Ready to settle? Six things to do before signing on the dotted line

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest commitments you will ever make. Fortunately, there is an agreed amount of time between making a decision to purchase your home, and signing on the dotted line. This is to make sure both parties are happy with the sale, and finances are in order.

Here are some things to think about before settlement date.

1. Organise your finances

Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to use the settlement period to finalise your mortgage. Your pre-approval for a mortgage is not final. You now need to gather your paperwork, and seal the deal with your broker or lender. Your solicitor or conveyancer will work out exactly what funds will be required on the settlement date, so make sure your broker or lender is kept in the loop.

2. Arrange documentation

Make sure you have organised and completed all necessary documentation before the settlement date. Documents will include the Stamp Duty application, Identification of Certification of Title and Identification of Encumbrances. Talk with your broker or conveyancer to ensure you have completed the documentation correctly.

3. Inspect the property

Building and pest inspections are arranged during the settlement period. This is to ensure the property is sound, and gives you the chance to negotiate on the agreed price, if unexpected costs arise. Your conveyancer and real estate agent will also help you work out inclusions and exclusions; that is, things to be left on the property, and things to be removed. Inclusions and exclusions might include air conditioner, ceiling fans, dishwasher and washing line.

Before the settlement date, you need a final inspection to ensure the property is in good order. Bring the contract with you, because you need to check inclusions are there, and exclusions have been removed. Check that any inclusions actually work.

It’s good to arrange the inspection during the daytime so you can do a thorough check.

4. Organise insurance

You need to organise household insurance before settlement. This might be household only, or may include home and contents. Check premiums and payment options. Your mortgage broker might be able to help you or refer you to a specialised insurance broker to arrange the type of cover that suits your needs.

5. Organise removalists

When you know the settlement date, you can start organising removalists. Source quotes, and references before deciding who to use, and check their availability.

6. Keys and security passes

The keys to your new home are yours as soon as the settlement is complete. Find out where keys are located, and when you can collect. Ensure you know security codes, if there are any. You might also need to collect gate or garage door buzzers.

Then all you have to do is put the champagne on ice!