Buying a property can be a very challenging experience. You are competing against other buyers, you are often emotionally involved, and you are limited by your finances. But if you’re organised, do your research and become better informed, then you’re in the best position to become a successful home-owner.

The List

Make a list of the areas where you would like to purchase. Then make a list of the essential features that the property must have.

Finances

Most people have to borrow to purchase a property and if this is the case for you, make sure you organise your finance with an accredited mortgage broker before you start seriously looking at properties to buy. This way, you know how much you can spend. Don’t forget to factor in associated costs such as legal fees, stamp duty, insurance and loan application fees

Research

You’ve decided where you want to live and organised your finances, now you need to understand the real estate market in that area. Inspect properties that are of interest and most importantly, keep track of what properties are selling for – particularly homes that meet your requirements.

Legal Advice

When you find a property you’re interested in, you should consult with your solicitor or qualified conveyancer to get advice on the Contract of Sale and Section 32 Statement before purchasing the property.

Building/Pest Inspections

Buyers are entitled to organise a Building Inspection and/or Pest Inspection where a qualified building inspector, surveyor or architect inspects the property and provides an inspection report. These inspections are organised through the selling agent (who will liaise with the seller for a convenient time) and are at the buyer’s cost.

Offers/Negotiating

There’s a lot more to having an offer accepted than just price. You’d be surprised at how often the conditions placed on the offer can be the defining reason as to why one offer was accepted over another. For example, a seller might reject an offer conditional on a longer settlement period, if another potential buyer offers a similar sale amount but can settle sooner, or the seller may accept the offer where the finance is not conditional. For Tips on how to buy via an auction process, please see our Buying at Auction tips. You can engage a buyer’s advocate or other professional to negotiate for you. You can expect to be charged a fee for this service.

Finalising the Sale

Once negotiations have been finalised, you will be required to sign the Contract of Sale and pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price). Your deposit will be held in a trust account until settlement. At settlement, contracts will then be unconditionally exchanged.

Final Inspection

It is advisable that you do a final inspection before settlement takes place (usually 2-4 days prior). This is to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when you last inspected it, and that all inclusions are as per the contract you signed.