handing over keys

5 ways to make settlement day stress-free

How can you stop yourself from biting your nails to the quick on the day the vendor hands over the keys? Here are 5 tips to make your settlement day go smoothly.

Tip 1: Get a great Conveyancer or Solicitor

Property settlement is the legal process of transferring ownership of a property. In order to make it go as sweetly as possible, you should engage the services of a reputable conveyancing solicitor well ahead of time and ask them to explain the regulations and procedures required by the government in your state.

If you don’t have a Conveyancer or Solicitor in mind, feel free to ask us for our preferred Conveyancer or Solicitor. These two firms have both proven themselves time and time again how important it is that a Finance Broker and themselves need to work together in clear and prompt communication in order to make the legal process run smoothly.

During the settlement process, your Conveyancing Solicitor will complete the following tasks:

  • Inspect the contract of sale and ensure enough time has been allowed between the finance approval date and settlement date to complete the paperwork.
  • Prepare the documentation you need to sign – transfer of ownership, transfer of land, stamp duty application, authority to proceed, etc.
  • Ensure that all the paperwork is correctly completed, verified and filed by both parties.
  • Check that any existing debts or mortgages against the property are paid off.
  • Perform a title search and check everything is correct with the certificate of title for the property.
  • Register the transaction with all of the appropriate authorities.
  • Help us to co-ordinate the necessary lender property valuation required before we can get your final finance approval.
  • Work with us to ensure the cheques are ready on the day and the lender and other interested parties are present at the exchange.

Tip 2: Check the details in your contract of sale carefully

The contract of sale you sign when you agree to purchase the property is a wealth of information and very important to settlement day. It’s a good idea to get your conveyancing solicitor to check it before you sign or put down your deposit o that you are sure it provides all of the required information.

Your contract of sale should outline all of the conditions of the sale, what is included in the sale, what actions are required to complete the sale, the schedule for completing these actions and who is responsible for completing them. If you show your contract of sale to your conveyancing solicitor before you sign it, you can ask questions about anything you don’t understand.

Tip 3: Get your finance in place before you sign a contract of sale

During busy periods, it can take several weeks for a home loan to be approved by some lenders. If you don’t want to limit your choices to the few lenders who are able to get your loan through according to the timing on your contract of sale, then it’s a good idea to talk with us and check the turnaround time a lender will need to process your loan before you sign a contract of sale, so you can make sure it allows enough time.

In addition, it’s always best to have a preapproval in place well before you sign a contract of sale.

Tip 4: Get insurance and do a property inspection

A lot can happen to a property in the time between signing the contract of sale and collecting the keys. It is likely the property will be vacant during this time and to ensure there are no break-ins, thefts, storm damage or worse, you should include a clause in the contract of sale allowing you to inspect the property just prior to settlement day to see for yourself that everything is still in good order.

To make sure you’re fully covered for any insurable event, it is also a good idea to take out insurance on the property when you sign the contract of sale. It is not a good idea to trust the vendor to keep the property fully insured until settlement day. Insuring it yourself could save you money and trouble if something should go wrong. So, don’t forget to ask us if you need help organising some cover.

Tip # 5: Set your moving date a few days after settlement day

Delays can happen on settlement day, no matter how carefully you plan. People can miss meetings or take the day off sick, cheques can be held up, even the weather has been known to throw up unexpected obstacles to make completion impossible on the set date.

We recommend that on settlement day, you find a relaxing place to wait for the news that settlement has been successfully completed and to receive the keys. If you plan to move into your dream home a day or two later, you’ll have the time to sit back and enjoy the experience of becoming a new home owner before you need to do the heavy lifting required to actually get your stuff in there and start living happily ever after.

As your Finance Broker, we’re here to help you make sure that you can complete the purchase of your new home with as little hassle and stress as possible. Ask us help to help you get preapproval on your home loan, and if you need a referral to a good Conveyancer, we’ll be happy to help you there too.

If you haven’t already, click on any of the below links to download your FREE E-Book or email us instead and we’ll send it to you within 24 hours.

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About the author

Matt Carra

Matt Carra

Matt Carra is the Owner of Blue Key Finance, a Finance Broker since 2004, an SMSF Lending Specialist, a Property Investment Educator, and a Mentor to new Finance Brokers entering the finance industry. Matt is passionate about providing valuable guidance and honest advice, educating Australians on how to buy their first homes and invest successfully while protecting them with knowledge. Matt has strong long-term relationships with his panel of lenders and extensive knowledge on their credit policies, and utilises that skillset to give you peace of mind by recommending you to the right lender the first time, to negotiate a better deal, and to fight for your cause – that’s Matt’s commitment to you. Contact Matt today to start the conversation on 0425 726 538 or email matt.carra@bluekeyfinance.com.au

1 reply
  1. Matt Carra
    Matt Carra says:

    Thank you Roger for your comment and taking the time to read this important article of ours. I’m glad you support our advice in regards to carefully perusing all the contents of a contract of sale.


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