5 Crucial Steps to Buying a House in NSW
Buying a house can be a big step but taking small steps can help make the process a whole lot easier. Read our latest guide to make sure you’re on the right track.
- Organise your finances
The last thing you want to do, is browse the streets for a new home, find the perfect property, but have someone else ‘steal’ it from underneath you. This is the (not so surprising), exhausting feeling, most home shoppers go through when looking to buy.
First thing’s first. Get your finances together. Whichever way you choose to start or whoever you want to contact first, the most important thing to remember is – “Can we afford it?”
A Mortgage broker is a great way to start. Brokers act as mediators, or, negotiators, who brokers mortgage loans on behalf of individuals or businesses. Traditionally, banks sell their own products but as markets for mortgages have become more competitive, mortgage brokers have become more popular. In Australia, mortgage brokers are the largest sellers of mortgage products for lenders.
- Search for and inspect properties
Ok, great! Now you know how much you can borrow plus; you feel comfortable enough to make the repayments for your Loan. It’s time to step out. Step out and shop! Apparently, they say it’s the fun part. (Whatever!)
There are a few key factors to consider when browsing for your next home.
Location: Is it close to schools, shops and parks?
Lifestyle: Which type of community are you after? Do you want to socialise and be apart of a close neighbourhood or do you want to be left alone? (There’s nothing wrong with that)
Living: How many bedrooms, bathrooms and car spaces do you need? Do you want a home or land to build a home?
Once you have an idea in your mind it will help filter your findings. Utilising a Real Estate listing site such as realestate.com.au can make a world of difference. It’s quick and easy to use. For the more organised home seeker you can create an account, save notes and schedule open homes straight into your personal calendar.
Before submitting an offer, it’s crucial that you inspect the property. This can rule out any serious issues, ensures the property is well suited to what you want and that you love it!
- Submit an offer
After many weeks of searching and inspecting, you have had time to filter down to your favourite home. You love it, your family loves it and your kids are fighting over who gets the biggest room. Now it’s your turn to fight. Fight for the property. Does this sound familiar? “Just to give you a heads up there ARE other interests in this property”. Yep! We’ve heard it all before.
At the close of a business day, an Agent needs to sell for the Vendor, this is what they are paid to do. So whatever price you prepare them with (a decent amount, of course!), they will discuss it with the Vendor because it’s still an advantage for both parties. And, if you’ve mentioned that your finances ARE READY TO GO then signing a contract might just be around the corner!
If you’re set to go ahead with a serious offer for a particular property, just wait, there are a few ways to make it less stressful for you.
- Request a copy of the contract for that property from the agent.
- Pass this contract on to your conveyancer or solicitor for them to review. They’re paid to represent you and make sure there are no serious issues or important items missing which would prevent you from purchasing the property or being restricted in utilising your land in the future.
Once your conveyancer gives you the green light then you can now submit an offer – either verbally or in writing. (Written offer is always best, especially if you’ve looked at so many properties and your brain is in a spin). The agent will keep you informed if your offer has been accepted or not.
- Organise a Legal representative (Yes, we sound smart! In other words, a Solicitor!)
Congratulations! Your offer has been accepted. You’re a step closer to owning a sanctuary to call your own. The next step is quite a formal process where legal documents will be exchanged and signed in order to complete the purchase. At this stage, it is highly recommended that you secure your conveyancer or solicitor who specialises in Property Law. Are they licensed with NSW Fair Trading? Do they have insurance? Should any mistakes be made during the process you need to have peace of mind that you’re covered. Do your research properly from the start so there are no bumps in the road.
Check with your Solicitor or Conveyancer the steps they take for your new property purchase. Some tasks can include:
- Review the sales contract
- Research the property and complete background checks which include a title search and certificates check
- Exchange the sale contract with the Vendors legal advisor
- Represent you during Settlement
- Negotiate contracts and place a deposit
Now that you’re comfortable with your Solicitor and their advice – They will act on your behalf during the contract negotiation process.
The exchange of contracts is the legal completion when buying a house in NSW. Before these contracts are exchanged, both you and the Vendor will receive a copy of the sales contract which you will need to sign before they are exchanged.
A standard cooling off period after exchange is five days when buying a house in NSW. This can or may be extended to ten days depending on the situation and negotiations with the agent. If, for any reason, you wish to withdraw from the contract you will need to do so in writing and be required to pay the Vendor 0.25% of the agreed purchase price. This works out to be $250 for every $100,000.
You will have approximately six weeks until settlement after the contracts have been exchanged. This time is typically used to finalise everything for the property including finances and legal documents in preparation for Settlement day.
Settlement day is when you pay the rest of the sale price and become the legal owner of the property. YAY!