Christmas Day is just around the corner 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 star the New Year, but what some buyers often don’t consider is the potential settlement delays around public holidays which will make owning their home a long and sometimes frustrating process.
Typically, buyers should allow for five weeks 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 to allow extra time for settlement in the months of December and January.
Ben Edwards, our Settlements expert, says having a realistic time-frame is the key during this December and January festive period.
“I think from a timing perspective it is important for sellers, buyer and agents to have a realistic expectation about the achievability of settlement dates that fall due in early January.
“Lenders, settlement agents and OSR processing times will often slow considerably in late December and early January due to public holidays, staff leave and office closures.
“Sellers and purchasers should be mindful of returning documentation as soon as possible and of structuring their settlement dates to allow for sufficient time over the Christmas/New Year period”, says Mr Edwards.
And it doesn’t get easier for first home-buyers who have applied for the First Home Owner Grant. 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) Wednesday December 25, 2014 to Friday January 5th, 2015.
- Final payments for 2014 will be made on Wednesday December 24.
- Any Payments for 2015 will commence on Monday January 6 2015.
Note- If a FHOG payment is required between these dates, the application must be at “APPROVED” status by no later than Monday 22 December 2014.
So expect delays, and plan ahead! It’s important to remain conscious of public holidays and how they may affect your settlement. Unfortunately, closures at Christmas time are something we cannot avoid- so sit back, relax and don’t let closure frustrations ruin your festive season.