You’ve been looking for months, attended auction after auction and finally secured a winning bid on your dream property.
Between the celebrations you try to wrap your head around everything you need to organise – insurance, removalists, conveyancing – the list seems endless.
Before you’ve had a chance to catch your breath it’s settlement day.
If you’re feeling less than settled at this point, you’re not alone. Home buyers can be prone to assume the worst until the keys are securely in their hands. Don’t let settlement day send you into a spin. With a little understanding, and some preparation, you’ll be unpacking boxes and feng shui-ing your lounge room in no time.
What is settlement?
Settlement is the official process conducted between the legal and financial representatives of both you and the seller. Settlement day happens on a time and place agreed upon by both parties. Your settlement agent (solicitor or conveyancer) and your lender meet the seller’s representatives. Once all documents are signed by both parties, they are sent to the titles office to register you as the new owner of the property.
What happens on settlement day?
All the documentation is organised well before the settlement date. The conveyancer will provide you with a settlement statement, so you will know exactly the amount needed for settlement, especially if you are to be transferring some of the funds prior to the date.
You don’t actually need to be present on settlement day as your representatives can take care of all documentation and financials Probably two weeks out from settlement the conveyancer will finalise the figures in relation to council and water rates.
Most of the work you will need to do is to pack, clean your current home and arrange utility connection/disconnection. Don’t forget that there are companies that can do these connections for you with one form – perhaps worth a look into.
You’ll also have the opportunity to do one final inspection of the property before settlement day. If you can’t do it yourself, or don’t feel confident that you’ll know what to look for, you can hire a professional to conduct the inspection for you. The point of the final inspection is to ensure the house is in the same condition as it was when sold. The final inspection is a chance to check everything is in working order.
Make sure your conveyancer and mortgage broker had absolutely everything they need as this is the number 1 hold up for settlements. Be prepared and return all documents/paperwork immediately!
How do you prepare for settlement?
And then the best bit is being told, congratulations – your keys are ready to be collected!
After settlement your lender will draw down your loan – debiting the amount they’ve paid at settlement from your loan account. Your conveyancer will send a final reporting letter after settlement, informing them that settlement was completed and the money was received on their behalf. They also write to the authorities advising them of the change in ownership. Where there is a bank involved, the bank will report a breakdown of the loan distributions.
What happens after settlement?
There’s not much to do then but enjoy your new home.
And Then What?
Once you’ve got the keys, you’re in, can unpack and enjoy your new home.
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