Settlement Terms and Conditions
We know that money is tight when you are buying a property so we want to give you the certainty of a fixed, low fee. There are, however, some cases where the fixed fee will not apply, set out below. It is unusual for the fixed fee to be exceeded for reasons beyond your control: e.g. if the other party causes a significant dispute. We give you clear instructions which, if followed, will avoid any increase in the fixed fee in cases you can control.
The main way in which a fee increase could occur which you can avoid is where you do not sign and return documents to your lender immediately, either where you are borrowing money or where you are the seller with a mortgage on your title to discharge.
Out-of-pocket expenses are additional
The fee includes GST at 10% but does not include out-of-pocket expenses. We will give you a fairly accurate estimate of out-of-pocket expenses on request. We will give you a precise statement of these fees during the settlement process. These expenses do not vary between settlement providers.
The title must be issued and the sale/purchase must be settled on PEXA
The only case where the title will not be issued is if you are buying a lot in a new strata development or subdivision. And all normal settlements now occur on PEXA. If you are the seller, your name must be on the title correctly. If it is not, we must also lodge a change of name form, which attracts an additional fee.
You must attend our office to be identified
You, or all directors if you are a company, must attend our office and produce required ID before the settlement date. If you can’t attend our office, we can arrange a mobile ID service to visit you in many cases, however, it will charge you an additional fee. That can vary but it is estimated to be $60.
No significant dispute must arise
Significant disputes on settlements are rare. If a minor dispute arises between you and the other party we will advise you on it and try to resolve it as part of the fixed fee. If, however, the dispute is complex (in our discretion) or is not resolved by sending a letter to the other party explaining your position, we may charge an extra fee for work resolving the dispute. If you used a Settlement Agent they would refer you to a lawyer in these cases, at an extra fee.
(Buyers borrowing money) Your lender must participate in the settlement in the expected time-frame.
Occasionally a lender will not make the loan funds available at settlement or will not tell the other parties that it will do so until very late. This can cause us significant extra work. To minimise the risk of this occurring you should sign all documents your lender asks you to sign and return them as soon as possible. If your lender does not give you loan documents quickly enough, you should put pressure on it to do so.
(Sellers with a mortgage to discharge) Your lender participates in the settlement in the expected time-frame.
Occasionally a lender being paid out a mortgage loan will not get the mortgage discharge ready by the settlement date or will not tell the other parties that it will do so until very late. This can cause us significant extra work. To minimise the risk of this occurring you should sign all documents your lender asks you to sign and return them as soon as possible. If your lender does not give you a mortgage discharge form quickly enough, you should put pressure on it to do so.
No other legal work is required
If the sale is part of a wider deal, or if a Special Condition requires other legal work to be done, such as prepare an easement or a lease, our fee does not include doing that other legal work or any work on the wider deal. If for example you are selling a property from a a deceased estate, the fee does not include Probate or getting the title into your name as executor first. We can quote a separate fixed fee for that work on request.
Where anything above states that the fixed fee does not apply in a particular case we are entitled to charge you an additional fee according to our ordinary charges for work of the relevant kind. By appointing us to handle your settlement you agree with these conditions.