As they say “failing to plan, is planning to fail” however we find that when it comes time for clients to co-ordinate their house move with their settlement date, it’s wise to maintain some flexibility with the planning. This includes the all-important booking date for removalists because a scheduled settlement date is not always guaranteed to proceed as planned.

This was the case recently when some unsuspecting buyers found out their scheduled settlement day was going to be delayed. This left them not only unable to move on their pre booked date but also with no other option than to do some quick talking and rescheduling with their removalists to avoid cancellation fees and further delays.

In this instance our buyers, the Mastersons, (not their real names) were purchasing a local property owned by a seller from the Eastern States. This was not an unusual situation and the settlement was moving smoothly.

However, as the settlement date approached we were informed that the first Transfer of Land document that was sent over to the seller had gone astray and that another one needed to be emailed to him to be signed and returned.

In the meantime the Masterson’s had been informed of the impending delay but had already booked their removalists for the settlement date, being a Friday and had to employ some quick talking to retain and rebook their removalists.

Settlement was due on the Friday but the new Transfer of Land document was not posted back until the the next business day causing a further delay of a couple of days due to Australia Posts delivery times.

There was no guarantee that the new Transfer would arrive on time from the east. If it didn’t arrive, late penalties would have been applicable and the buyers would have to rebook their removalists for another available date and potentially incur cancellation fees.

Luckily the Transfer arrived on the morning of the last day of grace and we were able to have a team member personally drive the Transfer out to the buyers for signing that morning.

Consequently settlement was able to proceed on the last day of grace as not to result in penalty interest being incurred.

The important points to take from this story are:

  1. Buyers and sellers need to be made aware that their scheduled settlement date is not guaranteed and that there is a 3 day grace period available.
  2. Potential delays to settlement need to be taken into consideration when planning to move house and this applies to booking packers and removalists. It is always smart to have some flexibility where possible.
  3. If things don’t go to plan, it is important to move quickly to reschedule and rebook any services and to keep all parties informed.
  4. As an agent, you can help forewarn your clients of potential delays and assist them to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances during settlement.

Image by Brett Kiger via Flickr.

About the Author

Residential Settlements

We provide real estate settlement services throughout Western Australia. In addition, we complete Related Party Transfers, Family Transfers, Private Sales and other title related services.