Buying a property is a major commitment and a significant investment.

Whether you are buying your first house or purchasing your tenth investment property, there are always questions and complications that come up along the way.

Working with our experienced solicitors at Gavel & Page, you can trust that you will always have someone who can answer your questions. However, what about questions you haven’t thought of yet, or questions that you don’t know you should be asking?

To make life easier, we’ve pulled together a few of the questions our solicitors hear most frequently. We’ve also answered them right here in this blog post, so that you can refer back to them at any time.

Q: Is there anything I need to do before settlement?

A: Once you have chosen a property and signed a contract to purchase it, your conveyancing solicitor will book a settlement time with your bank and the seller’s solicitor. While you wait for the settlement date to arrive, there are two major obligations that will require your attention.

Your first responsibility is to organise a final pre-settlement inspection for the property you are buying. You can work with your real estate agent to set up the inspection, which will look for any signs of damage or defect with the property. For the best, most accurate results, you will want to schedule the inspection as close to the settlement date as possible.

Your second responsibility is to finalise the loan amount for your purchase. Your solicitor will contact you to confirm the final loan amount and the final purchase price and to discuss any shortfall amount between those numbers. If there is a shortfall, you will need to draw a cheque covering the difference and give it to your solicitor before the date of the settlement.

Q: When do I get my keys and where can I pick them up?

A: Once the settlement is complete, the property is effectively yours. As such, you can pick up your keys as soon as the settlement is finalised.

Typically, you will pick up the keys to your new property from the real estate agent. Your solicitor will notify the agent once the matter is settled, and the agent will then be able to release the keys into your possession. Your solicitor should also notify you as soon as the deal is settled so that you can contact the agent and get your keys.

Q: Who should I make the settlement cheques out to?

 A: The answer to this question depends on whether you have an incoming mortgage or loan from the bank. If you don’t, then your solicitor should provide you with instructions on how to draw the cheque and whom to make it out to a few days before your settlement. At Gavel & Page, we require settlement cheques to be submitted to us by 5 pm the day before the settlement.

If you do have an incoming bank loan, then you do not need to draw a cheque at all. Your solicitor will communicate with the bank and ensure that someone from the bank will be at your settlement with the necessary cheques in hand.