From purchase to possession guide

Firstly, congratulations on your new home!

As Auckland’s largest and most trusted real estate agency, you can rely on us to help you throughout the purchase process - right up until the day of settlement and beyond.

This purchase and possession guide is here to help you - as a homebuyer - with your move and make sure you understand your obligations and rights as a purchaser.

For more information contact your salesperson or solicitor.

I’ve bought a house, now what?


The deposit you paid for your new home will be held in Barfoot & Thompson’s trust account for 10 working days or until the sale goes unconditional - whichever is longest. 

We’ll work with both solicitors directly to arrange this and will let you know once the deposit has been transferred to the nominated account. So you don’t need to worry about a thing.

The keys

The keys to your new home will be held at the Barfoot & Thompson office until the vendor's solicitor advises us in writing that the settlement has taken place. At this point they'll be made available for you to collect. 

If there is a chain of settlements that has to happen, you may not get access to the property as early as you would like on the day of settlement. We can only release keys to you once legal settlement has occurred and the vendor's solicitor notifies us.

What do I need to do before settlement?

1. Book your pre-settlement inspection

This is your chance to check that all of the chattels listed in the Sale and Purchase Agreement are there, and in the same condition as when you signed the agreement. 

If you had agreed (in writing) that the vendor was to carry out any maintenance or repairs prior to settlement, then this is your opportunity to ensure the work has been done. 

If the property was tenanted, it's also your chance to check that the tenants have left it in the agreed upon state when they moved out.

Your pre-settlement inspection - what's involved

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2. Make an appointment with your bank

To discuss your financial arrangements for settlement day and to sign the necessary financial documents.

3. Make an appointment with your solicitor

You’ll need to arrange to sign the necessary legal documents to transfer the property into your name. Please note that you’ll be expected to pay a proportion of the council rates. Try to transfer your funds as early as possible on settlement day. We can’t authorise the release of the keys to your new home until the vendor’s solicitor has received the funds from your solicitor and the necessary documentation has been arranged.

4. Organise the move

Arrange for someone to look after your children or elderly family members during the packing/moving process if required. Book a moving company if you’re using one, and start collecting boxes and newspaper to pack your things in.

5. Arrange the transfer of water, telephone, electricity and gas services

You’ll need to contact your service providers to arrange to have all services at the property transferred into your name and turned on, on your move in date. Connectnow (0800 443 136) is a free service that will arrange all major service transfers for you.

Make sure you transfer any other services and organise your change of address.

6. Arrange insurance for your new property

This should commence on possession day.

Need to know more?

If you have any questions about your responsibilities prior to settlement, you can talk to your salesperson or solicitor.

What are my legal responsibilities and rights as a purchaser?

On the day you bought your new home, you signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement. With all the excitement of the purchase you may not have taken it all in, so we've pulled out the key information to remind you of your responsibilities and obligations.

3.0 Possession

3.1 If the property is tenanted, you may have arranged with the vendor that the tenants stay on under your ownership. If so, this should have been included in the Sale and Purchase Agreement. If not, the vendor must ensure the property is vacant on settlement date.

3.2 If the property is sold with vacant possession, then you (or anyone authorised by you in writing) are entitled to complete a property check prior to settlement. This gives you a chance to check the condition of the property, including the chattels and fixtures that are included in the sale. You must give the vendor reasonable notice for this visit.

3.4 On the day of possession, the vendor must make all keys available to you - including all exterior door keys, electronic door openers and keys or codes to any alarms on the property. If the property is tenanted, however, these items will remain with the tenant(s).

4.0 Risk and Insurance

4.1 In between the date of sale and the date of settlement, the property and chattels remain in the vendor’s name. This means they are responsible for any damage that may occur between the sale and the settlement date. If damage does occur, beyond fair wear and tear, you are entitled to compensation from the vendor.

Need help planning your move?

Use our moving home checklist to plan your move and make sure everything runs smoothly.