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Information for Sellers

Settlement process for sellers

Seller Settlement Guide

Most Sellers 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 & Acceptance

• Once your real estate agent finds a buyer, they will write the offer and present it to your acceptance. 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.
• The buyer will make arrangements to pay the deposit amount on time to the real estate agent.


• If the contract is subject to the buyer obtaining finance approval, their letter of approval must be provided to the real estate agent by the due date to meet the contract condition.
• If you have a mortgage you must urgently contact your bank and sign their Discharge of Mortgage. We also notify them of the sale but we cannot sign these documents for you. Settlement cannot proceed without this being done.

Special Conditions

• If the contract authorises certain inspections to be carried out on the property, such as a building inspection report or termite inspection these must also be completed by the due date.
• Any matters arising from these reports are to be dealt with under the terms set out in the Contract.

Settlement Quote

• If you called for a settlement quote before your contract is sent to us by the real estate agent, when the contract arrives we’ll match up the quote with your contract and have your file allocated to a Conveyancer.
• Be advised, all Sellers are required to complete a Verification of Identity. These can be done at Australia Post or ZipID will come to you. Details will be sent in our initial documents.

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 with them to ensure someone will be available to meet with you.

Discharge of Mortgage

• As soon as possible, if you haven’t already done so – make arrangements with your bank to sign the discharge of mortgage documents immediately. The bank will usually need these signed at least three weeks before settlement to avoid risking delays.
• If you have a clear title, you need to provide this to your Conveyancer for settlement to proceed.

Final Inspection

• Make sure the property is ready for the buyers to inspect prior to settlement.
• The real estate agent will advise you of the outcome.
• Please advise your Conveyancer once any outstanding matters have been attended to.

Settlement Funds

• At the time of signing your discharge papers you will usually have instructed your bank to collect full proceeds at settlement and they will deposit any surplus funds directly into your account.
• If the bank is to collect their debt and fees only, we will arrange a cheque for your balance of funds after settlement. We will do our best to bank this for you on the day of settlement if possible.

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 expect to collect for your settlement.
• Usually we are only advised on the morning of settlement of this amount.

Settlement Effected

• We attend settlement on your behalf, together with the settlement agent for the buyer, and your bank, and the buyers bank.

The settlement documents are checked against any bank documents before money is exchanged for the title, and settlement is complete.

We will contact you to congratulate you on your sale once settlement has been effected.

After Settlement

• After settlement has been completed, we notify the Council and Water Department to confirm settlement has taken place.
• If you haven’t already done so, you must arrange to cancel/change your accounts with your telephone electricity and gas services, and arrange a mail redirection with Australia Post.

Tips for Sellers

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.
What If I’m an Owner/Builder and I’ve sold my property?
If you are an owner builder and you have sold your property within 3 years of you obtaining your building license approval – you must have consent from the Ministry of Fair Trading in writing and provide it to us as soon as possible.
The first step to obtaining the approval is to contact the Building Commission on 6251 1501. We understand they will require you to forward them a Statutory Declaration stating the following:
1. Why you are selling the property, and
2. How will it affect you (hardship wise) if the board do not allow the sale to be effected?
They may also require supporting documentation to assist them with determining your case. (We understand the Board usually requires a minimum of 3 weeks before they are able to process your application).

I own my property outright, but I can’t find my Certificate of Title Deed?
If you hold the Certificate of Title yourself, we will require the document prior to settlement date. We will provide you with a receipt for the Certificate of Title. The document will be held by us and handed to the Buyer’s representative at settlement in exchange for the correct balance of the purchase price. Please forward this important document by Registered Mail or alternatively deliver to our office as soon as practicable. If your Title has been lost or misplaced, please urgently contact our office to make arrangements to have the title replaced immediately. Settlement cannot be effected until the title has been replaced, and fees are also payable for the replacement of a title. Your Conveyancer will advise you on the requirements to apply for a replacement title, together with the support documents you will be required to provide.

What if my certificate of title deed is in a different name?
In certain circumstances, the sale of property may be carried out on behalf of the person named in the certificate of title, for example in the case of a deceased estate. If the Certificate of Title still shows the name of the deceased party, additional paperwork must be prepared to transfer the property to the executor, or in the case of joint tenants, to the remaining owner/s. Additional fees will also be payable, and you will need to provide our office with certain documentation to evidence the reason for change, which may include an original death certificate, probate documents etc. Your conveyancer will discuss your situation with you, and advise you of these details once you notify them of this situation.
If you have changed your name since purchasing your property and have not updated the Certificate of Title to reflect that change, additional documentation will be required to correct the Title prior to the settlement taking place. For example, you may have purchased the property in your maiden name and have since married. You will be required to provide to our office an original Marriage Certificate/or Certified copy thereof from the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages, and we will prepare a statutory declaration to evidence your name change. Additional Fees will also be payable.

Who is responsible to disconnect my Electricity/Gas/Telephone?
Unfortunately due to privacy issues, your settlement agent is unable to assist you with finalising your accounts with your various service providers. Please ensure you make contact with the relevant companies to close the accounts in your name, as the buyer will be required to establish their own connections after settlement.

RCD and Smoke Alarms - do I need to have 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 your property has at least 2 RCD switches installed prior to settlement.
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 selling is a strata title property, the Strata Titles Act states that the buyer must receive a disclosure statement (Forms 28 & 29) either prior to, or at the time of making their offer to purchase the property. If Buyers have not received the required disclosure information, the law gives them certain rights to avoid the contract. Please contact us if you have any queries.

How do I complete my 100 point Identification Check?
Due to Legislation requirements it is mandatory that all Sellers need to be individually identified. This can be completed at Australia Post, by contacting ZipID or by attending our Offices (Between the hours of 9.30am and 4.30pm). Information and instructions will be provided to you early on in the settlement process to assist you with this requirement.

How do I sign my Transfer of Land document?
The Transfer of land document will be forwarded to you and you will need to sign in your usual signature. You will be required to have your signature witnessed by a person over the age of eighteen (18) and who is not a party to this transaction.
Please note that if you will be signing the Transfer of land document overseas, you must contact our office immediately and we will advise you of the correct signing and witnessing arrangements, together with the overseas Identification requirements to satisfy settlement.

When can the buyer carry out the final inspection?
As the seller, you must allow you access to the property in accordance with the Joint Form of General Conditions within 5 business days before settlement for the buyer to conduct a pre-settlement inspection. This will also provide the buyer the opportunity to confirm any specific conditions on the contract have been met.

You must advise us immediately if there are any issues identified at the final inspection.

When do I have to hand over 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 selling is not your principal place of residence, you are required to give possession as soon as settlement takes place.

In respect to providing keys for the property you should make arrangements with your Real Estate Agent as to when you will be handing over the keys for the property.