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The Settlement Process in WA

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to many common questions about the settlement process.

When do I need a conveyancer or settlement agent and who does conveyancing in WA?

Whenever you buy or sell real estate, you will need to appoint someone to handle the settlement of the transaction. Conveyancing is done by settlement agents or solicitors in WA. Settlement agents are specialists in property sales i.e. we do not handle wills, divorces or criminal matters, etc. We are very strictly controlled to ensure the consumer is always fully protected.

How much does it cost?

The quality of service you can expect is often measured by the fee you pay for the service. It applies to most things in life as well as buying property and employing service people. Choosing the cheapest quote may introduce risks as cut-price conveyancing relies on cut price service and shortcuts.

Why does Stamp Duty have to be paid before settlement?

Real Estate transactions are governed by the “Offer and Acceptance Contract” this together with the Joint Form of General Conditions. To protect the interest of the seller, the Joint Form of General Conditions requires that the buyer is required to provide the seller, or their representative, with a stamped, signed copy of the Transfer of Land document in sufficient time to allow the seller to sign and return the document to their representative prior to the due settlement date. Failure to do this results in the buyer being in breach of their contractual obligations under the Joint Form. This is because the Transfer of Land is the principle document that changes the ownership of the property from one party to another. Once it is stamped, and signed by all parties, it is ready for lodgment at the department of Land Information to enable the change of ownership to be recorded.

What do I do about paying the Rates?

If you receive an account during the pre-settlement period, be sure to call your settlement agent before paying it. Otherwise you do not need to do anything as all rates will be adjusted at settlement.

A reading of your water meter is arranged for settlement date. Once the account is received, the amount due is calculated and paid, and the balance refunded to you.

Rate notices are not received at time of initial settlement statements so monies are held in reserve if any rate payments are due. If you have fully paid your rates for the financial year you will receive a refund.

Why can’t you advise me of the full amount payable for settlement?

The finance approval letter from your bank shows the total value of your loan, however, all bank charges are deducted from the total loan amount before any money is released for actual settlement. Many banks will not disclose the “funds available for settlement” until the actual settlement booking is made.