The selling journey doesn’t end once you’ve accepted an offer, and there’s still plenty to do before you can move on. This is the business end of selling your home. Now is the time to get your paperwork in order, finalise your finance, and prepare to move. Here are the main things you need to get in order before settlement day arrives. 

The Paperwork 

Once the price has been decided on, it is time to get it on paper. When completing the contract of sale, you will also have to nominate your solicitor or conveyancer. The solicitor/conveyancer prepares a contract of sale for the property, which includes details of the owners, title, settlement dates, all conditions, what’s included in it, as well as the zoning certificate and sewer diagrams. The exchange of contracts is the formal legal process that creates a binding contract for the sale on agreed terms. The seller and buyer each sign a copy of the sale contract and exchange these documents, making the contract legally binding.

What happens to your mortgage?

If you’re like most Australians, you’ll be selling your property before the mortgage has been paid off. You will have to arrange payment of the outstanding amount on your loan before settlement takes place. Arranging this can sometimes take a few weeks, so it’s important to start this process with your lender as soon as possible in the settlement period. While the process is straightforward if you’re selling for more than you owe, you should, if possible, avoid the situation where the sale price will not cover the outstanding amount on your loan. In this case, the lender can recoup the amount by asking you to provide it out of your own funds, which can include the sale of assets.

Owing more on your property than you sell it for is known as having negative equity. This sometimes happens when the property market softens, particularly if you borrowed with a high loan-to-value ratio (LVR) and haven’t held the property for long.

Because you’re liable for the full amount of your home loan, the lender will take steps to recoup its money before letting settlement proceed. This may include asking you to provide the shortfall from your own funds, potentially through the sale of some assets.

Buying & Selling

While the conventional wisdom is that it’s safer to sell a home first, then buy another, as it reduces your risk and means you don’t have to get bridging finance, it’s possible to do both at the same time, but it all comes down to research. You have to know the markets you’re buying and selling in well and work closely with your agent on both sides, as well as your lender, to pull off simultaneous property transactions, which are popular in spring. It all comes down to research and preparation. While it’s not common, in a rising market, it’s also possible to buy first and sell second. If the property you’re selling is desirable and will have a high level of demand, there’s no reason you can’t look to buy first.


So now settlement day has rolled around and it’s time to move on. Here are some of our top moving tips: 

– Clear your schedule and allow ample time for your move.

– Cater for yourself and others helping you on moving day. Packing and unpacking is hard work to make sure you have plenty of water and snacks on hand. It is also a good idea to meal prep to make sure you have decent meals on hand for when you are too exhausted to cook.

– De-clutter and cull. While you are packing, ditch or donate all those items you no longer have a use for. This will ensure you have less to pack and it gives you a really good chance to get rid of items you have been hoarding.

– Make a list to ensure you aren’t forgetting anything. Also, make sure that everyone in the family is aware of this list so they can help you tick it off!

– Be flexible. Things can change at the drop of a hat on moving day, so it is important that you don’t get too caught up in following your list and that you can go with the flow when things go a little pear-shaped.

For more moving day tips, you can read our full blog post here

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A go getter and doer, Taylah is a no excuses, get the job done kind of girl. With a strong work ethic and high attention to detail, Taylah is happy to help out wherever she can. Armed with a degree in business specialising in marketing and public relations Taylah brings fresh ideas and innovation to the iThink team.