By Enzo Raimondo

BUYING a new home is exciting and so too is living in it. But relocating from one home to another can be a challenge.
The key to moving house is to plan ahead, ideally as early as possible before the day arrives when you need to shift an entire house full of furniture and whitegoods.
You should be aware on the day you successfully bid at auction, or purchase through a private sale, of the settlement period on your new house.
If not, the contract of sale specifies this settlement period, which is usually 30, 60 or 90 days.
Assuming you are moving out of your old home and into your new one on settlement day, that’s how long you have to get organised.
Make a plan as soon as possible, including the important tasks to hand over your old home and take possession of your new one.
It should include key items relating to getting organised for the move – including, close to settlement day, conducting a final inspection of your new house.
The vendor must leave the home as it was when you bought it, apart from normal wear and tear.
It’s important that all fixtures, especially dishwashers and light-fittings, are in place.
Those rules apply to you, too. If your house was in top condition for sale, it pays to leave it in a similar way.
So mow the lawn, fix any breakages and restore it close to how it appeared when it was sold, ahead of the handover.
Planning ahead avoids tackling those tasks at 5am on settlement day.
If using a removal company, ask for their moving checklist.
Most companies have one listing pre-move tasks – everything from redirecting mail, reconnecting services and changing your address with utilities.
If your removal is DIY, it pays again to be organised. Pack as many boxes as you can well ahead of the move, especially the items you don’t need to access for some time.
Many vendors will let you take measurements during the settlement period. If not, it’s worth making as many notes as possible when you conduct the final inspection, including the size of each the main rooms in
the house.
Remember to give the keys for your old house to your selling agents if they don’t have them.
Collect your new keys on settlement day well before the removalists arrive.
Longing to celebrate your great new purchase? The time to open that bottle is after your move.
– Enzo Raimondo is the CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.