Congratulations! You’ve made your way through the tough process of attending countless open homes, securing finance, getting your ducks in a row, and making an offer on a property. Your hard work has paid off – you’re now the proud owner of a new home.

You’ve waited so long to get to this day that you may not realise that there are still a few steps to complete to ensure the home is really yours. Here’s what still needs to be done to ensure a smooth sale.

Chat to your lawyer

Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, the real estate agent will forward the sale and purchase agreement to your lawyer. If your lawyer hasn’t already seen the document, they’ll check that everything is correct. They’ll inform you of any conditions made upon the sale.

Going unconditional

Unless you’re buying at auction, you’re likely to have some conditions upon your sale and purchase agreement. It might be conditional upon finance, a LIM or builder’s report, or some other type of expert seal of approval.

Your job now is to fulfill those conditions within the timeframe allowed in the contract, so that you can move the contract to unconditional. Allow yourself at least fifteen days to complete these checks (a LIM report will usually take ten days to arrive, and valuations and inspections may take a few days each).

Your bank will also require you to send them a copy of your sale and purchase agreement so they can start the process of drawing down your mortgage to pay the vendor.

As soon as you’ve completed the conditions and you’re satisfied that you still want to buy the property, talk to your lawyer again and they’ll inform the vendor that you’re going unconditional.

Paying the deposit

Once you go unconditional you need to pay your deposit, with the final amount due on the settlement date recorded in the contract.

If you’re a first home buyer, you may be confused as to how the deposit is actually paid. The money goes into the trust account of your real estate agent, who then deducts their percentage and sends the remainder of the money to their client. If you’re planning to use your Kiwisaver money as part of your deposit, make sure you speak with your provider in plenty of time, as some can take up to four-weeks to release the money. (For more information about Kiwisaver and first homes, have a look at the Kiwisaver website).

Your lawyer will record the deposit paid when they finalise the settlement. One settlement day you’ll transfer the rest of the money, and you’ll get your keys. It’s time to crack open a bottle of wine – you’re now the proud owner of a new home.

If you’re looking to get into your first home and need someone to help you secure finance and walk you through the process, then give Mike Whittaker a call to book in your free consultation.