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Property Purchase Process

Streamline your home buying journey with our step-by-step guide.

You’ve saved up for a deposit or built equity in your property, and now you’re ready to get out there and find your home or investment property. But you’re still a bit confused when it comes to the actual buying process. What steps should you take and when?

Buying a property might just be the largest transaction you’ll ever make, so it is crucial to understand its key stages, your budget and how much you can afford to borrow. Clarify these points before you start your house hunt so that your finances are in order when you find your dream home.

If it seems overwhelming, have no fear. We’ve put together a smooth property purchase timeline so that you know exactly what to expect and in what order.


Appoint a mortgage advisor

A qualified and trusted mortgage advisor can guide you through the buying process, prioritising your financial interests. They will assess your current needs and objectives, as well as your future goals, to understand your financial situation.

Based on your deposit and how much you can afford to borrow, your mortgage advisor will help you to set your maximum budget. They will also advise you on potential lending strategies, check your eligibility for a First Home Buyer Grant or concession, and help you to arrange a home loan pre-approval.


Appoint a conveyancer or solicitor

Any time you buy or sell property, you will have to sign a contract. If you are purchasing a property, it is advised that you have a licensed conveyancer or solicitor review the Contract of Sale before you sign it. This will ensure that you are fully aware of the terms of the contract, as they can give you legal advice and explain any implications.


Begin your property search

Start looking for a property within your price range. To do this, ensure that you know the value of properties in your target area. We offer free Core Logic property reports for our clients to help you research the property, understand what has recently sold in the area and access suburb statistics.


Make a verbal offer

Once you have found a property that you’re interested in purchasing, you can negotiate a price verbally with the real estate agent. If they accept the price verbally, you will need to request a copy of the Contract of Sale for your conveyancer or solicitor to review before you sign. Keep in mind that the seller and real estate agent have their own interests in mind, so it is important to seek legal advice before signing a contract.


Review and negotiate your contract

Sometimes, your contract isn’t perfect the first time around. It may require some tweaks, such as the amount of deposit or settlement date. Your solicitor will negotiate any changes on your behalf. At this stage, we recommend requesting the contract to be conditional upon finance approval and a satisfactory pest and building inspection.


Arrange a pest and building inspection

No ifs, ands or buts – carry out a pest and building Inspection on a property you’re interested in before you buy it. This could save you thousands, as you can be certain that there are no unexpected, expensive problems which will bite you in the future. If you do find any defects, they can fuel negotiations for a lower purchase price! We also recommend a pest inspection to reveal any damaging pest problems such as termite activity.


Finalise your finance approval

Once your offer has been accepted (and assuming you have already received a Pre-Approval from your lender), you can start the process to finalise your finance approval. This is when a copy of the contract is sent to your mortgage adviser and a valuation is ordered. Once the lender completes and accepts the valuation, a formal approval will then be issued and sent to your conveyancer or solicitor.


Sign your contract

Once you’re happy that all contract conditions have been met and you have been advised by your conveyancer or solicitor, then go ahead and sign on that dotted line.

Once signed and exchanged by the buyer and seller, the contract is legally binding. In some states, there is a cooling off period during which you can cancel the contract. Speak with your conveyancer or solicitor to see if this applies to you.


Pay your deposit

Immediately after signing the contract, you have to pay a deposit. This is generally 10% of the purchase price but can be negotiated in some cases. Whatever the sum, it is usually paid to the trust account of the real estate agent or the seller’s solicitor, who will hold on to it until settlement.


Prep for your settlement

Leading up to the big day, your lender will prepare loan documents for you to sign. Once signed, they will need to be returned to the lender’s solicitor along with evidence of your building insurance cover.

Meanwhile, your solicitor will make sure all transfer documentation is in order and liaise with your lender to confirm the funds available for settlement. This will ensure that everything is ready to go.


Settlement day

At settlement, there is usually no need for you to attend because your legal representative will be there on your behalf. This is the moment where the balance of funds is handed over to the seller. Your conveyancer or solicitor will notify you as soon as it has been finalised.


Collect your keys

The property is officially yours to enjoy, so grab your keys and get comfortable! Your solicitor will register the change of title and mortgage at the land titles office, as well as notify local authorities of the new ownership.