First of all, congratulations on the sale!
Next, you should hire a solicitor or conveyancer who understands real estate law on the Gold Coast to assist with the settlement process.
The biggest steps, of course, will come nearer the settlement date—the day your property officially changes ownership. You’ll be very busy packing and moving your possessions, cleaning the house thoroughly and moving out before the settlement date and time.
There are, however, a number of things you will need to do between now and the settlement date. Speak to your real estate agent who should be able to answer all your questions. In the meantime, we have provided some basic settlement tips to get you started.
Condition of your home
This may sound obvious, but it’s very important to make sure you leave your house in the same condition it was in when you accepted the offer to purchase. Your buyer may request a pre-settlement inspection a day or two before the settlement date, so don’t break anything or attempt to remove items such as lighting fixtures or other items that were included in the contract of sale as fixtures or agreed items.
You may also have to begin repairs to meet any outstanding conditions resulted from a building and pest inspection. Most of the time these conditions need to be met before the settlement date.
As mentioned earlier, you will need a solicitor who is well versed in real estate law to assist with completing your property transaction. We recommend appointing a solicitor to look over the legal paperwork early in the process. Your solicitor will request all the appropriate documents, including the deed to the property, mortgage papers and current utility bills.
Real estate agent commissions and most other expenses are usually paid by the seller from the sale proceeds, so make sure you sit down with your solicitor to review all legal fees, commissions and other settlement costs. It’s important you understand the documentation to avoid delays at settlement time.
Prior to settlement, your solicitor will ask you to sign the property transfer documents and mortgage discharge papers and hand over a complete set of keys to your property. Your real estate agent will sometimes hold the keys until your solicitor confirms settlement has been obtained. The documents and keys will be passed on to the buyer’s lawyer at settlement.
At Real Estate Real Easy, we recommend ensuring you don’t have to pay for any future property-related expenses after you have moved out. Make sure you get your electricity, gas and water providers to read your home’s meters on settlement day and close your accounts.