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FAQS
Following are some of the Frequently asked questions that we get.
If your query is still not resolved, please feel free to contact us.
Q: What is a Settlement Agent?

A Settlement Agent/Conveyancer is a qualified person who attends to the legal transfer of ownership of a residential property between a seller and a buyer. While Settlement Agents and Conveyancers are not lawyers, we maintain regular mandatory compliance and statutory training that ensures all legal requirements of your contract are met and will advise you should you need additional legal advice during the transaction.

Q: Do I need to attend settlement?

No, you do not need to be present for settlement – that is part of what we do for you. The majority of settlements are now settled via PEXA, which is an electronic platform that allows for faster document registration, distribution of funds and for the Certificate of Title to issue into the buyers’ name more quickly.

Q: Why do I need to verify my identity?

Landgate introduced the Verification of Identity practice for all persons dealing with property transactions on 2 January 2013. As part of this practice, licensed Conveyancers are required to verify the identity of their clients by way of “identity document productions” – these are your passport, or birth certificate and driver’s licence. This is done in conjunction with a “visual verification of identity”, meaning we need to see you face-to-face.

Within Australia your verification of identity can be completed by either your licensed conveyancer, or Australia Post can do it for a fee of $49 per person. Should you be residing overseas, your verification of identity will need to be completed by an Australian Consulate Officer. An Australian Consulate Officer will also be required to witness any settlements documents which require it.

Q: How does GST withholding affect me?

On 1 July 2018 the Australia Tax Office (ATO) introduced changes to the way GST is paid on certain property transactions. It was established that purchasers will be required to pay a withholding amount from the contract price to the ATO on the day of settlement.

This is outlined in your contract of sale and completed by your Conveyancer as part of settlement. It does not cost you any more on top of your contract price – it simply means that a percentage of the funds due to the seller actually gets paid directly to the ATO instead.

Q: What if my permanent residency is not approved, but in progress?

Foreign Transfer Duty is a duty imposed from 1 January 2019, subjecting foreign persons to an additional duty of 7% on certain purchases of residential property. The liability for this duty arises on the date the contract is signed. However, allowances are made if you are a foreign person at the time of signing the contract, but are no longer a foreign person when the property is transferred to you.

Therefore, if you are in the process of becoming an Australian Permanent Resident you will want to make sure your settlement date is after your finance application is approved. A settlement date clause, such as “within 21 days of permanent residency being granted”, will help to protect you against the liability of extra duty.

Q: What if I am away before settlement?

This is okay! We do ask that you let us know if you are in Perth any time between signing your contract and settlement, so we can get your documentation done quickly and easily for you before you are away again. If this is not the case, the majority of your documentation can be completed via email, and there are also options for your verification of identity to be completed at your local Australia Post Office (or Australian Consulate if you are overseas).

Please give our office a call on (08) 9261 1777 and we can answer any further questions you may have.
“The greatest compliment you can give me is the opportunity to look after the settlement needs of your family, friends and colleagues”