The date when the balance of the purchase price is exchanged for the certificate of title is called the settlement date.
The usual time for settlement is 30 days, although it can be longer (up to 3 months) to allow for other events to take place. At settlement, both the purchaser and the vendor are represented by a conveyancer, who prepares all of the necessary documents to transfer the property. In addition, all outstanding rates and taxes are to be paid, as well as collecting the purchase price and discharging any mortgages, caveats or other interests to ensure that the incoming owner gets clear title to the property. Any mortgage to secure the purchase price is also registered at this time. Keys are then made available to the purchaser and possession is handed over.
Land agents cannot decide who does the conveyancing. If either party is uncertain who to use, the agent may suggest two or three names. Whilst using the same solicitor or conveyancer seems to be cost-effective, if there is a dispute, each person will need to appoint someone else to avoid a conflict of interest.
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