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  • Writer's pictureDiane Davidson

10 Steps to Buying your New Home!

1. First things first, pre-approval from your bank is paramount prior to beginning your property search. There is no worse feeling for a buyer than to start their search before knowing what budget may be imposed. Adjusting expectation to look in a lower price band is not easy as comparisons are bound to be made to homes you have already seen at higher prices and they won’t compare well. Engage a Mortgage Broker or contact your bank.

2. Begin searching internet sites and attending open homes to get a general feel for the type of property you like and the locations you will and won’t consider. Start searching for salespeople you trust and feel you could work with. One from each of the major real estate companies is the ideal but ensure they are keeping you updated with new listings – or drop them.

3. Start creating your short list of homes. Keep a top three – if you add one, remove one! This will enable you to stay somewhat emotionally removed from fixating on one property only and potentially paying more than a less invested approach may see you paying.

4. When you have found a property you would like to offer on, don’t waste time, get on with it. You would be amazed at the amount of times a property has sat on the market only to receive multiple offers due to buyers procrastinating and thereby opening the door to others.

5. You will be asked when submitting an offer for your personal details

v Full name/s or Name of Trust or Name of Company (whichever entity you are using)

v Your solicitor’s details (have your homework done and know who you will be using)

v Conditions i.e: Finance / Building Report / Lim Report

v Conditional Period i.e: 5 days / 10 days / 15 days

v Deposit Amount (Usually 10% but less is possible) Payable once unconditional

v Settlement Date (The day you wish to move into the property)

This will then be drawn up and you will likely have it emailed to your solicitor for approval prior to signing.

Your offer will either be accepted and signed, thereby creating a legally binding “contract” or, negotiations will begin between yourself and the owner/s.

6. You, in conjunction with your solicitor and salesperson, will commence satisfying your conditions.

7. All going well, you will satisfy your conditions and move to unconditional. At this point you are legally obliged to purchase the property and will be asked to pay your agreed deposit.

8. Prior to moving you will arrange insurance on your new home and your personal belongings (which will include an amount for the chattels i.e: oven / dishwasher / rangehood)

9. Several days (but no later than 24 hours) prior to settlement (moving day), you will be offered the opportunity to do a final walk through the property to check everything is in the same condition as when you purchased, i.e: no new holes in the walls or ripped drapes. You should check all appliances to ensure they are in good working order and that all lights and power sockets are operational. Let your salesperson and/or solicitor know you are happy with everything or give them an itemised account of what is at issue, if not.

10. Settlement day and the excitement of your big move. Be aware that salespeople cannot release keys to you until we have received written confirmation from the seller’s solicitor that funds have been received.

Therefore, do not book your removal truck too early. There is no set time for this occurring – some settlements take place fairly early in the morning and some can be just prior to 5pm if there has been a hold up.

Settlement day is one of the “grey” areas in real estate. Once you have settled and been given the keys, you are legally entitled to take occupation of the property. An outgoing seller is also legally permitted to be in the property until 12am (midnight).

Most buyers and sellers are respectful of each other and will try to work to timeframes that enables the other to be in and out as quickly as possible.

Congratulations homeowner!


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