What happens on settlement day?
The purchaser's lawyer hands over the money needed to complete settlement. In return the vendor's lawyer hands over the keys for the new owner. The transfer of ownership is then registered and the contract is complete.
What time will settlement take place?
Your settlement is generally one part of a chain of sales and purchases (A buyer is selling their house to fund the purchase of the new home from a seller who in turn is waiting on those monies to fund their own purchase). Your settlement is largely dependent upon the speed of the sales and purchases before you in the chain.
As well as the sale of houses before yours in the chain a buyer is often waiting on money from the Bank. This can delay settlement too.
Most settlements take place between 10.00am and 2.30pm but it is not unusual for settlement to be as late as 4.00pm or later.
Delays in settlement are frustrating for all concerned. Sometimes the delay is out of your (and your lawyer's) control but there are things you can do to help.
Tips to help a smooth settlement
If you are getting a bank loan make sure you see your banker at least two weeks before settlement to allow time for the documents to be sent to your lawyer for signing by you. The late return of signed documents to the bank will result in late payment of mortgage monies.
Move out of your home the day before the sale so that the keys are available as early as possible on the day of settlement. Vacant possession is generally required for settlement and the keys have to be handed over to the lawyer or the land agent.