Your Legal FAQs about the settlement process when buying a house in New Zealand

Who do I pay the deposit to, and when do I pay it?

Yes, the deposit is usually payable at this time. It’s typically a minimum of 10% of the full price of the house, depending on what is drawn up in the offer. If you are paying the deposit from your cash savings then you will normally pay this to the real estate agent’s trust account. 

If you are using your KiwiSaver to pay the deposit Your Legal team will pay this across to the Trust Account of the sellers’ lawyers. They then hold those funds on behalf of the seller until settlement. 

When do I come into Your Legal’s office to sign the purchase documents on the property?

Your bank will send us their instructions for your bank loan – this is usually in plenty of time before settlement. The bank may also let you know that we have your loan instructions, however, Your Legal team still have work to do before the purchase papers and documents are ready for signing.

We’ll get to work on preparing the documents in accordance with your bank's instructions, as well as other documents that will be needed for settlement. Once those documents are ready for signing we will get in touch with you to arrange a time with you to get you in to sign your documents and have a final chat about the settlement process and what happens on the day.

When do I pay the balance of the Purchase Price?

Any extra money you’re paying towards the loan will need to be paid into our trust account. On the day of settlement, the bank deposits your loan money into our trust account. 

We will let you know how much we need from you to complete the settlement. All our fees and the registration charges that we need to pay on your behalf on the settlement day are payable at this time as well. This would usually be a few days before the settlement day.

 If we haven't already paid over your KiwiSaver as payment of the deposit, we will need the money you have withdrawn from your KiwiSaver and / or Homestart Grant in our trust account ready for payment across to the vendors' (sellers') lawyer on settlement day. We will take care of this.

When do I get the keys to the house so we can move in?

Once we have everything completed we’ll tell the vendors' lawyer we are all good for settlement. If they are ready to go with their side of things then settlement can happen.

Side note: Our advice is always “Don’t plan on getting a key until the afternoon”. We may be ready to settle your purchase but the vendor’s lawyer may not be and there could be a number of reasons for that. It's best not to have your movers\friends\family ready to move you into your new home early in the day because we may not have a key for you by then. Assume you’ll get the keys after lunch and save yourself the stress of sitting around early in the morning ready to move in with no key available.

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