Start your buying process by speaking to a bank or a broker about what you can borrow. This will help you narrow down your search and avoid the disappointment of looking at properties out of your budget. Having a pre-approval from the bank can help speed up the process when you find your dream home.
Open Homes and Private Inspections
You will either view properties at open homes or private inspections, both have their advantages. Typically, open homes are held on a Saturday, this means that you can attend several properties on the same day and clearly compare and contrast. Private inspections are usually with just yourself and the agent. This gives you more time to look around the home and one on one time with the agent to ask questions. We like to make things easy for our buyers, so let us know your availability and shortlist, and we can get you through when it suits you.
Making an Offer
When you think you have found the one you will submit an offer to the agent. When you submit your offer, we will ask for the below details:
- Full names of all people that will be purchasing the property (or the entity name if purchasing in a company, trust or self-managed super fund)
- Offer amount
- Any conditions to the offer
- Proposed settlement period
- Deposit amount
- Solicitor or conveyancer details
The agent will then take your offer to the owner, who will either accept the offer or counter offer. The time frame you can expect an answer in could be anywhere from an hour to 72 hours, this can vary due to work situations, vendors location and there may be several owners for the one property.
If your offer is not accepted and you are offered a counter offer, you have the choice to either raise your offer or walk away from the deal. You don’t have to immediately meet the owners counter offer, but raising your offer keeps the negotiations open.
Once your offer is accepted, a sales advice will be sent to your solicitor or conveyancer who will work towards exchanging contracts on the property.
Pest & Building Reports
You should arrange pre-purchase pest and building reports before exchanging on a property. A building inspection will account for the properties condition, including any cracks, safety hazards or faults. A pest report will identify if there are any pests present and specifically look for past and present termite activity. Failing to do a pest or building report could result in having costly issues to repair in the future. Around the time you are negotiating, or as soon as possible after having your offer accepted, is the best time to book these inspections.
It’s important to remember that having your offer accepted isn’t when the property is ‘sold’. The agent is legally obliged to pass on any offers to the owner until the property is ‘exchanged’. If a higher offer comes in prior to exchange and the owner decides to accept it, you are in the unfortunate position of being ‘gazumped’. Keeping the window between offer accepted and exchanged as short as possible helps reduce the chance of being gazumped. This is why we recommend having your finance position as sure as possible before making an offer, as this is often the part of the process that can take the longest.
Once you receive unconditional finance approval and are happy with your pest and building reports, you will then be in a position to exchange. Before solicitors can exchange contracts, you need to have paid your deposit and signed the contract. The signed contracts are then dated and forwarded to the owner’s solicitor. Unless a 66W certificate is signed, there will be a cooling off period, once the cooling off period expires, the wait for settlement begins.
If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from the sale during the cooling off period, you’ll forfeit 0.25% of the purchase price. After exchange, your whole deposit would be forfeited should you not go through to settlement.
The settlement period is typically 6 weeks after exchange but can be altered if both parties agree. A few days before settlement, a final inspection is conducted. This is to make sure that the property is in the same condition as when you inspected it, and that the agreed inclusions are still present.
Once settlement occurs solicitors will send notification to the selling agent, and once this notification is received you can pick up the keys to your new home! Yay!