Organise your finances.

Discuss a loan pre-approval with your lender or mortgage broker. Find out how much you can afford to spend and what your mortgage repayments will be.

Upfront costs

Look into the costs associated with buying a home, how much deposit will you need, stamp duty, bank fees, conveyancer and the ongoing costs. A larger deposit may help you to avoid costly Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

Suburbs and lifestyle

Prepare a short list of preferred suburbs that suit your lifestyle. Determine what style of home you would like. Research the market in these suburbs. Nothing beats seeing a place in person but you can take a lot of the hard work out of the process by browsing websites like REAL ESTATE.COM AND DOMAIN.

Be practical. No property will be perfect, take time to consider neighbours and surrounding areas. Is it close to all your lifestyle needs, for example – work, schools, hospitals and shops.

Making an offer

When you find a property that suits your requirements you will negotiate the price if it is private treaty. Make sure it is a realistic offer; this should be in writing and must be signed by you. If you are buying at auction, there will be no negotiation to worry about as – the winning bid is the price.


It is advisable to arrange a building inspection and pest inspection to make sure you are aware of any possible major defects.

Contract of Sale

Once negotiations have been finalised, you and the vendor will be required to sign the sale contract which is legally binding and you will be required to pay a deposit agreed upon. Your deposit will be held in a trust account until settlement.

When contracts have been exchanged in a private treaty sale, there’s a legal cooling-off period of 2 business days. You can change your mind during this time and withdraw from the purchase without any legal repercussions.


Your home is one of the largest investments you’ll ever make, so it makes sense to protect it with home insurance and perhaps contents insurance when you move in.

Final inspection

On settlement day it is advisable that you do a final inspection before settlement takes place. This is to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when you last inspected it, and that all inclusions are as per the contract you signed.