Buying Guide


Journey Begins:

Investigate your home loan options and select the loan that best suits your needs, keeping in mind that there are different types of loans. The easiest is to select the lender with the lowest interest rate, but one that also offers flexibility to suit your needs & lifestyle.

Once your loan is pre-approved the bank will give you an approval in writing stating you have approval in principle subject to satisfactory valuation of your final choice.

House Hunting:

Searching for your new home has never been easier. By just the click of a button you can view most properties on the market via the internet.

When looking for a house, keep in account how much money you can borrow then choose your location within your price range. Maybe even go for a drive in the areas you would prefer to live in and make a list of the promising suburbs that can offer local schools, public transport, doctors, local amenities, etc.

Arrange to Meet with a Real Estate Agent:

Rather than doing all the work, why not arrange to meet with several agents in your preferred area and let them do some work for you. Outline where you are looking and what you are looking for when purchasing your home, such as how many bedrooms, bathrooms, special features, local facilities nearby, etc. This way you will have more time on your hands by just looking at promising houses.

With agents you will hear about newly listed properties as they come onto the market, rather than waiting for them to be advertised, this way you skip to the front of the queue.

Inspecting Properties:

When looking at several properties it could become hard to remember which property includes what, so it would be a good idea to take notes and compare houses to assist you in choosing the best house to suit your needs.


Take photos and perform an inspection by yourself by checking some of the following:

  • Check internal & external walls for cracks & warping
  • Make sure all electrical outlets work
  • Check water pressure on taps
  • Inspect walls & carpets for mould & mildew and signs of rising damp
  • Check exterior walls for water stains – can be an indication of damaged or rotten gutters
  • Look out for broken or cracked tiles internally & externally and also roof tiles

Professional inspections can be carried out on properties by companies who specialise in this area of work. Get referrals from friends, relatives, yellow pages, local councils or even from your local Master Builder’s Association, Housing Industry Association, Architect’s Advisory Service or Institute of Building Consultants.

Reviewing the Contract:

Review the vendor’s statement and Contact of Sale. The vendor (owner of the property) has to make a declaration which indicates all the facts and faults on the property.

Victoria: Vendor’s Statement

New South Wales: Contract of Sale

This contract must be available at any request from the vendor’s Real Estate and should contain the following:

  • Copy of Title
  • Planning information
  • Details of existing mortgage on the property
  • Outgoings
  • Building restrictions
  • Building permits
  • Fixtures & fittings included at time of sale and any other arrangements the vendor has entered regarding the property

If the vendor does not provide correct and accurate information the purchaser may get out of this contract or even sue the vendor for false and misleading information.

Steps to Closing the Deal:

Once you have negotiated and accepted the price you need to exchange contracts and get your lawyer or conveyancer to check the Vendor’s Statement/Contact of Sale which should include the price, settlement date, chattels (possessions that are not fixed to the house) and any other special conditions.

Your legal adviser should read your paper work and advise you of any restrictions or zoning conditions relating to the property and any other information that needs to be clearly noted by yourself.

Each party then signs their copy of the Vendor’s Statement/Contract of Sale, which has been preparted in duplicate. Once the vendors & purchasers have signed the contract, it cannot be changed unless agreed by both parties. Keep in mind there is a cooling off period which is a specified time outlined on the contract that allows the purchaser to cancel the contract.

In WA there is no cooling off period.

Your conveyancer still continues to process the documents and makes further enquiries re: the property.

Once the final contract is completed, it is sent to the vendors to be signed and returned to you at settlement.

Closer to the settlement date you will receive a statement outlining the final amount owing including adjustments for taxes and rates.

Finalising your Loan & Organising Insurance:

Contact your lender/bank and advise them you have made an offer on a home (providing you have arranged for provisional finance). They will then organise a valuation on the property and if it meets their requirements, your loan will be processed.

On settlement date the final amount owing is paid and the settlement is then complete and the legal documents stating the property is in your name is handed over.

Following the settlement or even just prior to settlement, take out a cover note to insure the property and any movable items/contents.

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