What Happens on Settlement Day?

Published On: 23 July 2021

You have looked for months and finally secured your dream property; you have been to see your Conveyancer and Banker and have the paperwork ready for settlement to occur. Time flies and you are ready for settlement day.

What does this mean? What do you need to do? When do you get the keys?

The champagne is chilling, and there is no denying that the feeling of buying your own home is pretty special. However, there is a lot to organise in the lead up to the big day. There are removalists to book, insurance to arrange, connections for gas and electricity to be organised.

Your Conveyancer will ensure the paperwork is completed correctly, any funds required to settle are requested and they will advise Council and SA Water of the change of ownership. They will contact you the day before settlement to confirm everything is ready to go.

Settlement: what happens next?

Settlements in SA are now conducted electronically and can take place anywhere between 11am and 4pm depending on the circumstances and if there is a bank involved. This can make it a little tricky to pinpoint an exact time that the keys can be handed over.

On the E-Conveyancing platform (commonly referred to as PEXA), funds are exchanged and documents lodged with the Land Registry, this usually takes around 20-30 minutes once the workspace is ready to settle. This process is a lot more streamlined compared to the old paper system. The clearance of funds is faster than the bank cheque used to be, which is a great benefit to the Vendor (Seller). Registration of the documents also occurs faster so ownership is transferred to the purchaser much sooner.

Do I need to attend settlement?

The short answer is no.
Your Conveyancer will attend to this on your behalf. They will ensure that all the relevant documents are completed, and the funds are transferred to successfully complete settlement.

When do I get the keys?

This is common question by purchasers. The usual answer is the real estate agent will arrange to hand them over once settlement is completed. We recommend contacting them in the lead up to settlement to confirm arrangements.

Should I change the locks?

The keys have been handed over to you, but there may be some uncertainty as to if someone has retained a spare key (which may have been forgotten). It is therefore safer to get the locks changed to reassure yourself that no-one has access to your new property.

Now the fun of unpacking and arranging your new home begins!

If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to contact our friendly staff at Strathalbyn Conveyancing who are more than happy to assist.