Like a property reality show… sometimes the road to home ownership can be a little bumpy and as we head towards the end of the year, timeframes are most important! With only eight Friday’s until Christmas, many of our clients will be seeking to be in their new home by Christmas.
To help you along, here’s a general run down of the conveyancing process and the timelines you can expect to encounter.
Let’s assume you have successfully negotiated a price for your new property (auction or private treaty). Most contracts for existing properties will complete within a five to six week period (Remember! It’s approximately eight weeks until Christmas!).
You will need to be mindful of the following:
- Generally, one week for the cooling off period (this can be waived under advice (for private treaty) – please note there is no cooling-off period when you buy at auction or on the same day as the auction);
- Allow one to two weeks for finance approval (your best course of action is to have your finance pre-approved to meet turnaround times). Be mindful that this is an extremely busy time for bankers, mortgage brokers and property valuers;
- Allow an additional three to four weeks for the remainder of the contract period. This list is not exhaustive and can vary depending on your individual situation but normally will include
- post-exchange property searches and enquiries;
- survey reports if required by you;
- Council building inspections if required by you;
- title insurance if required by you;
- meeting with your banker or mortgage broker to sign loan agreements and the mortgage;
- signing and processing of first home benefit forms if applicable;
- arranging building insurance;
- arranging the transfer of personal accounts such as telephone, electricity and gas (if available);
- preparation of settlement figures;
- mortgage discharges if required
Most importantly, be aware that even with the best endeavours from all parties involved, sometimes things can happen that are beyond your control – such as delays with your lender and unexpected issues at your final inspection. Although rare, it is best to ensure that you have plenty of time to allow for the unexpected.
Allow yourself plenty of time to move out of your old home and into your new home. Settlement times are largely dictated by the banks and most settlements will take place between 2pm and 3pm on the day of settlement. Therefore, it is not advisable to book your removalist for the day of settlement as you will not get the keys until after settlement has been completed.
Our best advice to clients is “don’t leave it too late to exchange contracts if you want to be in your new home before Christmas”! Play it safe to avoid additional stress and aim to have contracts exchanged by the end of October/early November.
In short, don’t leave it too late.