Buying a property at Christmas time

Attention Christmas home buyers!

The festive season is upon us and as we settle into holiday and relax mode, we can’t expect any less from businesses. Purchasing a new home at Christmas time couldn’t be a more wonderful way to start the New Year, but what some buyers often don’t consider is the potential settlement delays around public holidays which will make moving into their new home a long and sometimes frustrating process.

Typically, six weeks is enough time to allow between the contract of sale and the settlement date, but with several public holidays creeping up, delays in building inspections and termite clearances are a reality, particularly if workers are on leave. For this reason, it would be wise allow extra time for settlement in the months of December and January.

Valerie Bellerose, Licensee of Evolution Settlements, says having a realistic time-frame is the key during this period.

“I think from a timing perspective it is important for sellers, buyers and agents to have a realistic expectation about the achievability of settlement dates that fall due in early January. 

“Lenders, settlement agents and Office of State Revenue processing times will often slow considerably in late December and early January due to public holidays, staff leave and  office closures.  Sellers and buyers should be mindful of returning documentation as quickly as possible and ensure they structure their settlement dates to allow for sufficient time over the Christmas/New Year period” said Ms Bellerose.

First home owners who are eligible for grants will also need to remain mindful.  The Office of State Revenue has released their shutdown dates which may also slow down the settlement period.

The Western Australian Office of State Revenue will not be processing payments:

  • From (and including) Friday December 25, 2015 to 31st of December, 2015.

  • Final payments for 2015 will be made on Thursday, December 24th.

  • Any Payments for 2016 will commence on Monday, January 4th.