Settlement can also be quite a nerve-wracking time as a home owner. You're probably aware that the new buyers will be able to complete a full inspection of the home before they agree to the settlement. This is where a lot of problems occur. The realities of the situation as well as the owners and buyers expectations are often times totally different. The cleanliness of the property is a really particular issue for some. Let's take a look at how you can avoid this delaying your settlement.
Your Obligations When Cleaning Before Settlement
Unlike rental properties perfect cleanliness is not a requirement of settlement. Some owners go through the house with a fine tooth comb and scrub the ovens, bathrooms and remove every spec of dust from the place. While not essential this is still worth doing if you have the time and don't mind. It shows a level of care and respect to the new owners.
Good communication is the key here and most people are fairly reasonable. It's enough to know that you aren't obligated to make the place spotless but get a good idea of what the new owners expect.
This is one of the most common causes of delay when it comes to property settlement. If you've lived in a home for a number of years its likely you've accumulated a lot of junk in the garage, under the house or around the yard. This might include things like old boxes, building materials or landscaping items. If you've been hoarding items like many Australians now is the time to have a garage sale or clean out. Have everything removed before settlement. Not doing say can add weeks to settlement date and cause a delay in ownership transfer and funds received.
Cleaning The Carpets
In a rental you are expected to have the carpets in top top shape when you move out but this isn't the case for a home settlement. We advise that, at the very least you vacuum the carpets but you don't need to go to the hassle of having stains removed. If you want to do the new tenants a favour you can clean the carpets by hiring a cleaning machine, getting the carpet steam cleaned or cleaning it yourself. In a lot of cases the new owners will rip up the carpet anyway and renovate the place. You may even want to find out if this is their intention before you go to too much trouble.
Cleaning The Kitchen and Bathrooms
Don't go crazy but don't leave the place in squalor either. Kitchens and bathrooms are particularly sensitive places that might delay your settlement because of the type of mess. If it's food scraps in the kitchen or black mould in the bathroom this can really upset people. An upset person is more likely to refuse settlement after their inspection. Use bleach if necessary to get these areas as sanitized as you can, enough that they'd be acceptable to the average person.
Tidying Up The Yard
Don't leave the yard excessively overgrown or in a state of disrepair. At the very least it shouldn't be any worse than it was when the property was up for sale. Make sure the grass isn't too long and their isn't rubbish or other mess left about the place. You don't have to go all Better Homes and Gardens and make the yard picture perfect but do your best. This is another one of the main issues that holds up settlement. Many owners just stoop caring for the yard once the place is sold and 6-8 weeks of growth can really leave a yard in shambles. Don't be that person and settlement should go smoothly.
Following the advice above will make your property settlement go smoothly and avoid any bumps in the road or nasty surprises.