Time to read: 8 min
Settlement Day: How To Pull It Off Without Pulling Your Hair Out
“Settlement” and “Day” are two perfectly harmless words on their own, but pair them together and they evoke feelings of misery, discomfort, even pain. A bit like “Root” and “Canal”.
Whilst ice-cream might not be as effective on settlement day as it is after dental work, we do have a few remedies that will hopefully help soothe the ache.
What Exactly Is Settlement Day?
Settlement day is when your lawyer meets with your lender and the seller’s representatives to hand over documents prior to delivery to the land titles office. Traditionally this happens in the middle of the day, but we say why not break tradition! The quicker you can get your hands on the keys the better.
Then that should be it, right? Forms are signed, keys are in hand, you’ve got a moving truck loaded and the movers are taking a well-deserved lunch break – job’s a good ‘un! Well, unfortunately it’s not always that simple…
Don’t Leave Anything To Chance
First things first – make sure the sellers have 100% vacated the property. This may sound obvious, but there have been plenty of cases where previous owners have been a bit slow off the mark in moving out. As an incentive, arrange with your lawyer to hold back a portion of their payment – money talks, and it’s a sure thing the sellers will listen.
Get An Early Start
If you can, move in early! Some sellers may allow access to a portion of the property, such as the garage or a similar space. You may not have the keys, but at least you can make a start on moving over a few things into your new home.
If you’re trying to time your move with the expiration of a lease, then it may be a good idea to see if it is possible to extend your stay at your current location for a few extra days as leeway.
Have A Back-Up Plan
Even after all of your hard work and meticulous planning, something tiny could happen that results in big consequences. Perhaps a name was misspelled on an important form that went to the bank – move in day is delayed and you’re stuck for a place to stay, and a place to keep all of your worldly possessions.
The Moving House Survival Kit
Load up your car with essentials you may need for a day or two sleeping away from home – don’t let the movers pack it away in the truck! We’d recommend an overnight bag including washroom essentials, towels, phone chargers and some comfy sweatpants.
The first thing you’re probably going to want to do when you finally get into your new home is stick the kettle on, so pack a box with can’t-do-without kitchen items such as tea, coffee, snacks, washing-up liquid, a dishcloth, plates, mugs, etc – and don’t forget a couple of glasses for the champagne!
Chat To Your Moving Company
Many reputable moving companies offer storage as part of their service package. Discuss your options with a booking agent and consider reserving storage space just in case there are any unexpected delays with your settlement. There may be an option to leave your items in the truck overnight, which would save time and money on unloading and reloading the truck.
Remember The End Goal
With the right measures in place, the dreaded settlement day seems a lot less monstrous. The key is to prepare for the worst, then anything better will seem like a blessing. Hopefully by the end of the day, it’s the champagne that’s popping and not your head. Cheers!