Buyers’ Settlement Resource Centre
About Your Contract
Your sales contract, commonly referred to as an Offer and Acceptance or O&A, contains all your rights and obligations in relation to your purchase. You’re also protected by some consumer protection legislation but most of what you need to know is contained within the contract.
It’s important to read and understand your contract and take immediate steps to address any concerns or correct any errors.
Your contract is contained within two parts. First there’s the Contract for sale of land or strata title by offer and acceptance, commonly called an Offer and Acceptance or O&A. We cover the key elements of the O&A below. Second is the 20 page booklet titled Joint form of general conditions for the sale of land, also called the general conditions or JFGC. These two documents work together and can’t be separated. Once you’ve signed a contract you’ve agreed to the terms contained within the general conditions unless they’ve been expressly varied by terms within the contract.
It’s important to understand that time is of the essence to your contract. Missing a due date by even a few hours can have costly legal implications so it’s important that you know the due dates, especially for your finance approval and pre-purchase inspection reports.
Unlike some eastern states there is no cooling off period in WA. Once your offer is accepted it becomes a legally binding contract so it’s important to read your contract and start working to fulfill your legal obligations.
What is title insurance?
Title insurance provides cover for losses arising from unknown or undetected risks that could exist prior to your settlement.
- Structures built by a previous owner without the required Council permits or which do not comply with those permits.
- Outstanding rates and taxes on the property.
- Forced removal or relocation of an encroaching structure.
- Someone claiming ownership over part or all of the land.
- Fraud or forgery.
What options do I have if I want to take out title insurance?
In WA there are two main providers of title insurance, Stewart Title and First Title. We recommend Stewart Title.
Why do you recommend title insurance?
We recommend title insurance because there are risks inherent in property ownership that can’t reasonably known before settlement. The combination of our advice together with title insurance provides the most comprehensive cover available to protect your legal ownership.
How much does title insurance cost?
The cost of a title insurance policy depends on the value of the property. The average title insurance premium in WA is around $500.
How long is a title insurance policy?
Title insurance premiums last for the period in which you’re noted as the legal owner of the property.
What Happens On Settlement Day?
How will I know if my settlement has gone through?
You will receive a phone call, SMS, and email within 15 minutes of your settlement occurring.
Keys and taking possession
When do I get the keys?
If property is vacant you’re entitled to the keys on the day of settlement.
If the property is owner/occupied the seller is entitled to stay in the property until 12 noon on the day following settlement (see JFGC 6.3).
What keys am I entitled to receive?
JFGC 6.5 entitles you to receive “each key and security device” and written details of any security codes associated to any alarms. Your entitlement to keys for window locks is a grey area unless these are specifically mentioned in your contract.
How do I get the keys?
In most cases you’ll collect the keys direct from the real estate agent once they’ve received confirmation that the property has settled.
Who is responsible for providing the keys?
Clause 6.5 of the JFGC requires the seller to deliver the keys to the buyer but in common practice the real estate agent will hold the keys until they receive confirmation the settlement has occurred.
That’s My Promise To You.
Thank you for stopping by Residential Settlements. I’m aware that many property conveyancing firms will be competing for your business. When you walk through our doors, you will get nothing but sound settlement advice that’ll make the entire process stress-free and simple.
Most importantly, I give you my word that you will be treated honestly and with respect throughout the settlement process. As the Managing Director, I stand by every single property settlement we complete.
When you work with my team you can take comfort knowing that our highly experienced conveyancers will take the time to understand your unique needs and will guide you through each step of the settlement process.
At Residential Settlements, we don’t just strive to win business; we forge lifelong bonds.
I look forward to helping you.
08 9459 0044