October 3, 2020
Willie Gunn
All Blogs

What do You Have to do on Settlement Day?

Recently we were asked by a client buying a new home what they had to do on settlement day. The short answer is pretty much nothing! But it helps to know all the wheels that are spinning behind the scenes so the transition to your new home is smooth.

If you have gone unconditional and have signed the loan documentation then most of the hard yards have already been done by yourself and your professionals. Your lawyer and the bank still have work to do, but you can just sit back and start planning your house warming party (if they’re still a thing these days).

Settlement day is the day that all final payments are made, and you officially become the owner of the property. This usually happens around midday, but can take till 4pm. Your lawyer will let the real estate agent know, who will then contact you with the good news. The only real effort you have to put in to this day is to go and collect the keys from the agent!

While your lawyer would no doubt have already done an amazing job walking you through the last steps until settlement (including organising a pre-settlement inspection, sorting out the relevant utilities, reminding you to book the moving company for the day after the settlement date etc), here are a couple more pro tips to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t forget to get a photo of yourself next to the For Sale sign. These signs tend to spring up and disappear out of the blue—you won’t want to miss this memory!
  2. Treat yourself to a professional spring clean. If you are moving into a previously owned property (or a new build with signs of construction work), then it has probably had many years of good use. You may not want to spend the first week in your new home cleaning those years of good use yourself.

And a couple of post-settlement tips for good measure:

  1. Don’t rush into making changes or buying all new furniture at once. We admit, this one will depend on your personality type; however, you may find that a little patience in this department reaps huge benefits. It could be that after a while living in your new home, you realise that you aren’t using it how you thought you would. My partner and I spent hundreds of dollars on new curtains and blinds to then realise that we wanted to get rid of some windows and reduce the size of others. We now have a gold mine of almost new blinds gathering dust under a bed.
  2. If you’ve had a builder’s report done prior to purchase, you can use that as a maintenance guide for the house and surrounding property. This works surprisingly well.
  3. Find toby! Your water toby is the valve that allows the mains water to be closed off. Find it, clean it of spiders and cobwebs, and make sure it turns easily. And do all this before you actually need to close the water off to your property. You’ll thank me one day.

Willie Gunn is a Client Service Manager with Velocity Financial.

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