1. Familiarise yourself with settlement
This formal process is typically handled between the buyer’s legal and financial representatives and their counterparts from the seller. It is when ownership is transferred from seller to buyer, and the balance of the sale price is paid by the buyer.
The settlement date in the contract sale is set by the seller. The property settlement period is generally 28 to 42 days but you can request to shorten the period if it is agreed to by the seller.
2. Organise your final inspection
As the buyer, you have the right to arrange an inspection to be performed on the property at any reasonable time during the week prior to settlement. You can set the inspection through your agent.
The property must be in the same condition as when it was sold when it is finally handed over by the seller to the buyer. Make sure all items noted in the contract are there and in the same condition.
3. Arrange for insurance
You will be advised by your lender to organise building and contents insurance. Doing this will protect your lender’s interest, and yours too.
4. Know your outgoings
Settlement is the time when you and the seller adjust all outgoings, such as rates and other charges. Rates up to and including the day of settlement is the responsibility of the seller. The buyer’s responsibility begins starting the day following the settlement. Paying for stamp duty on the sale is also the responsibility of the buyer.
5. Get the keys
You can get the keys from the agent following the completion of the settlement and once they have received an 'order on the agent' to release the keys. Tis can take up to around an hour after settlement occurred. Be mindful of this as it may affect your removalist if you are moving the same day and they charge by the hour.