Settlement delays… No one wants them, however we have found it can often be the most routine and run of the mill issues which can “slip through the net” and potentially result in stressful delays when it comes to completing a property settlement on time.
A recent “close shave” case illustrates how a combination of last minute provision of Transfers and incorrectly completed documents almost caused a settlement day delay.
In this instance, clients who were selling their property, Mr and Mrs Pattinson, (not their real names) were sent the required initial documents in a timely manner.
They duly signed and had these documents witnessed and returned them to us. However we did note that witnessing was not required for these particular documents.
The Transfer documents were also subsequently sent out to our clients with plenty of time for their return. Unfortunately these only arrived at our offices on the actual morning of the day scheduled for settlement and to make matters worse, the Transfer docs were not witnessed as required.
Obviously this meant that it was only at this time – settlement day – that the missing witness signatures were discovered and the potential for a delay with the settlement was staring us and our clients in the face.
Luckily we had a couple of hours up our sleeve and one of our team members was able to personally drive the documents from our offices to Fremantle, get them witnessed and then drive them to the city to get them lodged on time.
Even though the end to this story is a happy one and ultimately a delay was averted with some last minute action on our behalf, all too often we see settlements go awry due to routine issues with signatures and the slow return of important documents.
You can help us avoid these delays through your normal communication with your client during the settlement process. Remind them at all stages of the transaction that all documentation, including the settlement and banks documents need to be completed and returned as a matter of urgency.
What can you do in 2022 to ensure more stress free and timely settlements for your clients?