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Settle and move in

What happens on settlement day?

What should you expect from settlement day and how can you prepare so that everything runs smoothly? We explain it all below.

What happens on the day?

1. Your lawyer pays the balance for the property on your behalf

Certain things need to happen on settlement day between your lawyer, the seller’s lawyer and your bank or lender.

If you’ve signed all the documents with your lawyer before this day, then there’s not much for you to do on the formal side of things. Your lawyer will let you know once the bank has sent them the money, and then when your lawyer has sent the balance of the purchase price to the sellers lawyer.

Your lawyer will also make sure to update the property records to show that you now own the property.

2. Receiving the keys

Once all the payments have been made, then you can pick up your keys! This is normally from the real estate agent; but you will be advised if this is not the case.

3. Documentation

After settlement has happened, your lawyer will send (either via email and/or in the post) you a copy of all the documentation from the sale, from home loan documentation, to documents from the sellers lawyer confirming transfer of the properties ownership to you.

Can I move in on Settlement Day?

Yes, you can! You now own the property, and you’ve got the keys to prove it. However, it can be a good idea to plan to move in the day after settlement day. You may find that you don’t settle until late in the day, so you might not be able to move much on the actual day.

Can things go wrong on settlement day?

Most settlements run smoothly, and by the end of the day you do own a new property. Unfortunately however, things can go wrong. Your lawyer is the first person to call if there are any issues. A variety of things could slow things up on settlement day, including:

  • Slow processing at the bank: Sometimes the bank is having a busy day processing lots of transactions, which would delay the bank sending their money to your lawyer to send to the vendors lawyer.

  • Damages to the property: Annoyingly, this can happen. Whatever it may be, your lawyer will work with the sellers lawyer to come to a solution.

If you and your lawyers have done as best as you can to tick all the boxes, hopefully things run smoothly on settlement day and you’ll be in your new house on time.

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