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Sold! What happens next?

You've bought a home. Here’s what happens between now and when you get the keys.

You've bought a home. Here's what happens between now and when you get the keys.

You've had that rush of adrenaline as you sign the contract; exchanged copies with the vendor; and shaken hands with the listing agent. What's left is a 6-8 week waiting game as exchange turns into settlement, and there's plenty to keep you busy.

Your legal team get to work

As soon as you hand over a signed contract to the vendor, the process of settlement begins. It marks kick-off time for your conveyancer or solicitor, who will start by ensuring there are no ‘encumbrances' over the property (like, say, a second mortgage) that could compromise your ownership rights.

Your legal rep will also complete title searches to check the current title deeds accurately reflect the owner's details. Several key documents will be prepared on your behalf to notify the revenue office and land titles office in your state/territory so that a change of title (ownership) can be formalised.

Last but not least, your legal team will calculate and confirm the rates and taxes outstanding as at the date of settlement and determine which portion should be paid by the vendor, with the remainder payable by you. Your solicitor will usually arrange for your lender to deliver the cheques to pay for the property on settlement date.

A busy time for the buyer

Settlement can be a lot less stressful if you have organised home loan pre-approval and this is something your Mortgage Choice broker can assist with.

If you don't have finance in place, it's important to contact your Mortgage Choice home loan expert as soon as possible.

In the typical 6-week settlement period time is tight, and your Mortgage Choice broker can help you decide the loan suited best suited to your needs in a single meeting, and take care of the loan application process while you focus on other tasks.

Organising the move

With finance taken care of, you have plenty of work ahead to arrange a move including hiring removalists, notifying utility providers and redirecting mail as well as formally notifying your financial institutions of your change of address (don't forget your super fund!).

Closer to settlement date you are usually entitled to a final pre-purchase inspection of the home. Don't be surprised if the place looks different to how you remember it. It's not uncommon especially if you've viewed a large number of homes.

This can also be the moment when the wisdom of having your legal rep review the contract prior to exchange can pay off. All the fittings and fixtures noted as part of the sale should be in place.

From here, you're just a stone's throw away from being handed the keys to your new home, and enjoying all that it offers.

For more information on what happens between exchange and settlement, speak with your Mortgage Choice broker.

Posted in: Property market

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