Before you start...
Before you even go looking for a property, sort out your finances. You will need to approach a lender or mortgage broker and find out what money you could potentially borrow. It is also helpful if you can submit a pre-application so that when the time comes to actually buy a house, your finances are ready to go. Please note that a pre-approval is not the final approval for your loan. Formal approval is generally pending on a valuation of the property by the lender.
Once you’ve found a property to purchase and BEFORE you exchange contracts
Make an offer to the real estate agent and negotiate price until your offer is accepted.
Ring your solicitor to advise them of the details of the property.
A Pest and Building Report and/or a Strata Report is not compulsory, but well advised when you’re spending so much money. The last thing you want to find out when you move into your new home is that there are termites, or structural problems with the property. (Reports are generally commissioned after exchange and during the “cooling off” period.)
Contact your lender and advise them that a property has been found. They will then advise you how to begin the approval process.
Consider how much deposit you can pay on exchange and if it will be derived from your funds or via a Deposit Bond from your lender. Be aware that borrowing more than 80% of the sale price of the property will generally require Mortgage Insurance (LMI), which is payable as part of the loan process.
Once a contract is received by your solicitors, they should contact you to arrange signing. Before signing the contract, your solicitor should explain it to you.
When all of the above steps are complete, you should be in a position to exchange contracts under a Cooling Off period and proceed to settlement. Settlement is generally around 42 days from the date of exchange of the contracts.
Download our Conveyancing Brochure in Adobe Acrobat format for more information about purchasing, which includes a glossary of conveyancing terms to help you understand the process. We also have a Glossary of Home Loan Terms available for your assistance.