How to prepare for settlement day

How to prepare for settlement day

October 12, 2017 | by DiJones

Buyers and vendors often feel far from settled as settlement day approaches. Removalists, cleaners, documents, loans – there’s so much to organise, and it’s hard to know where to begin.

But with a little preparation and forethought, you can take the stress out of settling, leaving yourself ready to enjoy your new home.

What is settlement day?

The word settlement describes the process of exchanging financial and legal documentation to transfer the property from the first owner to the next.

It usually takes place about six weeks after contracts are exchanged (the exact amount of time is specified in the contract). The solicitors or licensed conveyancers of both parties meet with representatives from the respective banks and exchanges the documents and cheques necessary to transfer the property (increasingly this happens electronically rather than face-to-face).

It’s a big day for buyers and sellers alike, as it marks the date on which the property officially changes hands.

What do you need to organise?

The legal and financial documentation must all be ready for settlement day. Collecting the necessary documents is best done with the help of a solicitor or licensed conveyancer.

If a bank is involved in purchasing the property, the shortfall must be made up on the day. If the settlement day for buyers’ current home is the same as the day for their new home, some buyers worry that the funds will not “clear” in time.

However, because the documentation is usually prepared weeks in advance, this is not usually an issue. If their solicitor and bank are on top of everything, buyers and vendors are often surprised by how smoothly everything goes on settlement day.

What about the practical side?

The practical side of settlement can sometimes be the biggest thing to organise. Vendors need to book removalists, cleaners, and in some cases, pest control or gardeners. Buyers often need to vacate their previous property.

Packing is always more time consuming than you expect, so get started early, packing less frequently-used items such as books, pictures, and keepsakes before you begin clearing each room at a time.

There’s also the practical need to be present at the property to allow access for cleaners, oversee removalists and other contractors, and for the more sentimental among us, to say goodbye to our old home.

Do I need to be there?

Buyers and vendors don’t actually need to be present on settlement day if they are using financial and legal representatives. However, some like to be present for their own reasons.

If you’re prepared and have done your homework, the day should be a breeze.

DiJones Real Estate, together with their directors, officers, employees and agents have used their best endeavours to ensure the information passed on in this document is accurate. However, you must make your own enquiries in relation to the information contained in this document and seek advice from your financial advisor, broker or accountant to ascertain its application to your circumstances.
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