Handover of the house keys is an important element of smooth property transactions.
According to section 6.5 of the Joint Form of General Conditions, the seller must deliver keys and other access devices (for example, garage remotes and security alarm codes) at settlement or possession.
If the property was the seller’s principal place of residence, the keys and other access devices must be delivered by 12pm the following day.
Failing to deliver the keys on time can put a roadbump in an otherwise smooth settlement. During a recent settlement case, for example, the seller’s real estate agent did not make advanced plans in regards to handover of the keys, and the keys weren’t ready on the day of settlement.
Not wanting to complete the property transaction without receiving keys, the buyer refused to settle until the seller could hand over all keys and security codes immediately. Settlement was pushed back less than 24 hours, but the delay could have been avoided altogether with the appropriate organisation.
Don’t give buyers a reason to delay settlement – ensure all keys, garage remotes and security alarm codes are ready to be handed over.
Image by Kit via Flickr.