Newcastle Living Magazine

Edition 9

Navigating The Settlement Process

Buying and selling property is one of the most exciting times in a person’s life. However, it’s easy to get swept up in the process and overlook crucial aspects that can appear at the most inconvenient times.

What happens once the deal is struck, contracts have been signed, and the settlement date is fast approaching? For many, this is uncharted territory. Your conveyancer will successfully navigate this for you. Keeping this in mind, here are some important tips to avoid last minute issues through the process. 


Be clear about your responsibilities
Your job as the seller is to completely vacate the property, which means removing all belongings and leaving the property in the same condition as when contracts were signed and exchanged. Purchasers are entitled to a final inspection, usually the day before or the morning of settlement.

Be thorough and precise
When instructing your conveyancer to prepare the contract, consider the small details. Clarity from the outset can avoid issues on the morning of settlement and help things run as smoothly as possible. Consider if anything is mounted on the walls and the removal will leave holes or if there are items you’re taking that a buyer might have assumed are remaining.

Cancel any house related direct debits or automatic payments
Don’t make any payments to the council and water authorities within five days of settlement. Provide your account details to your conveyancer for surplus funds. Keep your building insurance until settlement has been completed. Stop any loan repayments about two weeks before settlement (as your lender will be calculating your final loan payout figure as you get closer to settlement). 

Navigating The Settlement Process


The big one – money 
Your conveyancer will advise you of the total funds needed to settle, including stamp duty, fees and adjustments. Are you contributing any funds towards settlement? If so, are the funds in an account accessible by your lender? You should discuss this with your conveyancer with ample time to arrange for the transfer of funds to avoid delays. 

The boring bits 
Your conveyancer will notify the relevant council, water authority, and, if applicable, strata manager of your purchase, but you will need to arrange for connections with other services such as electricity, gas, and internet. Changing external locks is a good idea as you have no way of knowing how many copies of keys have been made over the years and who holds them. Consider arranging for a locksmith to attend soon after you move in.

The day before settlement
Call the agent to arrange for a final inspection of the property within 24 hours of settlement. This ensures that the seller has completely vacated the property and left it in a reasonable condition. If there are any problems, notify your conveyancer immediately. 

Moving day
The keys to your new home will be released to you when the settlement is completed. Generally, settlements occur in the afternoons around 2pm so factor this in when arranging for the removalists. If you can, consider moving in the following day. 

Contact Helen Polemis

Helen Polemis

Licensed Conveyancer

Conveyancing Exchange

Conveyancing Exchange
tel. (02) 4925 2888

To learn more about the ins and outs of the conveyancing process and how we can help you on your real estate journey, get in contact with Helen Polemis on 02 4925 2888 or simply visit