On the move?

Moving can be stressful with children of any age, from a bouncing baby to a trending teenager. Discussing the move with your children, finding the right house, dealing with paperwork, signing on the dotted line… and then there’s moving day!

We spoke with Rachael Cone, the managing director of Total Realty, and put together some helpful tips for navigating the process when you’re buying your new home:

  • Pre-approval: Talk to your bank or a mortgage broker as soon as possible – know what you can borrow! This can help immensely with decision-making when you do find that “dream home”. It also takes the stress out of trying to jump through hoops to obtain finance when you have a property under offer and the clock is ticking. 
  • KiwiSaver: If you’re a First Home Buyer and planning to use your KiwiSaver funds you’ll need extra time for your contract clauses. Your real estate agent will be able to factor this in to the Sale and Purchase Agreement, if you make them aware of your situation. 
  • Find a solicitor: Ask family, friends and work colleagues for recommendations. Choosing a solicitor before entering into a contract will speed up the process and allow you to seek legal advice beforehand. 
  • Clauses: You might have additional clauses in your contract. For example, you may require a building inspection report, a valuation, an electrical report etc. It’s important to understand that your solicitor will not organise these reports for you. These are up to you to arrange and the real estate agent will help by providing access to the property for the purpose of carrying out the reports. Also please make sure you contact an insurer as early as possible, especially for properties located in Christchurch. 
  • Deposit: This is due when your offer is accepted or alternatively when the conditions in your offer have been confirmed. The timing of the deposit depends on what is written into the contract. Your real estate agent will confirm exactly when the deposit is due and it is important that you make arrangements to have the deposit ready by the due date.
  • Pre-settlement inspection: You are legally entitled to a pre-settlement inspection and this will normally be arranged through your real estate agent. If there is anything amiss at the property you will need to inform your lawyer at least one working day before settlement in accordance with Clause 8 of the agreement. For this reason at Total Realty we do not recommend holding inspections the day before settlement.
  • Settlement: Don’t get caught out on the day! Ideally, if you can move the following day it makes it a much easier transition. If not, just be aware that the keys cannot be passed to you until the seller’s solicitor gives approval for “key release” in writing. So often buyers have a removal company booked and the truck ready to go early in the morning. But solicitors may still be working on the settlement until later in the day. To avoid disappointment and unnecessary costs discuss this early on with your solicitor or real estate agent before making any arrangements.