What to expect when buying a home

Inspired By Andrew Trim
Author of Real Estate Dangers

Buying a home is both an exhilarating and nerve-wracking process. It can be highly time-consuming and it often comes as a relief to finally find the perfect property. But what are the steps associated with purchasing your new home?

While the process may differ slightly depending on the sale method of the property, the following guideline can help give you an idea of what to expect.

Determine your buying power

Before you start your research, it can be a good idea to pay a visit to either your bank or a finance specialist who can help you determine what your buying power is. While conditional pre-approvals shouldn’t be taken as gospel, it can be a good idea to have a price range in mind before you fall in love with a property out of your reach.

Do your research

You should never rush into buying a property – after all, this can often be one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make. Take the time to research the area, different property types as well as looking into associated costs such as stamp duty costs and solicitor fees so that you feel well prepared prior to buying. It can also be helpful to get in contact with local real estate agents and ask them to keep you in the loop with any properties that come onto the market that are similar to what you are looking for. Sometimes properties will sell before being advertised on platforms such as Domain and realestate.com.au, so it can be beneficial to be on any mailing lists that the agents send out.

Make an offer

Once you’ve found a home that fits the bill, it’s time to make an offer! If you have any special requests, you should instruct the real estate agent to include them in your offer. This can include things such as your preferred settlement period and the amount of the deposit you will be able to pay (usually 10% but sometimes a lesser deposit or bond is requested in certain circumstances).


Once you receive the news that your offer has been accepted, you will be required to pay your deposit as soon as possible after having your offer accepted. You should also aim to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf during this time.

Building and pest inspections and finance

After your offer is accepted, you’ll organise a building and pest inspection to be conducted at a time that suits you. While this is not mandatory, it is highly recommended to ensure there are no nasty surprises at a later date. Building and pest inspections can provide peace of mind with the knowledge that your new home is free from any serious structural flaws or termites.


After building and pest is satisfied and finance approved, the purchase moves into the unconditional phase. Buyers can conduct a pre-settlement inspection in the days leading up to settlement to ensure no damage has occurred after your initial inspections. If you need to measure your new home for furniture this can be arranged at a mutually convenient time.


Settlement generally occurs between 4 and 6 weeks after the contract is signed, unless agreed upon otherwise. They will generally occur in the afternoon, however it’s important to understand that delays can often occur between solicitors. Once you have been notified of settlement, you will be able to pick up your keys and move into your new home.

Are you interested in reading Real Estate Dangers by Andrew Trim? Contact us to receive your free copy. Email: mail@goulburnre.com.au or call 02 4822 8711


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