Last updated 9 August 2016
As settlement day approaches, the responses to the various searches should be available. Transfer documents should be signed and, if necessary, stamped.
The seller and the buyer should calculate an apportionment of the rates, outgoings and land tax (if applicable) and discuss a place and time for settlement. The seller must advise the buyer of where the purchase monies are going (i.e. how much to the existing mortgagee and how much to the seller) so that the buyer can obtain the necessary bank cheques or arrange for the lending institution to obtain these cheques. A further search of the title should be carried out on the day of settlement.
Arrangements should be made before settlement for the transfer of gas, electricity and telephone accounts. These matters will always be the responsibility of the buyer, even if a solicitor is engaged.
At settlement, the balance of the purchase monies is handed over in return for the relevant transfer documents (if these have not already been received). The buyer is entitled to receive possession of the premises by receiving the keys to the property at the same time. As previously mentioned, the title deed will remain with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. The owner may request a duplicate title, but any mortgagee must consent.
After completion, the buyer or the buyer’s lender (where finance has been provided in exchange for the grant of a mortgage) will attend to the registration of the transfer, with the buyer becoming the legal owner upon registration subject to a registered mortgage where finance has been provided.
Notification of the change of ownership is given to the relevant government departments by way of the information contained in Form 24 Property Information (Transfer) that is referred to in the Form 1 Transfer as signed by the seller.