Property experts are warning home buyers and sellers to steer clear of Friday settlements, with new research revealing 70 per cent of conveyancing professionals say the last day of the working week is their busiest.
GlobalX’s annual Law Technology Survey found Monday was second on the list, with 12.5 per cent of respondents nominating it as their busiest day, with Wednesday the quietest of the week.
GlobalX CEO Peter Maloney said buyer preferences to move on a weekend often drove the high volume of Friday settlements, but this decision could put them at risk of delay.
“Savvy buyers should plan carefully and make informed decisions to negate potential risk,” Mr Maloney said.
“In my experience, settlement errors often come down to small details, so minimising unnecessary risks will help ensure everything goes to plan.”
“In the same way that a missing signature can derail a settlement, scheduling the settlement for a Tuesday or Wednesday may significantly improve the chances of a successful handover.”
Currently, one in five settlements are delayed due to human error.
There are many challenges buyers face on settlement day, including incomplete documents, banking complications and issues with final inspections.
“The benefit of a mid-week handover is that there is often time to reschedule the settlement for the following day, is anything goes pear shaped,” Mr Maloney said.
“However, if this were to happen on a Friday, the buyer and seller would be stuck in limbo over the weekend, which can be stressful, costly and disappointing.”
“It’s also important to consider that if a mistake occurs on a quieter day, paperwork can be processed more quickly and conveyancers have more flexibility with their time, so issues can be resolved on the day and prevent further delays.”
Mr Maloney said the biggest issue was that the current process required lots of unnecessary paperwork, which meant it was easy to make errors or misplace a crucial document. He said a lack of awareness of digital alternatives meant most buyers and sellers still preferred traditional settlement methods.
“Digital solutions – such as electronic conveyancing (PEXA) – simplify the process for property professionals and consumers alike, yet not all conveyancers are using this technology or recommending it to their clients,” he said.
“The sooner we move to a streamlined, digitised system, the less processing errors will occur. But, in the meantime, people should try to avoid Friday settlements where possible to avoid unnecessary stress.”