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Buying a home | Series three: The Big Swap - AKA Settlement Day


This is the day on which you will receive the keys to your new house! However, the settlement process must be successfully completed first.

At this stage, the remainder of the purchase price is paid to the seller (also known as the vendor) and you are registered as the proprietor of the land.

There are two forms of settlements in South Australia; paper and electronic. Paper settlements occur at the Adelaide Land Titles Office, whereas electronic settlements are handled through a conveyancing platform called PEXA. South Australia has not yet made electronic settlements compulsory, and although a simpler and more modern approach to conveyancing, extra fees are charged for processing your settlement through PEXA.

The settlement process can be a complex one and requires significant preparation by yourself and your conveyancer/solicitor. If you mortgage the property, the lender must be advised of settlement in order to secure the funding. If there is already a mortgage over the home, the previous owners must organise a discharge of the mortgage on their property for settlement to be successful. A conveyancer/solicitor can organise and manage the whole process for you, giving you peace of mind that your settlement transaction will be completed as smoothly and successfully as possible.

Though settlement can seem like a confusing flurry of cheques, e-mails, forms and lodgements, they are handled by teams of conveyancers and solicitors from each side of the process. Your conveyancer/solicitor will inform you once the settlement is completed.


It is not uncommon for a settlement to be delayed and have to occur on a later date. As in everyday banking, banks can have unpredictable processing times, and in some instances, not be able to meet the contracted settlement date.

Due to this, you must have a back-up plan in the instance that settlement does not occur on contracted settlement date. For Purchasers, this may involve organising a place to stay as a back-up if you are unable to move into the property on the anticipated date.


Upon becoming the legal owner of the new home after settlement, you can legally collect the keys from your agent. Before popping the champagne, take a moment to inspect the property once more for any change in condition. Any significant alterations or degradation since the time you signed the Contract for Sale should be raised with your agent immediately. If the property is in satisfactory condition, or any new damage has been rectified, you’re the proud owner of your new home!

Ordering Your Affairs

We know that purchasing a property is one of the significant events in your life and an opportune time to consider ordering your affairs. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss the preparation of new or updated wills and estate planning advice to all our valued clients.

If this is a service you would like to take advantage of, please do not hesitate to contact us on (08) 7325 0219.


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