Selling your property is something to celebrate but, once the ‘sold’ sticker has been plastered over the ‘for sale’ sign in your front lawn and the champagne bottle is in the recycling bin, what else happens next?
The reality is that the time immediately after the sale price is agreed on and the contract is signed is when the real business of selling your home begins – the legal side of finalising the property sale.
Having a professional conveyancer working closely with you to help manage this process ensures your interests are protected – and helps the sale proceed as smoothly as possible.
In the lead-up to your property settlement day, communicate regularly with your conveyancer to ensure you understand your obligations and be fully prepared for when settlement day arrives.
Digital settlements make property transactions easier
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of a property from one person to another and it’s a vital component of every real estate sale in Australia. The convenience of digital conveyancing in the online world is more efficient and easier than ever.
When the contract is signed and exchanged, the sale of your property is officially legal.
In addition, to the contract of sale – signed by both seller and buyer – there are other documents that needs to be prepared for settlement, including transfer and notification of sale forms, as well as the loan documents if you are borrowing money.
Paying off your mortgage
For the majority of Australians, selling a property is something that happens while a mortgage is still active. If the property you’re selling has a mortgage, you’ll need to advise your financial institution well before settlement takes place.
Depending on your lender, applying for a ‘discharge of mortgage’ application may take weeks to process, so make sure you tell your mortgage broker or financial institution about your settlement day, as soon as your property is sold.
If you’re selling your property for more than you owe, congratulations! You won’t need to find extra funds to help your settlement run smoothly.
If the circumstances around the sale of your property are not quite as positive, you may find yourself in a situation where your property’s sale price will not completely cover the outstanding balance of your home loan. If that’s your situation, preparing for settlement day means making sure you have access to the available funds needed to pay out your mortgage in full.
Selling property and buying at the same time
If you prefer playing it safely, selling a home before you’ve bought another one helps you minimise financial risk – and it means you don’t have to apply for bridging finance.
Selling property and buying property at the same time is achievable, but to do it smoothly you’ll need some careful planning.
Talk to your agent, bank and, of course, your conveyancing professional and make sure you are aware of the potential risks you face if you do not sell your property as quickly as you need to.
Substitution of Security
Substitution of security, or loan portability, is the ability to transfer your existing mortgage from one property to another.
Depending on your own financial circumstances, and your lender, you may be able to pay a small fee to transfer your current mortgage balance from the property you are selling onto the new property you are buying. This means that the interest rate and other existing loan terms continue for your new property.
To achieve this, you may have to increase the size of your loan or contribute additional funds. To find out more about this option, talking to your lender or mortgage broker is recommended.
Moving out and moving on
Whether it’s an investment property or the place you call home, selling your property can be a bittersweet moment, as you look back over memories of major life moments with the excitement of the next steps in your property journey.
Whatever your reason for selling, it’s important to take time to reflect on this period of your life, but also congratulate yourself on what you have achieved. By looking towards your next address with a positive attitude, selling your property should feel like a celebration.
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This article is provided for general information purposes only. Its content is current at the date of publication. It is not legal advice and is not tailored to meet your individual needs. You should obtain specialist advice based on your specific circumstances before taking any action concerning the matters discussed in this article.