Buying Tips

Tips for buying a real estate property in Wollongong

Buying a property can be challenging especially if it is your first time. The following advice is designed to help navigate your way through the buying process and secure the property of your dreams.

1. Know how much you can afford

Using online calculators and seeking financial advice, determine how much you can afford to repay and arrange a loan to suit your needs. We recommend organising pre-approval up to your limit, so when you find your ideal property, you can move quickly.

2. Make a list of key property features

A clear vision will help you find the home you are looking for. Key questions include lifestyle/proximity to preferred suburbs, no. of bedrooms/bathrooms and car space. It is also worth considering whether you want to renovate or not.

3. Do your research

Once you have a clear idea of your budget and what you need, start attending open houses and auctions of properties that meet your criteria. You may end up adjusting your expectations during this process.

4. Seek our agents’ help

One of our agents will help guide your search. If you register as a buyer they will keep you notified of any new and upcoming listings that may suit.

5. Get a copy of the contract

Once you have found a property you are genuinely interested in, ask your agent to send a copy of the sale contract to your solicitor or conveyancer. They will advise you of any issues and handle the exchange process.

6. Arrange a building & pest inspection

Your solicitor will normally insist on seeking a pest and building report. This will alert you of any hidden structural problems or pest issues.

7. Make an offer

Armed with your solicitor’s and the inspectors’ reports you can make a confident offer to the vendor’s agent. They will negotiate between you and the vendor. You may need to act quickly and exchange unconditionally or the vendor may allow a cooling off period, unless you choose to waive this.

8. Buying at auction

If intending to buy at auction, ensure you register as a bidder on the day. Someone may only bid on your behalf if they have a binding authority form signed by you. If the property fails to reach reserve, the highest bidder normally has first right of negotiation. Visit the Office of Fair Trading website for more detailed advice.

9. Pay a deposit

Once your offer is accepted, you will need to sign the sale contract and pay a 10% deposit. Your deposit will be held in trust in an interest bearing account until settlement. This interest is shared between you and the vendor.

10. Exchange contracts

The vendor will sign their sale contract and the solicitor/conveyancer or agent will exchange the contracts. There is now a period of time – usually around 6 weeks, until settlement occurs.

11. Pre-Inspection settlement

Before settlement is finalised, your solicitor or conveyancer may suggest a pre-settlement inspection on the day settlement is due, to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when you agreed to buy it, and it and that all the inclusions meet the contract specifications.

12. Move in

You will get the keys once the property has settled. It is now yours to enjoy. Congratulations.

Throughout this process we are just a phone call away. If you need any assistance please contact us. Even if you just want some independent advice, we’d be pleased to help.