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Four in five buyers stumped by settlement process: GlobalX Survey

Property buyers are suffering from a serious lack of ‘know-how’ when it comes to property settlement, according to concerned Australian lawyers and conveyancers.

A recent survey by conveyancing technology experts GlobalX of more than 170 legal professionals found 81 per cent believe Australian property buyers do not understand the property settlement process.

GlobalX CEO Peter Maloney said that despite Australians’ obsession with the property sector, it was interesting that those entering the market people don’t go one step further to fully understand the entire process.

“As a country, we see property ownership as ‘the Australian dream’, but it seems those who dream about owning a home don’t recognise the importance of properly understanding the process,’ Mr Maloney said.

“Many buyers believe the steps involved in settling a property can be complicated, but this is not the case and buyers will benefit from taking the time to understand the process.

Mr Maloney said if buyers understood the process, they could ensure they conduct the proper due-diligence and have all the required documents in order to avoid unnecessary hold-ups.

“Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer or conveyancer to explain things to you more than once and ask plenty of questions,” he said.

Brisbane first home buyer Joel Binfield (pictured) said at first the property settlement process was very confusing.

“As someone who went through the process for the first time recently; you must do a lot of research in order to understand the processes involved for settlement,” Mr Binfield said.

“We were lucky enough to have a great solicitor on board who answered all of our questions.

“We were buying in Fortitude Valley and I had to make sure we were prepared for all of the necessary paperwork. It can make it even more stressful, because if we were missing even one document it could have set the whole process back.”

Belle Property New Farm Principal Ivo Kornel said many buyers felt overwhelmed by the paperwork and legal jargon involved in property settlements.

“There are some simple things that buyers should keep in mind when purchasing a property, such as arranging finance pre-approval as early as possible,” Mr Kornel said.

“If you set a clear budget from the beginning and stick to it, you’re not going to fall in love with a property that you can’t get finance for.”

“It’s also important to be familiar with the area that you are buying a property in; there’s a wealth of information online about issues such as zoning and flood risks that you should take advantage of.”

“Being well-informed about these issues means you won’t suffer from buyer’s remorse later.”

“Finally, don’t skip the ‘boring’ tasks on your checklist! Arranging pest inspections and checking the structural integrity of the property may be time-consuming, but it’s also absolutely necessary.”