to possession as soon as settlement takes place.
In respect to obtaining keys for the property you should make arrangements with your Real Estate Agent as to when you will be able to collect the keys for the property.

What is Title Watch?
We believe this is a good security measure to put in place once settlement has been effected. Title Watch is an online subscription service that sends automatic email notifications when action occurs on a Certificate of Title.
The Landgate system will check if there has been any action on a Certificate of Title twice daily, at 12 noon and 4pm. If a Certificate of Title has a Title Watch for a Single Title subscription and the action status of that Certificate of Title has changed since the last system check, Landgate will automatically send an email notification alerting you to the updated status. If there has been no action on a Certificate of Title since the last system check then you will not receive an email.
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