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The Home Buyer’s Checklist

One of the most significant decisions you’ll ever make is purchasing a new home, and you want to get it right. However, if you’re not familiar with the conveyancing process, it can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Below, we break down the basic steps you need to take and what you can expect.

Before you buy a home 

 

  • Check your finances. Be honest about what you can afford and reduce your debt as far as possible before approaching your bank for a loan. First-time buyers may also be eligible for Government Grants such as First Home Buyer’s Assistance or the First Home Owner Grant. 
  • Shop around. It might be tempting to choose the first home that catches your eye but take your time. A solicitor, conveyancer, real estate agent and pest and building inspectors can spot problems you may not–reports may seem costly, but they’re essential. If you’re purchasing a strata unit, you’ll need a strata report on any issues affecting your lot and/or the common property. 
  • Don’t attempt conveyancing yourself. Conveyancing involves complex legal steps which are vital to get right. Instruct a Solicitor or Conveyancer as soon as possible. They will advise you on what reports you’re going to need, Stamp Duty and GST and any other issues concerning the property.

Once contracts have been exchanged 

 

  • Get organised. You need to make sure a removal firm is available on the settlement day or the day you need them, and at the right time. Shop around and get quotes as soon as you exchange contracts. 
  • Change your address details. As soon as possible, make sure you advise your GP, dentist, bank, RMS for licences and any other relevant party that you’re moving and update your address.
  • Start packing. If you have a lot of property to take with you or dispose of, do it in stages and start as soon as you can. This makes the process a lot less overwhelming. Aim to start packing a month before settlement. 
  • Plan for everything. If you’ll need a few nights in a hotel before moving into your new home, arrange this now. Make sure you have arrangements in place for looking after your pets during the move–a changing environment is particularly stressful for them. 

 

The week before settlement 

 

  • Update your utilities. Make sure you let your gas and electricity suppliers know you’re moving, and when. Find competitive quotes for your new property–allow time for them to read your meter. 
  • Contact your conveyancer. Check with them that everything is in order, and ensure all paperwork, including Transfer and Mortgage Documents, are signed and returned. Also ensure all house insurances are finalised including Public liability and Contents Policy
  • Organise a locksmith. It’s hard to check who has a copy of your home key, so we suggest changing the locks on moving day or shortly after if not satisfied that you have received all the keys. 
  • Make your employer aware. Make sure your employer knows you’re moving and give them your updated address for HR purposes. 

The days before settlement 

 

  • Ensure all finances are in order. If you’re contributing monies towards settlement, remember–cheques need to be with your conveyancer at least 24 hours prior to settlement. Don’t leave this to the last minute. 
  • Do a final inspection. Make sure your new home is still in the condition you expect, and have your conveyancer organise a Final Inspection before you settle. 
  • Alert your conveyancer to any problems immediately. Emergencies do arise, and not every move goes to plan. It’s vital you keep in regular contact with your conveyancer. 

For more helpful information, download our free e-book, which guides you through the process in even more detail. Moving doesn’t have to be stressful with experienced conveyancers on your side.

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