Step By Step Checklist Prior to Property Settlement

step by step property settlement checklist

As the sold sticker goes up and the champagne comes out, there is usually a sigh of relief and a blissful moment where you feel you can finally relax! The reality though is that this feeling is likely to be short lived, as the moving process ahead dawns on you. With good planning though it doesn’t have to be a headache. Being organised is the key. So to assist, here is a step by step list of everything you will need to do in the 6 weeks prior to settlement.

6 weeks before the move:

  • If you are using a professional mover, get some price estimates and select the one that is best suited to your needs. If you are moving yourself, get estimates from truck rental companies. Make sure you reserve them in advance. Note: If you have any particularly difficult items to move, ie. A billiard table or piano – there will be specialist companies that are capable and trained to move these.
  • Draw up a floor plan of your new house or obtain a copy of the floor plan from the agent you are buying/renting your new home from. Measure your furniture and plan where they will go in your new home. This will help you decide what furniture will go or needs to be sold or got rid of.
  • Use up things that can’t be moved such as the food in your freezer and any flammable household aerosol cleaning supplies.
  • Contact the information office or local council in your future location and begin to gather information about your new home town/suburb.

5 weeks before the move:

  • Dicuss cost, packing, loading, delivery and the claims procedure with your mover.
  • Make an inventory of all your belongings and assess what can be sold and what can be donated to charity.
  • If moving out of area, get copies of your records from doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, etc. Make arrangements to transfer your children’s school records.
  • Obtain a change of address kit from the post office and start filling out the cards. Don’t forget about changing your address on catalogues, magazine subscriptions, shopping memberships etc.

4 weeks before the move:

  • If you have chosen to have a moving company do the packing for you, organise to have this done at least a day or two before loading the truck.
  • If you need to, arrange storage.
  • Repair or clean any curtains, furniture or carpets that require it.
  • Hold a garage sale to sell any items you don’t need any more. Use the extra money you earn to splurge on your new home a little.
  • If you are packing yourself, work out how many boxes you will need. Always expect to need many more than you estimate. You will be surprised at how many belongings you actually have! If you get stuck for boxes, many truck rental companies will sell boxes so give them a call.
  • For those of you who are packing yourself, make a list of your non-boxable items. Add at least 15% to their combined cubic feet (along with a total cubic feet of boxes to be loaded) to assess the size of the truck you will require.

3 weeks before the move:

  • Assemble packing material. You will need: Furniture pads, hand truck, packing tape, bubble wrap, Styrofoam “peanuts”, nylon packing tape, bubble wrap, nylon packing rope and string, crumpled newspapers, scissors, utility knife, large self-stick labels, felt tip markers, boxes, boxes and more boxes!
  • Begin packing items you won’t need over the next few weeks. Be careful not to pack too much weight in an un-reinforced box. Always label every box you pack and which room they will need to be placed in your new home.
  • Arrange to cancel utilities (gas, electricity) and services at your old home and have them installed in your new home.
  • Advise your boss or employees of your moving day date. Arrange to have this day off work.

2 weeks before the move:

  • Organise to transfer all of your bank accounts to new branch locations.
  • Make any special arrangements to move pets, including purchasing airline reservations and traveling containers for your pet.
  • Chat to your veterinarian about how to make moving easier for your pet.
  • Organise your new telephone service.
  • Cancel any direct deposit or automatic payments on any bank accounts you are closing.
  • Cancel delivery services.
  • Ensure you have gathered all you keys and replace any that are missing, ready to hand them over on settlement day.

1 week for the move:

  • Transfer all medical prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new location.
  • If you have children, it may be worthwhile arranging a babysitter for the moving day. Trust us, it will be chaotic enough!
  • Return and library books or DVDs.
  • Visit the RTA and organise to change the address on your driver’s license and registration.
  • Leave all appliance manuals and product warranties at your home for the new owner.
  • Arrange for a cleaner to make your old home spotless once your belongings have been removed, ready for the new owner.

2-3 days before the move (almost there!!)

  • Have the movers pack your shipment.
  • Make sure you have cash, a certified cheque or money order for the delivery driver on the day.
  • Defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
  • Pack clothing and toiletries to go with you. Take a day or two extra clothes in case of delays.
  • Set aside valuables and legal documents to go with you and not on the truck.
  • Pack your first day box of handy items to go with you. See Delivery Day for the list of items.

Moving Day!

  • Those doing the moving themselves should pick the truck up nice and early.
  • Compile a list of every item and box loaded on the truck. This will help for insurance purposes.
  • Provide the mover with your contact details.
  • Before you sign off on your agreement with your mover, read the conditions carefully.
  • Keep the moving agreement in a safe place until all your belongings are delivered, charges are paid, and any claims are settled.
  • Make yourself available to answer any questions and give directions from the mover.
  • Ensure your property is looking clean, empty and ready for a new owner to make your old home their own.

Delivery Day:

  • Assemble first-day items which include: Scissors, utility knife, coffee cups, tea kettle, paper plates, toilet paper, instant coffee, tea, water bottles, soap, pencils, paper, local phone book or ipad, masking tape, bath towels and toiletries.
  • Check off all boxes and belongings as they come in.
  • Make sure the utilities are connected.
  • Unpack some kids toys (if you have kids).
  • Make home child safe (if you have kids).

At this point you can begin to take a sigh of relief. A new chapter in your life is about to begin…so enjoy! Remember, we are always here to help so if you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to contact us as we will know how to point you in the right direction.


Thinking of selling your property? Call us for the competitive edge.

Tim Cullen on   0424 006 855

Bernadette Cullen on   0414 618 908

About Tim Cullen

Since joining McGrath Estate Agents 15 years ago, Tim Cullen has defined himself as a first class industry leader with an outstanding track record and rapidly growing and loyal client base. He ranked 1st on the Northern Beaches in this year’s Real Estate Business’ Top 100 Agents List and ranked 21st nationwide.