Frequently Asked Questions
Buyers & Sellers
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Why should I use a Settlement Agent?
Buying or selling property is one of the biggest financial transactions that you completed in your life. The consequences of making a financial or legal mistake during this process can be both costly and heartbreaking.
By having a licensed Settlement Agent, such as Apple Settlements, take care of your settlement, you can rest easy, knowing that your experienced Conveyancer will manage your transaction efficiently and effectively.
I want to nominate Apple Settlements to handle my settlement – what do I need to do?
If you would like Apple Settlements to handle the settlement of your property, please notify your Real Estate Agent, who will arrange for the Contract of Sale to be forwarded to us. Once we receive a copy of the contract, we will open our file, and send our initial documents to you for signing, whilst we wait for any conditions on the Contract to be satisfied.
What happens if I’m not ready to settle on the due date?
Under most contracts in WA, each party has three business days in which they can settle after the due date, without penalty. If settlement has still not taken place in this ‘grace period’, the party that is ready to complete settlement, may be able to charge the late party ‘penalty interest’, which is calculated based on the purchase price of the property.
If you think there is a possibility that you won’t be ready to settle on the contracted Settlement Date, please speak to your conveyancer, to discuss the options available to you.
What actually happens at settlement?
In WA, most settlements take place via a digital workspace called PEXA. All parties to the transaction use the platform to prepare and sign the necessary documentation. Distribution of funds is also via the platform.
Once the settlement has ‘gone through’ your conveyancer will call you with the good news, following this as a Seller you can release the keys to the Real Estate Agent or as a Buyer contact the Real Estate Agent to arrange collection of the keys!
Can Apple Settlements act for me, in the sale or purchase of a property in another state?
No, we are only licensed to carry out settlements in Western Australia. For interstate properties you will need to appoint a Solicitor or Conveyancer based in that particular State or Territory.
What is ‘VOI’ and why do I need to do it?
It is now a Landgate requirement that all parties whether selling or purchasing property in WA complete a ‘Verification of Identity’ or ‘VOI’.
The most common form of acceptable ID is either your ‘passport and drivers licence’ or ‘birth certificate, medicare card and drivers licence’. You are welcome to make an appointment to complete your VOI in our office or alternatively attend your local Australia Post outlet.
Please ask your conveyancer for more information about your preferred VOI option.
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What do I have to do in regards to RCDs and Smoke Alarms?
The Electricity Regulations 1947 (WA) require sellers of residential properties built after 1 January 2000 to install at least 2 residual current devices (RCD’s) in the premises before ownership of the property is transferred.
As of 1 October 2009, it is also compulsory that mains powered smoke alarms are installed in residential properties prior to settlement. All smoke alarms should be installed by a licensed electrical contractor and must be changed every 10 years.
Prior to settlement, we ask that the seller confirm to the buyer that RCD’s and smoke alarms are installed in accordance with the legislative requirements.
When do I need to vacate the property?
If the property is your primary place of residence, you have until 12pm the day following settlement to vacate & hand the keys over to the Real Estate Agent. If the property is not your primary residence, you need to provide the keys to the real estate agent by settlement.
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When do I get the keys to the property?
If the property is the seller’s primary place of residence, they have until 12pm the day following settlement to vacate the property. Otherwise, you are generally able to pick up the keys right after settlement. You should contact the Real Estate Agent to arrange the key handover.
Can I re-inspect the property?
Yes – within one week prior to settlement, the real estate agent will arrange to take you back through the property, to check all the gas, electrical & plumbing items (usually required to be in working order, depending on the terms of your contract).
Who do I need to notify about the change of ownership?
As your settlement agent, Apple Settlements will advise the local council, Water Corporation & Office of State Revenue. You will need to take care of the private accounts, such as gas, electricity & telephone accounts.
Take a look through our checklist for a full list of places to notify of your new address.
Who do I speak to about my First Home Owners Grant?
As a first point of contact, your bank or finance broker will be able to assist you. While we can provide general advice, if you need specific information for your circumstances, you can speak to the Office of State Revenue First Home Owner’s Grant team on 08 9262 1299.
I’m not a Citizen or Permanent Resident of Australia – am I still able to purchase a property?
You should contact the Foreign Investment Review Board to discuss whether you are eligible to purchase property in WA. Their website is https://www.firb.gov.au/ or you can contact them by telephone on +61 2 6263 3795 (9:00 am – 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm AEST, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays).