Mortgagee sales can differ considerably from a regular settlement.

The settlement of a mortgagee sale often differs considerably from a regular settlement. Here’s what you need to know about the settlement of mortgagee sales.

First, mortgagee sales usually have unique conditions.

A contract for a mortgagee sale will usually come with conditions that may be quite different to those of a regular settlement, as mortgagees (ie. banks and non-bank lenders) have a lawyer write up special annexures for mortgagee sales.

In my experience, these annexures usually state something to the effect of:

  • The buyer cannot have “possession prior” – that is, they can’t move into the property before settlement, and
  • If settlement is delayed, the buyer can’t charge the seller (the mortgagee) penalty interest. However, the seller can still charge the buyer penalty interest if the buyer is responsible for delaying settlement.

In a regular sale, the buyer would usually be able charge penalty interest as a form of compensation for the inconvenience and costs associated with a delayed settlement. But when a buyer agrees to a mortgagee sale with the condition outlined above, the buyer forfeits that right.

Second, it’s my experience that mortgagee sales are often delayed past settlement date.

Mortgagee sales seem to have a tendency to become overdue from the seller’s side. This may be because the documents involved need to be signed by staff, who may be busy and/or located in a different time zone.

If the sale included a condition that the buyer cannot charge penalty interest, then the buyer won’t be able to gain any compensation for that delay.

If you’re a real estate agent, you can help buyers in a mortgagee sale by ensuring they know about the unusual conditions included, and how those conditions could impact settlement of the property.

Image by Cathy via Flickr.