You’ve prepped your home for sale, put it on the market, and now your hard work has finally paid off and you’ve received one or more offers on your property! However, don’t pop the champagne just yet, as receiving an offer is not the same as making a sale. Here are some things to keep in mind to go from getting an offer to closing the sale.
Is your buyer qualified?
The first thing you need to determine is whether your buyer is genuine. Or perhaps more importantly, whether they are
qualified to actually buy your house. Your agent will help youto assess this, and some factors that you will need to determine are:
- Are they able to secure a mortgage? Preferably, your buyer will have already pre- qualified for a loan.
- Are they able to pay not only the house deposit, but also all fees and closing costs?
- How is their financial health? Factors which will affect their ability to secure a home loan will include their income, credit history, and current debts and expenses.
Finalise the paperwork
Once you have determined that your buyer is qualified, you will need to navigate the maze of documents and contracts to finalise the sale. Of course your agent will help you with this and will manage most of the process for you, but it is good to have an understanding of the requirements.
There are many documents involved in the conveyancing process, the central one being the contract of sale. This is the document which confirms the agreement between the buyer and the seller of the property, and contains the terms of the sale. It is usually prepared by either a qualified conveyancer or solicitor, and is then checked and finally approved by the representatives of the buyer and seller. During the process, terms can be negotiated, but once both parties have signed the contract the deal is sealed and cannot be changed.
Organise the move
Once the legal paperwork has been arranged, it is time to work towards settlement day! There are many things to think about when it comes to moving house. – see our Preparing to Move House checklist at the end of this guide
If you are moving to a new part of town or interstate, you will also need to consider getting a copy of your medical records from your doctor, dentist and other health professionals, veterinary records for any pets, and school records for your children. If you have a PO Box or safety deposit box you will need to arrange to change this also.
Packing for the move can be one of the biggest hassles. Make sure you get organised as early as possible: clear out an unwanted items that you didn’t already get rid of before putting your house on the market, and get quotes from movers. You can decide whether you want the movers to simply move furniture and shift boxes that you have already packed, or if you want them to do some or all of the packing. If you are packing the boxes yourself, start the process as early as possible, and keep a “unpack first” with essentials like toiletries and medications, which will be packed at the last moment. Also be mindful of not over-packing boxes or making them too heavy to lift and carry. Be sure to label all the boxes clearly on all sides with the room they should go into in the new house.
On settlement day you will turn over the keys and legal rights to your property to the new owners, and in exchange they (or their lender) will officially pay you the full balance for your property.
Along with the keys (and all spare keys), you will also need to give them owner’s manuals and warranties for any appliances or equipment that is being left in the house, such as air conditioning systems and dishwashers. Make sure you also give them the remote control for any electric garage doors or similar, as well as keys for windows, interior doors and built in cupboards. If you have a security system you will need to leave them the code for this, along with instructions and warranty information. It is also a nice touch to leave the new owners with details of local utilities, businesses and services that you recommend.