Sort out paperwork
Once the settlement period begins, your conveyancer will assemble a some forms for you to read and sign. 'Identification of encumbrances', 'Transfer of land', 'Stamp duty' – the list is pretty extensive.
To remove the mortgage on your home, use our checklist to help you complete our mortgage discharge authority form. It also allows your representatives to attend the settlement and hand over the title to the purchaser’s solicitor. The process can take up to 15 days to arrange with all parties and finalise. If there are any delays to the settlement, you might have to pay extra costs.
A few things your conveyancer will do
- go over the contract to make sure it's accurate and reasonable
- get the cheques ready and arrange for the lender’s representative to be present on settlement day
- make sure existing mortgages on the property are paid off
- make sure measurements/boundaries correspond with the 'Certificate of Title'.
Organise the final inspection
Your buyer will probably check out the house one final time during the settlement period. This typically happens in the week before settlement day and gets arranged by the seller's agent.
On top of getting things spick and span for the new owners, go the extra mile by leaving behind manuals for appliances, listing paint colours for the walls/trimmings and passing on any other tips to help keep the house as beautiful as you left it.
Lastly, seeing as you need to hand over the property in the same condition as when it was sold, make sure your home insurance is in place until settlement day. You don’t want to be caught out if any major home repairs are suddenly needed.
Want to feel confident on the finance and formalities front? Follow these key tips.
- Sort out additional costs: You’ll need to make other payments on the day unrelated to the sale price, like final conveyancing fees and council rates.
- Have a document-signing lock-in: Got a stack of forms to get through? Grab some takeout, put on some easy tunes and devote one night to getting them done.
- Tend to important admin: Redirect your mail, switch over utilities and change your billing address to keep your money moving with you.
Planning the move
You’ll have to vacate prior to settlement day unless another arrangement has been negotiated. Buyers are generally keen to get in the day after settlement, so you'll want everything ready to go the day before. This one-day buffer will give you just enough time to get things done without having to waste money on interim storage and accommodation.
For a (mostly) hassle-free move, follow these key tips.
- Give the removalists your floor plan/parking tips: This will help them unload everything in the right place, saving you the hassle later.
- Get ruthless with throwing things away: You probably should've done a declutter years ago, but it's never too late – and a move's the perfect opportunity.
- Have a surplus of packing supplies at the ready: A last-minute run to the shops for tape and boxes is only going to frustrate you and interrupt the moving flow.
- Label everything clearly and descriptively: Don't assume you'll remember where everything is. Utilise handy tips, like taping nails and screws to furniture.
- Pack an overnight/worst case scenario bag: Chargers, laptops, toiletries – even a celebratory drink. Avoid being put out if you need to shack up elsewhere for a short time.
More than money – saying goodbye to your home
A lot of memories and love exist between the walls of your soon-to-be old home, so make sure you celebrate them before you move. Do your best to get the family together one last time. Reliving the best moments where they happened is a great way to feel at peace with moving on.