The moment your property has ‘sold’ is almost always thrilling. However, few are still pouring champagne in the days after that moment, as the transition between the idea and the reality is made.
An offer being accepted is just the first stage of a property sale – there’s still the exchange of contracts, in some cases a cooling off period, and settlement.
After an offer has been made and accepted, and the buyer has paid their deposit, the next stage towards finalising the sale begins. The next step for properties not sold at auction is a cooling off period – this gives the buyer up to a week (as negotiated) to have any inspections done. Assuming everyone is still happy at the end of that cooling off period, the contract of sale becomes unconditional and both parties start the process of settlement. Properties sold at auction, require the deposit to be paid immediately and the contract is declared unconditional on the day.
At settlement day, which is generally around six weeks later, solicitors, conveyancers and banks must be ready to finalise payment. It’s during this time that the vendor begins to vacate the property, enabling the new owners to be handed the keys so they can move in as they please on settlement day. Settlement is also marked by the transfer of money from the buyer to the seller and the invoice from the selling agent being delivered.
There's a lot of talk about deposits, finance and the kinds of strategies you need to buy a house, but in reality, the thing you need the most is patience.