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Settle and move in

Getting ready for settlement day

You’re offer is unconditional now, that’s great! Now let’s look ahead to settlement day and make sure you have all the checks and balances tidied up so everything can go ahead smoothly on the day. Here are some things to remember in the leadup to this milestone. Some may find it helpful to take time off work to finalise the paperwork and move.

Finalise your loan structure and interest rates

If you’re borrowing money to finance the purchase, now’s the time to finalise your home loan structure and lock in an interest rate if that’s what you’d like to do. See our previous guides to get a better understanding of the different types of home loan and interest rates.

Complete the paperwork for your KiwiSaver withdrawal or First Home Grant

If you are relying on your KiwiSaver savings or First Home grant to fund part of your purchase. Now’s the time to get the paperwork underway and submitted. See our guide on using KiwiSaver or Kāinga Ora grants for your purchase in the Useful Links tab below.

Loan Documentation to lawyer

Once you’ve decided on your loan structure, your broker will confirm it with the lender who will prepare the loan documents and send it to your lawyer. This will normally include the home loan contract, terms and conditions of the loan, mortgage instructions to secure the loan, and any guarantees involved. Once your lawyer receives the documentation, they should get in touch with you to make sure all the terms are as you expect.

You will need to book in a time to see your lawyer to sign these documents.

You will also need to make sure that you transfer the final payment amount (not borrowed from a bank) is in your lawyer’s trust account before settlement day.

Pre-settlement inspection

A pre-settlement inspection lets you check the property and chattels are in the same condition they were in when you agreed to buy the property. Note that this is not to uncover any problems that existed when you signed the agreement.

When can the inspection happen?

The pre-settlement inspection should happen at least 2 days before settlement day. This would allow the seller time to address any issues that you may pick up.

What to look for in pre-settlement inspection?

  • If the seller has agreed to complete any maintenance on the property before settlement, check that this has been done
  • Check with the agent that all the keys, garage remotes and alarm codes will be available to you
  • Check that all the fixtures, fittings and listed chattels are there and are in working order (unless otherwise agreed to)
  • Check that the overall property and chattels are in the same condition as when you signed the Sale & Purchase agreement

What happens if I find an issue during the pre-settlement inspection?

If you find any damage that wasn’t there when you signed the sale and purchase agreement, or any fittings or chattels are missing, get in touch with your lawyer immediately. They will let you know what your options are and can negotiate with the seller’s lawyer to rectify the situation.

The seller might decide to repair the damage immediately or may reduce the sale price by the cost of fixing the issue. This is why it is important to complete the pre-settlement inspection at least 2 days before settlement; to allow time for any unexpected negotiations to take place.

Insurances

Full house insurance is usually a condition of the property finance and needs to be sorted prior to settlement day with provide proof of this insurance to your lawyer. The bank will most likely need to have them recorded on the policy as the interested party.

What else do I need to do before settlement day?

  • Organise services such as internet, electricity and phone. Sometimes these take time to transfer account information across from your existing property.
  • Book time off work for your move if you need
  • Plan your move for the day after settlement if possible in case you don’t get the keys until late in the day
  • As mentioned above, the seller is not obliged to clean the property, so you may want to allow time to clean your new home before you move in
  • Update your address with your contents insurance provider and double check that you’re still covered during your move.

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