With improved technology, lawyers can transfer land very quickly. But there are many aspects of a transaction which require time to be worked through in an ordered and logical manner.
People often make the mistake of giving themselves insufficient time for this to happen. It creates the potential for mistakes by the parties, banks, valuers, building inspectors, lawyers et cetera. Penalties for late settlement can apply, plus inconvenience and stress.
A little thought and careful drafting of the agreement, can avoid these problems.
A buyer has generally 10 working days to check the titles after an agreement is signed (but not for auctions – the checking has to be done before the auction). Sometimes there are multiple documents affecting the title – some may be complex. If there are issues with a document affecting title, then there is a process for these to be resolved, which adds further time. Even more time is required if the buyer is obtaining a land information memorandum.
If finance is needed, it takes time to get all the required information to the bank. The bank then has to make a decision, to communicate that decision to the buyer, and the buyer then must inform the seller. This needs time. Even if a buyer has “preapproval” of funding from a bank, the bank still has to approve the particular property. It is good to allow at least 5 working days for this, but 10 working days is often more realistic
Once the finance has been arranged, and the agreement is completely unconditional, the bank must prepare the documents and forward them to the solicitor. The solicitor must print all the documents out, satisfy multiple requirements of the bank, arrange for explanation and signature of the documents by the parties engaged in the finance documents (and there may be a number of these), and finally send them back to the bank. The bank must check the documents, and there may be some loose ends to finalise. The bank then must forward funds to the solicitor. Sometimes the banks make mistakes with the documents, and they have to be reissued. All this takes time. 10 working days is a sensible allowance for this.
So please ensure you allow sufficient time for yourself, and everyone involved, to complete the transaction in an ordered and safe manner for you.