Settling and moving day
Settlement day is the last milestone before you take possession of your new home. The purchase price is paid to the seller and the title of the home transfers to you. Your lawyer will handle most of the requirements on your behalf and guide you through the process.
There are a few things you will need to get ready ahead of settlement day.
Finalise your home loan
Once you know your settlement date, get in touch with your bank, lender or mortgage broker and confirm the details of your home loan. They will go through your options for your loan type (e.g. fixed or floating), interest rate and repayment schedule.
You will need to arrange home insurance so that your home is covered from the first day you take possession. Having insurance cover is often a required condition of finance, so you may be required to record your bank or lender on your policy as the interested party and provide proof of insurance to your lawyer prior to settlement.
Find out more about insuring your home at sorted.org.nz.
You will have the opportunity to conduct a final inspection of the home before you take possession, ideally at least two days before your settlement date. This allows you to confirm any inclusions in your Sale and Purchase Agreement have been met and identify any areas you would like addressed. Things you could consider include:
- Any noticeable damage or required touch-ups
- Lights and electrical outlets are all working
- All the chattels included in your sale and purchase agreement are present and working
- That all rubbish has been removed from the premises
Make sure to inform your lawyer of the outcome of the inspection, including any requests made. Find out more about what to look for in your pre-settlement inspection at settled.govt.nz.
Most of the requirements on settlement day will be handled by your lawyer. They will:
- Notify your bank or lender of the amount required to settle the purchase
- Arrange for your loan to be drawn down and paid to the seller
- Work with the seller’s lawyer to finalise transfer of ownership
- Register the home and the record of title in your name
These steps will need to happen in sequence, so if there is a delay at any stage of the process it may affect how long settlement takes. Once settlement is complete, your lawyer or conveyancer will notify you and arrange for you to pick up the keys to your new home.
Once all your settlement details are confirmed, it’s time to start planning your moving day. To allow for any unforeseen delays during the settlement process, it is often recommended to plan for and book a moving company the day after your settlement date.
You will need to arrange a transfer of services and update your new address details with:
- Your bank, lender and insurance providers
- Your electricity, gas, internet and other utility providers
- The electoral registrar
New Zealand Post also offers a mail redirect service. Setting this up for a couple of months can help you identify any other services that you may need to update your details with.
Once you’ve moved into your home, it is a good idea to visit your local council website to learn about rubbish and recycling days, and get to know your new neighbours or join any community social pages.
Most settlement processes are straight-forward and run smoothly, but if you have any issues or concerns you should contact your lawyer for help. They will be able to answer your questions and provide advice on reaching a resolution.
You can read more about what to do at settled.govt.nz/getting-help-if-things-go-wrong-when-buying.
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