Posts Tagged ‘Buying a House’

What Happens on Settlement Day – The Lawyer

Settlement day is the day that (all going to plan) money changes hands, the name on the title changes and you get the keys to your new home.

Wondering what your lawyer is up to on settlement day? This is what they should be sorting out for you:

  • Your lawyer pays the vendor your money as per the settlement statement via the vendor’s lawyer. The vendor’s lawyer confirms receipt of the money.
  • Your lawyer notifies you that settlement has occurred and you can now take possession of the property – usually by phone.
  • The vendor’s lawyer now starts the process by which ownership of the property passes to you. They will release of the Landonline documents to your lawyer who immediately updates the documents with the discharge of the existing mortgage, the transfer of title to you, and (if you are borrowing money) registers the new mortgage against the title.
  • The vendor's lawyer notifies the relevant Councils and Quotable Value of the sale and gives them of your details as the new owner of the property.
  • Your lawyer then puts together a record of all the information gathered during the course of the transaction and sends this to you along with the bill.

So on settlement day there is quite a lot going on – no wonder, on the odd occasion, settlement doesn’t occur on the expected day.

Want to find out more about settlement day? We have a whole section dedicated to settlement day in our Propertytoolbox house buying guide.

Sunset Clauses – What Are They?

A sunset clause is a clause that you include with any other conditions (like a property valuation, building inspection, or a LIM) in your sale and purchase agreement when buying a house. It is a clause that puts an ‘Expiry Date’ on the offer.

Why Use a Sunset Clause

There are a number of reason sunset clauses are put into sale and purchase agreements - the most common being to put pressure on the vendor to make a decision about your offer, or to ensure you can continue to house hunt, and put offers on houses, if an offer you have submitted is not accepted or rejected within a reasonable timeframe i.e. about 2 days.

If you don’t have a sunset clause your offer remains current until accepted or rejected by the vendor. This can be painful as you may miss out on other opportunities – or you could find yourself having multiple offers accepted if you continue to make offers on other houses assuming old offers were rejected.

When to Use a Sunset Clause

Putting a sunset clause on a sale and purchase agreement is not often done but is a good idea when you want an answer to your offer quickly for whatever reason and especially in tender situations – where your offer may be kept ‘on hold’ until negotiations with someone else are finalised.

How Long Should a Sunset Clause Be?

A good amount of time to make a sunset clause for is approximately 2 working days – with the clause expiring at 4pm on the second day – allowing for paperwork to be processed before close of business if the offer is accepted at the last minute.

If you are making an offer late in the week, try to make sure the sunset clause expires before the open home crowd descends on your potential home on the Sunday – you may not want the competition!

Leveraging the Sunset Clause

The sunset clause gives you some degree of control over the timing of the offer acceptance or negotiations. If the sale and purchase agreement expires – it is not the end - you can always offer again, or extend the sunset clause on the same (or amended) agreement if you want.

If the agreement is accepted after the sunset clause expires, the offer has expired, and no legally binding agreement has been entered into. In this case it is up to you whether or not you want to proceed. You can choose to accept the original agreement or you can resubmit the offer with some changes suitable to you.

Vendors and Sunset Clauses

Sometimes the vendor may put a sunset clause in the sale and purchase agreement – if this is the case – it really pays to get your lawyer to look over it and to explain the implications of the clause.

Sunset Clauses - Get Your Property Lawyers Advice

Don’t forget - like any clause you put in your sale and purchase agreements – whether it is being put in by you or the vendor – get it checked over by your property lawyer!

Sunset Clause All The Details

The Propertytoolbox Home Buyers Guide

After some more great home buying advice – don’t forget to check out our home buying guide!

Choosing a Property Valuer – The Basic Questions

We're in the property valuation zone here at Propertytoolbox now that we have Property Valuation NZ up and running. On the Property Valuation NZ website we profile NZ property valuers using standardised ‘Valuer Profile’ listings and group them by region and area – so you can compare your local valuers apples for apples before you choose one.

We ask 13 questions of your local property valuers as part of the ‘Valuer Profile’ on Property Valuation NZ – in the following article there is some background as to just what those questions are all about – just what we are trying to find out and why…

The questions below aren’t the exact questions on Property Valuation NZ – some of this stuff we already have sorted just by only profiling residential valuers and grouping them by area – but these questions form the core of what you need to know about a property valuer before you hire them and why.

The Basic Questions

Question 1: Do you normally do valuations of residential property?

Property valuers value all sorts of things – commercial property, farms, lifestyle blocks, apartments and residential houses. You will get the best degree of accuracy with your valuation if you can choose a valuer with experience valuing your type of property. Some valuers do value all these types of properties – but most will have a main focus – a property type that they spend the most time valuing – with your property valuer you want this to be residential property.

Question 2: How well do you know the area that my house is in?

A familiarity with the area will give the valuation a higher degree of accuracy. The valuer will have researched similar property before, will be familiar with house sale statistics in the area, and is likely to have visited a number of houses in the area as part of their valuation work – giving them a really good basis to give you an accurate valuation.

Question 3: Do they have any alliance or association with any of the parties involved?

Valuers have a responsibility to disclose information that could be considered to affect their ability to provide an unbiased report. If there is a close conflict of interest, the valuer should refer you on to a different valuer. Question 4: Do you hold professional indemnity insurance? Just to be safe - it is a good idea to make sure that your property valuer is insured.

Question number 3 is not covered off in the Property Valuation NZ valuer profiles – so make sure to ask the valuer this one yourself when you talk to them.

Property Valuation NZ covers off as much as possible of these questions for you – making it easy for you to choose a residential property valuer near you – we like that!

So now you have the basics sorted – next Blog post we are going to discuss questions you need to ask to find out all you need to know about the valuation inspection and the report.