How to prepare for settlement day

Buyers know how many weekends can be spent looking for the perfect property, and the relief that comes when finally, a purchase is made.

Between putting up your hand and opening the front door with your new keys in your new home, there’s one last step: settlement.

Start getting things underway early

Whether that’s packing, or signing documents, organising money to be transferred or booking a removalist. This tip alone will reduce most of your stress.

When should I do a final inspection before settlement?

If you’re the buyer of the property, we recommend doing a final inspection of the property before settlement. We suggest you inspect the property on the day of settlement. However, if you are not able to inspect the property on the day of settlement, then do the inspection as close to that day as possible. We do not recommend inspecting the property any earlier than three days before the settlement date.

How to arrange a final inspection before settlement?

The final inspection is organised by the real estate agent. We suggest you call the agent at least a week before the estimated date of settlement and organise a time to complete the final inspection with them. The agent or their assistant will attend the inspection with you.

What if there are issues before settlement?

Hopefully, this doesn’t happen but if it does, contact us immediately. Failure to inform us that there is a problem may result in settlement occurring without the issue being rectified, which means you are stuck with that issue. There is nothing we can do. So if there is something you’re not happy with, call us immediately. This is why the final inspection and a phone call to us are so important. And just a special note, do not rely on the agent to tell us. They are not obligated to highlight any issues you mention to them.

What is ‘good condition’?

This is a tricky question to answer. As a vendor, it is expected that you have the property looking like it was when the buyer first inspected it. As the buyer, make sure everything is working as it was at the time of exchange.

  • Are there any holes in the wall?
  • Are all the inclusions there?
  • Are you happy to take ownership in its current condition?

What if you don’t think it’s clean enough?

There is nothing in the contract that says the property must be professionally cleaned. Everyone has a different opinion of clean! The property only has to be in a condition that was presented at exchange.

If you are the vendor, it is actually to your advantage to have the property professionally cleaned as it gives you proof that the property was cleaned. 

We have received calls from buyers saying “The draws and cupboards are still dusty”. Unfortunately, we cannot hold up settlement because of dirty cupboards or windows. If you are unsure though, give us a call and we can tell you what you can and can’t do.

The final tip is for the seller (vendor)

If you’re the vendor, make sure you’re ready to move out! Settlement day means you must be out of the property prior to the settlement time. Do not leave moving to the last minute. We suggest, if it’s possible, to be out at least three hours before settlement.

When do you get the keys after settlement?

Ready to get started?

If you’re buyingselling or want to transfer a property, let us help you. We offer expert property law and conveyancing across Newcastle, Maitland, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Central Coast and NSW.

From contract review through to settlement, you’ll have complete confidence in our legal support, making the process of buying or selling a little easier.

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