Buying and selling a home can be confusing for most of us. Here is some basics to help make the process as clear as possible.


Save for a Deposit

The deposit is the initial cost you will need to pay when buying a home. The first step is to get your finances sorted and do a budget to identify how much you can afford to save for your deposit and work out what you can afford to borrow. A savings plan is great practice for paying off a mortgage. Lenders or banks may be more willing to lend you money if you have strong savings history. It is recommended to talk to your bank about term deposits or other saving options with higher interest rates.


Research the Market

Start your research by getting some general ideas about how much you’re likely to pay for a new home. First step is to look at property listings in real estate agency windows, on the internet, and in newspapers’ property section. If you’re thinking about a certain suburb or neighbourhood, you should make sure you have a clear idea about property prices in this area. Talking to a licensed real estate agent or talk to family or friends who have recently bought a home in the area will be helpful.


Know the Full Cost

When you buy your home, you must pay more costs than just the asking price. You should also be aware of things you will need to pay before and after the purchase settlement. For example, transfer duty, professional valuation if required, building and pest inspections, bank or mortgage fees, registration and lodgement of your mortgage, and other conveyancing costs like legal fees and property searches. It is your responsibility to pay the council and water rates and body corporate fees (if applicable) after your purchase.


Appoint a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents most often represent sellers; however, you can still hire one to be a buyer’s agent. It is important to connect with your agent and let them know your budget, likes and dislikes as they will assist you greatly. They will further assist you to find suitable properties, negotiate with the seller on your behalf, and do background checks on the property and area. You can save time in searching for your next home or investment property as your chosen real estate agent will have extensive knowledge of their local real estate markets. They can give accurate and up to date information about market values and potential growth in every suburb.


Make an Offer

If you have found a property that you love and can afford and decided to buy it, your agent will approach the seller to make an offer on your behalf. Generally, a Contract is prepared by the seller’s real estate agent and presented to the buyer. They will usually deliver the contract signed by the Buyer to the Seller, who will decide whether they accept the Buyer’s offer to purchase. If they accept the offer, the seller will sign the contract and the conveyancing process will begin. It is during this time that you should consider engaging legal representation to act on your behalf. It is then that your solicitor can advise on the terms of the contract, your obligations, and whether you require any special conditions.


Appoint a Solicitor

It is strongly recommended that you get independent legal advice before you buy your new home. Find a firm that specialises in property or conveyancing, shop around for their experience, services, and costs. You need to make sure that your solicitor is not connected to any other party like the seller. You can ask your solicitor to check the Contract of Sale and supporting documents before you sign. They will assist you all throughout the conveyancing process and deal with the seller’s solicitor in transferring the property title from the seller to the buyer to reach a successful and stress-free settlement.