You’ve saved your deposit and want to buy a home, but your scratching your head about how the buying process works. Here’s a brief rundown of what to expect when looking to purchase a property.


Before you start searching for a property it is important that you find out what your borrowing capacity is. This will help you decide on which properties you are able to inspect. If you haven't already, we suggest you make an appointment with you bank to discuss out how much you can borrow and to organise conditional loan approval (pre-approval). It's also a clever idea to shop around to get the best deal, and if you’re not sure where to go just ask us and we can help you.


Once you know your borrowing capacity you can then start searching and inspecting properties in your price range. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s always a good idea to do some research on the suburb prior to the inspection day.  This way you can identify the nearby amenities such as schools or sport grounds that may be favourable for you. On the inspection day arrive at the property slightly earlier than the scheduled inspection, this way you can have a drive around the neighbouring street and get a feel for what type of suburb it is. You should take your time and really inspect the property to see if it is a home you can see yourself living in.



Once you have found a property that you are interested in purchasing, you should ask the real estate agent for a copy of the Contract of Sale. If you haven’t already appointed a solicitor or conveyancer to assist you with your purchase, it is at this point that you will need to find one. If you do not have someone that you are comfortable using, ask your real estate agent if they can provide you with various solicitors and conveyancers that are local in the area and that can assist in your purchase.


Once you have decided that this is the property for you, it’s time to make an offer. An offer can be made verbally or in writing depending on the real estate agencies procedure and will need to be submitted to the real estate agent conducting the negotiation. The agent in turn will convey the offer to the owner. The will then either accept, reject or advise the agent of a counter offer. After all negotiations have been finalised and the price has been accepted by both parties, you will then leave an initial deposit and sign the Contract of Sale.


The initial holding deposit is generally 0.25% of the agreed purchase price. An important note to remember is that if you decide to not go ahead with the purchase, this initial amount is non-refundable. The upside, is that once the initial deposit has been paid the property is temporarily secured and it cannot be shown or sold to any other buyer.

Both you and the owner will then sign the Contract of Sale and the real estate agent will exchange contracts immediately with either a 5 or 10 day cooling off period. This cooling off period includes working days and excludes weekends and public holidays. During the cooling off period you can conduct various property inspections which may include a pest and building inspection and a bank valuation which may be needed to order to attain your formal loan approval. Your chosen solicitor or conveyancer will be able to arrange all the necessary inspections and provide the relevant documentations required by your bank.


On or before 5:00pm on the last day of the expiration of the cooling-off -period, the remainder of the 10% deposit will need to be paid to secure the property. By this time all the inspections should be completed and satisfactory. At this point you can then safely proceed with purchasing the property.



After the unconditionally exchange takes place the property is officially sold. There will now be a period to wait before settlement can occur. This period is generally 6 weeks from the exchange date, unless an alternative date was agreed upon during the negotiation period.

During this period prior to settlement your solicitor or conveyancer will have bank transfers and other various documents that you would need to sign and they will contact you to arrange a time to complete this prior to the settlement day. In the days prior to settlement, or on the day of settlement you should conduct a Final Inspection of the property with your real estate agent. This allows you to inspect the property one final time prior to settlement to make sure the property is in the same condition as when you last inspected.

Once settlement occurs and the real estate has obtained the appropriate written documentation from your solicitor or conveyancer you are then able to arrange pick up of your keys and move into your new property.