Settlement DayFor a start, you won’t actually be there when the final deal is done. The legal and financial representatives of both parties take care of this. They get together at an agreed time and after checking that everything is in order will collect their respective documents or cheques and declare the matter ‘settled’. This is when the balance of the purchase price is paid to the seller in exchange for the title of the property.
In some instances, your solicitor or conveyancer may have asked that you carry out a pre-settlement inspection of the property to make absolutely certain it’s in the same condition as when you last inspected it. You may also wish to ensure that all of the agreed inclusions have been left behind for you.
Settlement usually occurs between 30 and 90 days from the signing of the contract but this period can be adjusted if the two parties agree to do so. At settlement, all house related charges – including rates – will be adjusted between you and the seller.
These are your responsibility from the day after settlement. Once you’re notified that settlement has been completed you can race around to the real estate agent, collect the keys and go open the front door of your property.
Walk around your new property looking in every room and know that it belongs to you which is a very special feeling.
Moving list• Prepare a floor plan of your new house to help plan where you need things placed and ensure everything will fit
• If you have items that won’t fit into your new home, will you need storage?
• Are there any alterations planned for your new house prior to moving in? If yes, finalise before moving day
• Look at your present furniture an arrange to sell items that won’t be required in your new house, perhaps through a garage sale
• Organise the delivery of boxes from your removalist so you can do your own packing
• Organise proper equipment such as tape, labels, marking pens etc
• Make arrangements to have pets looked after for at least two days before you move
• Make a list of things to do on moving day
When packing• Label every carton by room identification
• Keep a separate list of the contents for your own reference. Make sure all items are on your inventory, and each box is numbered and matches your inventory
• Drain the fuel from your lawnmower
• Defrost and clean out your fridge and freezer. Wiping the inside surface with vanilla essence will prevent any build-up of mildew or nasty smells
Moving day• Walk around the house with the removalist to show them exactly what you want done
• Show them what you’ll want as soon as you arrive at the new house. They can pack these items last
• Pack yourself a survival kit with toiletries, tea, coffee, milk and other drinks, personal items, first aid kit, spare clothing, tea towels and other dish-washing equipment
• Place all items you’re transporting by yourself securely in your car boot out of sight
Make a final check of all cupboards, cabinets and storage areas to make sure nothing has been left behind
In your new home• Determine how heavy furniture will be organised in advance and show removalists where it should be placed. It may be difficult to rearrange heavy items once they’ve gone
• If your goods are coming from storage, interstate or overseas, check the inventory carefully and sign off on it once you’re satisfied all items on the list are accounted for
• Locate all keys to your new house
• If you’re concerned about security, arrange to have all the locks changed
Advice courtesy of Australian Furniture Removers Association.
Choosing a removalist• Shop around and compare quotes
• Ask what’s included in the price and what isn’t (eg. packing and unpacking)
• Is the removalist a member of the Australian Furniture Removalist Association and do they have a professional history in the industry?
• Where is the journey deemed to start and end?
• Ask what forms of payments are accepted. Some companies want cash only and won’t unload your furniture until payment is received
• Ask if there’s extra cost involved if there are any delays on the day. Companies may charge you additional fees for overnight storage
• Get the contact details of a senior officer who can help, just in case problems occur on the day
• Recommend ‘On the Move’ who organise all your moving arrangements include disconnect and reconnecting of your services. This is a free service.
Advice courtesy of the Queensland Government’s Home Buyer’s Guide
Other arrangementsArrangements to have services transferred or cancelled
• Post office to have all your mail redirected
• Cancel newspapers and delivers to your new house
• Connecting internet
• Cable television
or simply visit www.connectnow.com.au and they will arrange for transfer of services FREE of charge!
Notify your new address to• Your family and friends
• Your doctor
• The Department of Motor Transport
• The Electoral Registrar
• You Superannuation Fund
• The children’s school
• Your health fund
• your bank/building society
• your accountant
Information from Australian Property Investor April 2008 issue.