5 things to remember if you’re buying or selling a house in Canberra this Christmas

Rachel Ziv 22 June 2018 1

Buying a property this Christmas

Christmas is an already busy time, but if you’re also trying to buy or sell a property, it can be particularly overwhelming.

Louise Morris, Property and Construction specialist from Chamberlains Law Firm in Braddon, shares her top five tips for less-stress property deals this Christmas:

1. Check for a Christmas Shutdown Clause

When you buy a property, first you “exchange” contracts, with “settlement” to occur sometime later (usually 30 days).

A Contract exchanged on 5 December would usually settle on 4 January, however many offices close for the Christmas shutdown period.

To accommodate this, and ensure that you are not in breach of contract, your solicitor or conveyancer may include a Christmas Shutdown Clause. This states that your settlement will occur immediately after the Christmas Shutdown Period, i.e.: 9 January.

2. Plan your holidays 

If you’re buying or selling a house, your contract may require you to complete a transaction while you’re not in town.

If you’re likely to be away, let your conveyancer or solicitor know. Before you go, ensure that you have signed contracts and transfers, or granted someone you trust a Power of Attorney, so that the exchange or settlement can occur even in your absence.

3. Be realistic about timeframes for your loan approval

Ashley Crowther, Senior Mortgage Broker at Milestone Financial Services, keeps his clients briefed on realistic timeframes for bank processes. The pre-Christmas rush can be stressful enough without wondering whether your loan will be approved.

“If you didn’t submit your loan application by 28 November 2016,” says Ashley, “you probably won’t settle before this Christmas.”

4. Keep an eye on your off-the-plan purchase

Canberra developers have been known to call for settlement of off-the-plan purchases in the second week of December, meaning you may be asked to settle on or before 23 December, or even between Christmas and New Year. Banks only close on public holidays, so mortgages can be advanced on working days between Christmas and New Year, and solicitors may even open their doors specially.

If you’re expecting your off-the-plan purchase to settle soon, don’t think that you’re safe just because it’s the silly season.

5. Use The Holidays to Dominate in 2017

If you’re considering a move or new investment in the New Year, remember that many families move in and out of Canberra every January and the property market can become competitive.

As most banks only close on public holidays, it’s an ideal time to discuss your next move with your relationship manager or have new loan approvals processed, so you can hit the open homes with confidence in the New Year.

For more information, or to discuss your residential property questions with Louise, you can contact her at Chamberlains Law Firm on 6215 910 or email louise.morris@chamberlains.com.au.

This is a sponsored article, though all opinions are the author’s own. For more information on paid content, see our sponsored content policy.

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One Response to 5 things to remember if you’re buying or selling a house in Canberra this Christmas
Rollersk8r Rollersk8r 11:01 am 09 Dec 16

From personal experience I’d say don’t try to sell from mid-November through to December. We had a bad experience trying to sell around this time last year. Going to auction was a terrible idea, with plenty of interest but nobody willing to commit in the weeks before Christmas.

We took the risk of trying to sell quickly when we’d already bought elsewhere. All signs pointed to making an easy sale at a very realistic price. However this all backfired badly when the house didn’t sell at auction – and we took a low offer after 3 months. I hate to add it up but this easily cost us somewhere between $20,000 to $30,000. In fact, the figure could be as high as $60,000, or more, if we’d got the expected auction price.

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