Tips for a Stress-Free Settlement Day

After months of planning, sorting out documents, and performing all the logistics involved, settlement day is the day you’ve been waiting for. It represents reaching the end of the home-buying journey and finally getting the keys to your new home. While this is an exciting time for everyone, that doesn’t mean all will go according to plan leading up to this point.

Here at HomeLegal, we want to make the home-buying process as easy as possible, especially for the first-home buyer. Here’s a list of tips for a successful, stress-free settlement day:

1. Be prepared to see your lawyer at relatively short notice

Sometimes, the loan documents and mortgage instructions from your bank are delivered to your lawyer with plenty of time to spare before you move, whereas other times for various reasons they might only arrive a couple of days (or even on the day!) beforehand. You will need to be flexible to ensure that the documents can be signed and returned to the bank as soon as possible.

2. Make sure that your lawyer has all the documents they have requested

On settlement day, your lawyer will be working with the seller’s lawyer and your bank or lender to sort out payments and the transfer of ownership. Therefore, it’s crucial that your lawyer has all the relevant, signed documents – such as loan documents, certificate of insurance and anything which may be required – to avoid any unnecessary delays.

3. Ensure that all of the information on the bank’s documents is correct

There’s a chance your bank will also have many other transactions the same day as your settlement. If anything needs to be amended in your documents, this could lead to delays and your paperwork being sent to the back of a queue.

Additionally, it’s important to make sure that your bank has all of the information it needs from you – such as your witnessed ID or account opening information – to streamline the process.

4. Complete your pre-settlement inspection several days before settlement

You should arrange to inspect the property before settlement day – if possible, several days before. If your inspection is completed the day before settlement, this can easily cause delays – there’s always a chance that aspects of the property may need discussing, such as a faulty oven or left behind chattels.

5. Ensure all your personal contributions are ready

Your personal contribution required to complete settlement (shortfall between bank lending, KiwiSaver and HomeStart funds) should be in your lawyer’s trust account as cleared funds on the morning of settlement or before to make sure this doesn’t hold up settlement.

6. Organise utilities on the property

Make sure to give yourself enough time to sort out utilities such as electricity, gas, and water in your new home. Not only that, scheduling a spring clean, such as carpet cleaning, will also be easier to do in an empty home.

7. Be patient

The purchase is most likely to settle around midday or the early afternoon, so you should probably not make plans to be on the property at 9:00 a.m.

To be safe, you can also organise movers for the day after settlement day to avoid any further stress. Once all the documentation and payments are completed, you can collect the keys and finally celebrate!

Let us help you get the keys to your new home!

If you’re thinking of buying a house, the property lawyers here at HomeLegal can give you professional legal advice and provide easy, accessible assistance throughout the entire process.

Contact the HomeLegal team for all your property conveyancing needs or ring us on 0508 HOMELEGAL today.