Top Tips for a Simple Home Settlement

Top Tips for a Simple Home Settlement

January 2, 2018

Buying a home is one of the biggest things you can do in your lifetime. Not just in terms of money and investment, there’s also the legal work such as the home settlement as well.

Many people don’t think about the transaction that goes with a home transfer. The process of buying and selling a home can be a complex and stressful one; it’s not as simple as making a payment and collecting the keys, although changes are on the way that will get processing closer to that kind of simplicity.

The steps your probably know about are:

  • Getting your unconditional offer secured
  • Book the movers and pack up your current home
  • Wait for settlement
  • Pick up keys

Unfortunately there is a lot of work that goes into processing a settlement and settlement information needs to be exactly accurate.

Traditionally the settlement process involves a lot of moving parts as well as moving people. There are forms to fill in, sign and counter sign and submit with agents required to meet in person, at a time, date and location that it mutually acceptable.

Research indicates that one in five property settlements in Australia are hit with delays. The documentation, certificate of title, contracts and cheque information all need to be letter perfect. When submitted every stroke and line needs to match.

Exactly. If even the smallest detail is out, the spelling of a name, a five cent difference in the cheque amount, anything at all, the settlement is delayed and a meeting must be scheduled for all agents to meet, determine the error, fix it and sign off everything, again.

Anything that leaves a question mark on when you can take ownership on your home causes stress, especially if everything you own is sitting in a moving truck outside your home you don’t yet officially own.

The new e-settlement process is working to make the process of settlement as accurate and effective as possible. Tried and tested for a number of years already in NSW, e-settlements through PEXA, the national online system, will shortly be the only settlement processing option.

The use of the secure PEXA system, operated by trained and authorised legal and bank personnel means that agents for the buyer, seller and lender can meet online to sign off on documents, set times and dates for settlements, iron out any remaining issues and check the progress of the information. Some lines of the legal forms are pre-populated with data matching with the NSW Land Registry Services, such as the stamp duty, lodgement fees and user fees, which significantly reduces errors and accurately matches the submitted information to the information with the NSW Land Registry Services.

In order for financial settlement to be approved all the conditions of the sale must be met, all the regulatory instruments need to be carefully completed and the correct transfer funds need to be available.

For this complex process to go through as smoothly as possible it’s important to hire a professional who knows the legal requirements and can negotiate around any unexpected pitfalls. The cheapest and most effective person for this job is usually a conveyancer. A conveyancer has full formal training and has completed supervised long-term placements specialising in property settlements. They are more knowledgeable than a lawyer when it comes to property requirements (unless you have a lawyer who is a property sales specialist) and is significantly less expensive.

An e-conveyancer already has access to PEXA, is familiar with the online system and is familiar with the requirements and flexibility of the online service and has an authorised online signature to complete a speedy e-settlement.

The e-settlement information can also be updated so that if there needs to be an adjustment to a settlement fee, (even by five cents) it can be amended online at any time.

By upgrading to a paperless system and allowing parties to attended online meetings the PEXA system is able to significantly reduce the handling time of a property transfer and create an accurate, streamlined approach.

When the settlement is paid (via EFT) and the documents are submitted and matched (in real time) it gives new owners instant access to their keys and original owners have faster access to their funds.


  • Reduced risk of last-minute delays
  • Online meeting point
  • Flexibility in date and time of settlement (not restricted to office hours)
  • Able to make adjustments throughout the process
  • Track and check the progress in real time
  • Automatically match data through pre-populated forms
  • Instant settlement at the arranged time and date
  • Faster access to funds (no bank cheques)
  • Multiple transfers can be completed at the same time.
  • Name appears on title instantly

If you’re looking for a simple home settlement contact our office and we will show you how you can access this incredible system to have peace of mind and move from contract to keys with ease.

Peta Stewart – Certified Practicing Conveyancer


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