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Settlement Day: A Guide for the Big Day

Settlement is the day when the actual purchase/sale of a property is conveyed from Seller to Buyer. By the time the settlement day is scheduled, offers have been accepted, inspections have been carried out, negotiations have been finalized, financing approved and much of the legal aspects of the sale, such as offer and contract reviews and title searches have already been completed. Now it’s time to get the keys!

While agents, lenders and lawyers are busy working on their respective duties, there are several things you can focus on to prepare for settlement.

Triple Check Finances

Make sure that your accounts are prepared for settlement and the various payments that may still be expected at this point in the process, such as legal fees and down payments are handled. Most of this should be organized at this point with your bank/lender (if one is being used,) but check to make sure that everything will clear and that there are no hang-ups at the closing table. Your lender and real estate professional will guide you through this process.

Time to Move

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the process of buying a home. So much so that folks can lose sight of the fact that you should be prepared to move. Once the settlement closes, the seller no longer owns that home and it’s your to live in and care for.

A walk through of the home is almost always performed by the buyers and their agent within 24 hours of the closing. This is an opportunity to ensure that nothing drastic has changed and that the house is being transferred to you according to the terms of the sale. For example, you can check that appliances are in working order if they are included, that there isn’t two feet of water in the basement, etc. If the house is not ready for you to occupy it, a settlement will likely not take place.


About a week prior to closing on your home, make sure you contact all utility companies to make sure all utilities are changed over into your name effective the beginning of the day of Settlement. Call the power company, internet/phone company and garbage disposal. If you have natural gas or oil, it would be wise to shop around and make sure you have an account with your energy provider.


It would be wise to schedule a locksmith to have the locks changed the day of the settlement. People share and distribute copies of keys to friends, neighbors, etc., and knowing what keys provide access to your home and who has them is great peace of mind. If the home already has a security system in place, you should have your own account created soon with the provider and have the numbers changed ASAP.

Mail and Other Notifications

Make sure that your mail is being forwarded from your old location and that you claim the address with your post office. Some leave a form in your mailbox asking for your information. Fill out the information ASAP to prevent hang ups with the postal service.

If this will be your primary residence, make sure that your billing information and other account information for various banking, shopping and any other appropriate accounts are changed.

Don’t forget about any vehicles you own and other forms of identification you might carry. They may need to be updated as well.

Lastly, you may want to inform family and friends of your address change as well. You don’t want Aunt Edna’s Christmas card to get lost in the mail!

The agents at Class-Harlan Real Estate will help you get ready for settlement and ensure that your closing day goes off without a hitch. They are also a great resource to help identify what utilities, services and other important updates regarding your new address will require your attention. No one knows Bucks County better than us! Give us a call today!