Even the most experienced property investors can find settlement a bit of a hassle – and for new investors, the process can seem confusing or stressful. But settlement also signals the completion of a major achievement – when all your hard work pays off and you get to take ownership of a property, become a landlord and start earning rental income. To help you get there as easily as possible, we have created a series of settlement communications to help guide our investors through the process for off-the-plan property settlement.
IRONFISH CLIENT CARE
Fiona Lau is the Ironfish Head Office Client Care Manager and has been working within the customer care division for over 7 years.
“The Client Care team’s role is to help guide our investors through the settlement process. We are proud of our service – and feel it’s a real point of difference. Last year we successfully helped our investors settle over 1800 properties. This year we’ve expanded our Client Care team to help settle over 2500 properties,” said Fiona.
Client Care will contact investors from approximately six months prior to settlement and continue through to the 14-day settlement period, when the team will be busy working behind the scenes.
“We are continually working in the background to ensure a smooth settlement process. For example, your bank might be missing one piece of documentation that’s required from your solicitor – if you leave this to your bank to chase up – it may take 5 working days, but with us working for you we can help to cut down on the time required for providing the essential documentation. In the event that a solicitor is waiting for a document from the developer, then we will also chase up all required documents from the vendor side as well. All you need to manage is your own personal documentation, such as payslips, employment letter and bank statements. We can support you with the rest,” said Fiona.
FIONA’S CHECK-LIST FOR A SMOOTH SETTLEMENT PROCESS:
- Purchasing off-the-plan property has some unique features; once the development has received title registration and the occupancy certificate, they will call settlement and all purchasers will then need to settle within 14 days. Understand you have entered a legally binding contract and the vendor has the right to charge penalty interest for late settlement.
“We don’t want buyers to pay any additional fees or costs when they can easily be avoided with a bit of preparation. That’s why we work hard to provide our investors with as much information as possible, and leave enough time to prepare themselves.”
- Start your loan process approximately 3 – 4 months prior to settlement. But you also need to be careful not to submit a loan application too early, as loan approval only has a 3-month validity period.
“Based on our experience it takes 8 – 12 weeks for a buyer’s loan from submission to settlement – even for a local buyer. The approval process is longer and assessment criteria is higher than it was two years ago, so it’s important to make sure your finance is ready. Since we all understand that lending policies have changed in the current environment, with a higher requirement for serviceability, we can always recommend an experienced mortgage broker to help investors asses their financial situation and apply the right financial strategies. Early identification of all these strategies helps our investors proceed to settlement.”
- Check your email regularly and update us if your contact details change. We will pass on these details to the property developer and the solicitors.
“Prior to settlement, Ironfish will provide investors with a series of communications via email and SMS, including a list of tasks to action in anticipation of settlement. This will include reminders around finance, property management, arranging a pre-settlement inspection and even arranging window furnishings, which you will need to do before you can lease out the property. So, don’t forget to check any email updates from us.”
We understand that settlement can present challenges at times, which is why we are here to assist our customers through this process and throughout their investment journey. Ultimately, settling a property and holding long-term will be the key to your success as a property investor.
OUR CLIENT CARE SETTLEMENT TIMELINE:
If you are settling a property soon and have any questions, please feel free to contact our Client Care team at your local Ironfish branch office.
If you are interested in learning more about our properties or for a copy of our latest research reports / property investment guides, please contact your local Ironfish Strategist.