Settlement day, the day you finally get to take hold of your new home. This is a big day for any homeowner and while it may seem like the end of a long process, there are still a few formalities that need to be completed before the keys are handed over.
On settlement day there are a number of steps that need to be completed in a specific order, much like a chain. If one step is missed or delayed, it can often delay the handover. The respective lawyers or conveyancers of each party will generally manage settlement day. However, it is always a good idea to understand exactly how the day will play out.
What happens on the day?
In order for the day to go smoothly, there are several steps that your lawyers will complete. Firstly, your lawyer will be responsible for successfully paying for the house. The balance will be transferred into a secure account managed by the seller’s own representatives. Once this is completed all parties will receive a receipt of the successful transaction.
While this usually occurs on settlement day, in some case, payment may be required a few days prior to account for any delays between banking institutions to ensure the balance is paid on settlement day.
Once the balance has been successfully transferred, you will be able to pick up the keys to your new home. Arrangements will be made between both parties to facilitate handover as soon as possible.
Lastly, all legal documentation, including land ownership titles, will be made available through your lawyer. This is the final step of a successful handover, thus making the house all yours.
What if there are delays?
In most cases, settlement day goes off without a hitch. However, be mindful that delays or issues may arise. If something does get in the way of the handover, your first point of contact should always be your lawyer or real estate agent. They will be able to explain what the issue is and the best course of action moving forward.
In the event of a delay, your lawyers will act on your behalf to negotiate a quick resolution. Issues can range from the small, such as a missing key, to the large, such as new water damage or missing documents.
If there are delays, the best thing to do is to remain calm and to trust your lawyer. It’s important to remember, they are experts and will understand what is required to ensure the house is yours, hopefully by the end of the day.
Making the move
Once you’ve received the keys and moved in, take a second to soak it all in. But, once you’ve relaxed a bit and have the basics set up. Make sure you take the time to understand your new community.
It’s always a good idea to visit your council’s website to find information regarding rubbish days, amenities in the area and other important information. Additionally, most communities now have social media accounts where members post upcoming events, community notices and other activities that may be going on. These will help you get a good understanding of your new community and a platform for you to become an active member.
It’s also a good idea to introduce yourself to your immediate neighbours. Not only is this a good way to become active in the community, but it is also good just in case of emergencies or for security purposes.
Settlement day is a huge milestone for all home buyers. If all goes well, you will be able to open the door on your new home by the end of the day. But remember, there are still a few crucial steps that need to be completed on the day. As a result, it’s important you understand the process fully and trust your representatives.
If you would like to discuss the processes around settlement day, do not hesitate to get in touch and our friendly and experienced team will be more than happy to have a chat.