Settlement and next steps

Settlement day marks the culmination of the home-buying process, where ownership of the property officially transfers to the buyer. It is an important milestone that requires careful preparation and understanding. We will walk you through the step-by-step process of what happens on settlement day in Canberra ACT. By familiarising yourself with this crucial day, you can navigate the process smoothly and confidently. Let’s dive in!

Preparing for Settlement

  1. Engaging a Conveyancer or Solicitor: Before settlement day, engage a professional conveyancer or solicitor experienced in property transactions. They will handle the legal aspects of the settlement process, including reviewing the contract, conducting property searches, and ensuring all necessary documentation is in order.


  2. Arrange Property Inspections: Before settlement, schedule a final inspection of the property to ensure it is in the agreed-upon condition. Verify that all fixtures, fittings, and inclusions are intact, and any agreed-upon repairs or maintenance have been completed satisfactorily.


  3. Organise Finances: Coordinate with your lender to ensure all necessary funds are available for settlement. This includes arranging for the payment of the purchase price, stamp duty, and any other relevant fees. Provide your conveyancer or solicitor with the required financial information to facilitate a smooth settlement.

Settlement Process

  1. Attendance at Settlement: Generally, settlement is facilitated by the appointed conveyancers or solicitors representing both the buyer and seller. As the buyer, you may not be required to attend in person unless there are specific circumstances that warrant your presence. Your conveyancer or solicitor will communicate with you throughout the settlement process and notify you of any requirements.


  2. Documentation and Transfer of Ownership: On settlement day, the seller’s conveyancer or solicitor will provide the necessary documentation, including the transfer of land document, to your conveyancer or solicitor. They will review and ensure all paperwork is accurate and in compliance with legal requirements. Once the transfer is complete, ownership of the property will be transferred to you.


  3. Payment of Funds: The settlement process involves the exchange of funds between the buyer and seller. Your conveyancer or solicitor will arrange for the payment of the purchase price, including any adjustments, such as rates and taxes. They will also deduct their professional fees and disburse any remaining funds to the seller.


  4. Title Registration: After settlement, your conveyancer or solicitor will attend to the registration of the property title transfer with the relevant land titles office. This process officially records you as the new owner of the property. Your conveyancer or solicitor will provide you with the necessary documentation once the title registration is complete.


  1. Collection of Keys: Once settlement is finalised, you can collect the keys to your new property from the selling agent. Coordinate with the agent to arrange a convenient time for key handover.


  2. Property Insurance: It is crucial to have adequate insurance coverage for your new property. Arrange for building and contents insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events or damage.

  3. Change of Address and Utilities: Update your address with relevant authorities, including government agencies, financial institutions, and service providers. Arrange for the transfer of utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and internet services into your name.

Potential Challenges and Resolutions

  1. Delays: Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances can cause delays in the settlement process. This could include issues with documentation, finance, or property-related matters. If you encounter any delays, stay in close communication with your conveyancer or solicitor to address the issues promptly and seek resolutions.

  2. Adjustments: Settlement involves adjusting the purchase price for various factors, such as rates and taxes. Occasionally, discrepancies may arise, requiring negotiation and agreement between the buyer and seller. Your conveyancer or solicitor will guide you through these adjustments and ensure they are resolved correctly.

  3. Settlement Statements: Your conveyancer or solicitor will provide you with a settlement statement, detailing the financial transactions that occurred on settlement day. Review this statement carefully to understand the breakdown of costs and payments involved.

Post-Settlement Considerations

  1. Property Transfer Notifications: After settlement, notify relevant parties of the property transfer, such as the local council, water authority, and strata management (if applicable). Ensure you update your contact information with them to receive important correspondence.

  2. Home Ownership Responsibilities: As a new homeowner, you are responsible for various ongoing obligations, including property maintenance, insurance, and payment of rates and taxes. Familiarise yourself with these responsibilities and budget accordingly.

  3. Celebrate and Settle In: Finally, take a moment to celebrate your achievement and enjoy the excitement of homeownership. Begin settling into your new property, make it feel like home, and start creating lasting memories.


Settlement day is an important milestone for first-time home buyers, marking the legal transfer of ownership to your new property. By adequately preparing for settlement, engaging a conveyancer or solicitor, and understanding the process, you can navigate this significant event with confidence. Remember to stay informed, ask questions, and seek professional advice when needed. Congratulations on your new home, and may your settlement day be smooth and successful. Welcome to the world of homeownership!

As a first-time home buyer, it’s crucial to protect your investment and financial security by obtaining the right insurance coverage for your new home. Insurance provides peace of mind by safeguarding against unforeseen events that may damage or disrupt your property. In this detailed guide, brought to you by MainStream Real Estate, we will explore the various insurance options available to first-time home buyers in Canberra ACT. By understanding your insurance needs and taking appropriate measures, you can secure your first home with confidence. Let’s get started!

Homeowners Insurance

  1. Coverage: Homeowners insurance protects your property against damage caused by fire, theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and other specified risks. It typically covers the structure of your home, personal belongings, and liability for injuries or damages to others on your property.

  2. Policy Considerations: When selecting homeowners insurance, consider the coverage limits, deductibles, and additional policy features such as replacement cost coverage, personal liability coverage, and loss of use coverage. Assess your needs, evaluate different insurance providers, and choose a policy that offers comprehensive protection within your budget.

Mortgage Insurance

  1. Definition: Mortgage insurance, also known as lenders mortgage insurance (LMI), is a type of insurance required by lenders when the borrower has a small deposit (less than 20% of the property’s value). It protects the lender in case of default by the borrower.

  2. Coverage and Costs: Mortgage insurance covers the lender’s financial risk, not the borrower’s. It provides compensation to the lender if the borrower fails to meet their mortgage repayments. The cost of mortgage insurance is typically a one-time premium or a percentage of the loan amount, and it can be added to the loan or paid upfront.

  3. Eligibility and Requirements: Understand the eligibility criteria and requirements for mortgage insurance, as they vary among lenders. Consult with your mortgage broker or lender to determine if mortgage insurance is necessary for your specific situation.

Contents Insurance

  1. Purpose: Contents insurance protects your personal belongings and valuables inside your home against loss or damage due to theft, fire, natural disasters, and other specified risks. It covers items such as furniture, appliances, clothing, electronics, and jewellery.

  2. Assessing Coverage: Take an inventory of your belongings and estimate their value to determine the appropriate coverage limit. Consider any high-value items that may require additional coverage or specific endorsements. Review policy features, including coverage for accidental damage, temporary accommodation, and new-for-old replacement.

Liability Insurance

  1. Importance of Liability Coverage: Liability insurance protects you financially if someone is injured on your property or if you accidentally cause damage to someone else’s property. It covers legal fees, medical expenses, and compensation claims.

  2. Coverage Limits: Assess your liability coverage needs based on your lifestyle, property size, and potential risks. Consider the recommended coverage limit provided by your insurance provider and consult with them to determine if additional coverage is necessary.

Key Considerations and Tips

  1. Insurance Providers: Research and compare insurance providers to find reliable companies with a good track record of customer service and claims settlement. Seek recommendations from trusted sources and read customer reviews.

  2. Policy Exclusions: Understand the exclusions and limitations of your insurance policies to avoid surprises when filing a claim. Familiarise yourself with the circumstances in which coverage may not apply.

  3. Policy Review and Updates: Regularly review your insurance policies and update them to reflect any changes in your circumstances, such as home renovations, the acquisition of new valuable items, or changes in occupancy.

  4. Bundling Insurance Policies: Consider bundling your homeowners, contents, and other relevant insurance policies with the same provider to potentially benefit from discounts and simplify your insurance management.

  5. Deductibles: Understand the deductibles associated with your insurance policies. A deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. Assess your financial situation and select deductibles that are affordable for you.

  6. Claims Process: Familiarise yourself with the claims process of your insurance provider. In the event of a loss or damage, promptly report the incident to your insurer and follow their instructions for filing a claim. Keep detailed records, including photographs and receipts, to support your claim.

  7. Professional Advice: Consult with insurance professionals, such as insurance brokers or agents, who can provide personalised guidance based on your specific needs and circumstances. They can help you navigate through the insurance options, understand policy terms, and make informed decisions.


Insurance is a vital aspect of protecting your first home and ensuring your financial security. By understanding the different insurance options available to you as a first-time home buyer, including homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, contents insurance, and liability insurance, you can make informed decisions to safeguard your investment. Remember to thoroughly assess your insurance needs, compare policies and providers, and review your coverage periodically to stay adequately protected. Seek professional advice when needed to ensure you make the right choices. Congratulations on your first home, and may it be filled with joy and security for years to come.

Congratulations on your new home! As first-time home buyers, moving to a new property can be both exciting and overwhelming. To help you stay organised and ensure a smooth transition, MainStream Real Estate has created a detailed moving checklist. 

This comprehensive guide will take you through essential tasks and considerations as you prepare to move to your new home in Canberra ACT. Let’s dive in!

Preparing for the Move

  • Declutter: Start by decluttering your current home. Sort through your belongings and decide what to keep, donate, or discard. This will make the packing process more manageable and help you start fresh in your new home.


  • Packing Supplies: Gather essential packing supplies, including sturdy boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, markers, and labels. Ensure you have enough supplies to pack your belongings efficiently and protect them during the move.


  • Change of Address: Notify relevant parties of your change of address, including the post office, banks, utility providers, government agencies, subscriptions, and any other necessary entities. Update your address information well in advance to ensure a seamless transition of mail and services.

2. Organising the Move

Hiring a Moving Company: Decide whether you will hire a professional moving company or handle the move yourself. Obtain quotes from reputable movers, compare services, and book a moving company that best fits your needs and budget. Make arrangements well in advance, especially during peak moving seasons.

  • Packing Strategy: Develop a packing strategy to streamline the process. Start with non-essential items and gradually pack room by room, labelling boxes clearly with their contents. Create an inventory list to keep track of your belongings and ensure nothing gets misplaced during the move.


  • Essential Documents: Gather important documents such as identification, passports, medical records, insurance policies, and financial documents. Keep them in a safe place and carry them with you during the move to prevent loss or damage.

3. Managing Utilities and Services

  • Utilities Disconnection and Connection: Schedule the disconnection of utilities in your current home and arrange for the connection of services in your new home. This includes electricity, gas, water, internet, cable, and phone services. Coordinate the timing to ensure a seamless transition between properties.


  • Home Services: Inform service providers such as lawn care, pest control, and cleaning services about your move. Cancel or transfer services accordingly, or research and engage new providers in your new area if needed.

4. Finalising Moving Day Preparations:

  • Confirm Moving Details: Contact your chosen moving company to confirm the date, time, and logistics of the move. Ensure they have accurate directions and contact information for both your current and new home.


  • Packing Essentials: As moving day approaches, pack an essentials box containing items you’ll need immediately upon arrival at your new home. This may include toiletries, medications, a change of clothes, bedding, basic kitchenware, and important documents.


  • Notify Neighbours and Building Management: Inform your neighbours and building management of your move-out date and any necessary arrangements, such as reserving parking spaces for the moving truck or scheduling elevator usage.

Moving Day

  • Supervise the Move: Be present on moving day to supervise the loading and unloading of your belongings. Ensure fragile items are handled with care and check off items on your inventory list as they are loaded and unloaded.


  • Utilities and Safety: Upon arrival at your new home, check that all utilities are functioning correctly. Test lights, outlets, plumbing, and appliances. Install or check smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and security systems for proper functioning and ensure your new home is safe and secure.


  • Unpacking and Settling In: Begin unpacking by prioritising essential rooms such as the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. Unpack one room at a time, keeping boxes organised and labelling them appropriately. Set up necessary furniture and appliances, and gradually work your way through the remaining rooms.


  • Furniture Placement: Plan the layout of your furniture in each room based on your preferences and the available space. Experiment with different arrangements to find the most functional and aesthetically pleasing setup for your new home.


  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Before unpacking, take the opportunity to clean your new home thoroughly. Wipe down surfaces, vacuum or sweep floors, and ensure everything is fresh and ready for you to settle in. Make any necessary repairs or adjustments, such as changing locks or fixing minor issues.

Settling into Your New Home

  • Home Security: Assess the security of your new home and consider enhancing it, if necessary. Change the locks, install additional security measures such as deadbolts or an alarm system, and familiarise yourself with the neighbourhood’s safety precautions.


  • Familiarise Yourself with Your New Neighbourhood: Explore your new neighbourhood to get acquainted with nearby amenities, such as grocery stores, schools, healthcare facilities, parks, and recreational areas. Locate the nearest emergency services and learn about public transportation options.


  • Homeowner’s Insurance: Ensure you have adequate homeowner’s insurance coverage for your new property. Contact your insurance provider to update your policy and discuss any additional coverage options you may need.


  • Updating Personal Information: Update your personal information, such as your driver’s licence, vehicle registration, and voter registration, with your new address. Notify your employer, financial institutions, and other relevant parties of your new contact information.


  • Joining Community Groups: Consider joining local community groups or homeowners’ associations to connect with your neighbours and participate in community events. This can help you feel more integrated into your new surroundings.


Moving to a new home as a first-time buyer can be an exciting and transformative experience. By following this comprehensive moving checklist, you can stay organised and ensure a smooth transition to your new property in Canberra ACT. From preparing and packing to settling in and getting acquainted with your new neighbourhood, each step is crucial for a successful move. Remember to plan ahead, stay organised, and seek assistance when needed. Welcome to your new home, and may it bring you joy, comfort, and many happy memories for years to come.


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