Congratulations on your exchange. What’s next?
There are 6 main steps required to be actioned after the “unconditional” exchange, depending on whether you are an owner-occupier [OO], or an investor [IN].
It also depends if the property you bought is free-standing [FS] or a strata-titled [ST] property.
It is assumed in all scenarios you have taken out a loan to complete the acquisition of the property.
1. Execute the loan documents [OO, IN, FS, ST]
Request from all parties involved in the exchange to email you the front pages of both exchanged contracts. Email them promptly to your lender for the loan document to be executed promptly. Banks’ processes are not known for being swift, so allow plenty of in-between time.
2. Pre-settlement inspection [OO, IN, FS, ST]
This should be carried out the morning of settlement day at the latest or preferably the afternoon before settlement day. Depending on the agreed inclusions and conditions secured in writing prior to exchange, the inspection should address them all.
For example, if an air-conditioning unit is included in the acquisition, your legal representative should communicate in writing and prior to exchange that it must be in working order as a condition to the settlement.
Check if it is working when conducting the inspection. If it is not, notify your representative to arrange for repairs to be carried out before settlement or within an agreed period of time after settlement, at the expense of the vendor.
3. Services 1 [OO, IN, FS, ST]
Arrange about a week (at least) before the agreed settlement day for telephony, electricity and gas to be connected to the property. Your legal representative can arrange for council, water (FS, ST) and strata (ST) accounts to be transferred to your name or the company’s.
It is advisable to organise a locksmith to replace the keys’ barrels to all access points including front door to the property as soon as practicable. Why? Peace of mind as well being able to prove to your insurer that you have taken all reasonable steps to secure the property.
4. Services 2 [OO, FS, ST]
All services listed in item 3 above plus communication (FS. ST) and building insurance (FS) and removalists (the latter to be arranged at least 2 weeks before settlement day).
5. Services 3 [IN, FS, ST]
Appoint a property manager and arrange for a depreciation schedule. A landlord insurance and building insurance (FS) should be in place as of settlement date and only landlord insurance if the property is strata-titled.
6. Services 4 [OO]
Office fit-out? You should have selected your service provider at least 2 weeks ago, so as they can commence their service the day after settlement.