The House Buying Process

1. Research

As soon as you can, start reading Web sites, newspapers, and magazines that have real estate listings. Make a note of particular homes you are interested in and see how long they stay on the market and what they go for.

2. Pre-Approval for a Loan

Before you start looking for a home, you will need to know how much you can actually spend. The best way to do that is to get pre-approval for a mortgage. To get pre-approval, you just need to provide some financial information to your mortgage broker or banking advisor, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have. Your lender will review this information and tell you how much they can lend you. This will tell you the price range of the homes you should be looking at.


3. Find a lawyer

Before you purchase a property, it’s recommended that you get your own legal advice. Finding the right lawyer is an important part of the buying process. Your lawyer will make sure that all the legal processes are followed and they can also check over property reports, such as Land Information Memorandums (Council LIM reports) and titles.

4. House hunting

Everyone has their own way of searching, whether it be online, using an app or contacting a salesperson, but start by touring homes in your price range.

house hunting

5. During the Open Home

Once you find the one you like it's always a good idea to give the house you're interested in a once over. Check out online property maintenance checklists for some helpful tips on what to look for during a property viewing or open home. An example of things to check are:

  • Plumbing, running the shower to see how strong the water pressure is.
  • Electrical, turn light switches on and off.
  • Neighborhood, are other house on the street well maintained and traffic usage

6. Make an offer

Before you make an offer, we recommend that you involve your lawyer, get sufficient property checks done and, if you're making a conditional offer, decide on the conditions. All offers must be made in writing using the correct documentation. There are two types of offers:

  • Unconditional - a straightforward offer to buy according to the terms set out in the contract 
  • Conditional - when your offer to buy has conditions attached, for example, arranging finance or being satisfied with a building report you arrange.

If you’re buying at auction or making a pre-auction offer, you can only make an unconditional offer.

7. Get a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection

Before you purchase a property, we recommend that you get a pre-purchase building inspection done. This is where we can help you out with a pre-purchase building inspection where we have different levels of reports that we can undertake for you.

8. If your offer is accepted

Your offer is accepted once all parties have agreed to the terms, including price and deposit, and the contract agreement has been signed by all parties.

If the agreement is conditional, any conditions need to be satisfied by the unconditional date. It is the buyer’s responsibility to satisfy those conditions. Once the conditions are met, the offer becomes ‘unconditional’.

9. Settlement day

Settlement day is the date on which you pay the balance for the property. Usually it is the same date as the date you get possession - the keys - but that is not always the case.

The keys to your new property will be held at the Real estate office office until the sellers’ lawyer advises them in writing, that the settlement has taken place.

If there is a chain of settlements you may not get access to the property as early as you would like on the day of settlement. They can only release the keys to you once the legal settlement has occurred and the seller’s lawyer notifies them.


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