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 gets to work
As soon as you hand over a signed contract to the vendor, the process of settlement begins and marks kick-off time for your legal team to:
- ensure there are no ‘encumbrances’ over the property (like, say, a second mortgage)
- complete title searches to check the current title deeds accurately reflect the owner’s details
- prepare several key documents 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
- calculate and confirm the rates and taxes outstanding as at the date of settlement and determine which portion should be paid by the vendor (your solicitor will usually arrange for your lender to deliver the cheques to pay for the property on settlement date).
Your broker gets to work
Those 6 – 8 weeks between buying a home and moving in is also a busy time for your mortgage broker. It’s when we make sure all your documents are in order for settlement.
We will liaise with your chosen lender to secure you the best rate and make sure your loan application is submitted and formally approved before your settlement date. We will also spend some time discussing how to structure your loan to suit your lifestyle.
Our job is to take the stress out of obtaining finance for your property, so that the only thing you need to worry about is moving into your new place.
If you don’t have finance in place, but you’re ready to start looking, it’s important we talk as soon as possible!
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’re 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.