A cooling off period is the right the buyer has to cancel the agreement within 5 working days. It offers some protection to buyers that may have rushed into a contract and can be used to finalise financial arrangements, obtain property reports (for example, building, pest or strata reports) and to gain legal advice on the contract from our office. Cancelling the agreement (or rescinding, as it is also known) will cost the buyer 0.25% of the purchase price. The cooling off period does not always apply (at auction, for example) and can be waived provided a Section 66W Certificate is signed by a conveyancer who has briefed the buyer with regard to the implications involving waiving the cooling off period.
The buyer can usually issue a “Notice to Complete” which means the seller has 14 days (including weekends and public holidays) to settle the matter. If left unsettled, the buyer has the right to terminate the contract and is entitled to receive their deposit back or the buyer can apply to the court to have the seller complete the agreement and hand over possession.
Settlement is the finalisation of the purchase process. There are usually four parties involved – the seller and buyers’ conveyancers and the banks for the seller and buyer. Settlement occurs via PEXA which provides for electronic settlement of property transactions. On settlement, the buyer’s bank will pay the funds as instructed by the buyer’s conveyancer by way of an electronic funds transfer and, in return, will receive a Certificate of Title and Discharge of Mortgage (electronic documents) from the seller’s bank. The electronic documents are then lodged at the Land Registry Services office to record the change in ownership. If prior to settlement the property has been damaged, there is usually sufficient time to take care of discrepancies prior to settlement. After settlement, the keys are handed to the buyer.
When your transfer papers are lodged for registration after settlement, then the council and the water authority are automatically notified of the change in ownership. If the property is strata or community title, then we will write to the strata manager notifying them of the change in ownership. Other authorities, however, will need to be notified separately. To save time, you can have Direct Connect notify the other authorities of the change in ownership for free.
Settlements now occur via PEXA which stands for Property Exchange Australia. PEXA is a national online system which provides for electronic settlement of property transactions including payment of settlement monies, duties, taxes and any other disbursements and it also allows for electronic lodgement of dealings to the Land Registry Services office which will change over the ownership of the property. PEXA Key tracks settlement in real-time. Instant notifications keep you informed. We can keep you updated on the progress of your settlement whereby you can track your settlement via an app.
Disclaimer: The answers to these frequently asked questions are for information purposes only and must not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice.
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