How does the buying process work?

What happens once the hammer falls?Here are the five steps to get you from
home buyer to home owner.

purchasing propertry

Sign contract and pay deposit 
It is important your conveyancer or solicitor inspects the contract of sale before you sign.

If buying at auction, you’ll sign the contract and pay a deposit (usually 10%) on the spot.

If buying through a private sale, you may pay a holding deposit of between $500 and $1000 to show good faith. You’ll then pay a larger deposit (usually 10%) when you sign the contract.

Cooling-off period 
A private sale contract may include a cooling-off period, which enables you to change your mind and withdraw from the contract. You should check with your conveyancer or solicitor if a cooling-off period applied before exchanging contracts.

It’s important to note that the length of cooling-off periods varies by state.

Loan approval 
Your lender will perform checks, which may include a property valuation, before approving the loan and issuing a loan contract.

"Once all loan contracts have been signed, and all the appropriate insurances have been set up – loan protection, building and contents, personal risk – then the processing team will certify the documents and prepare for settlement," says Dixie Tang, Commonwealth Bank mobile lender.

Final inspection 
In the days preceding settlement, you should conduct a final property inspection to ensure all is as the contract states, and that the property and its fixtures and fittings are in good shape.

On the day of settlement, you must pay the balance to the seller. Your conveyancer or solicitor will organise the transaction, plus the payment of additional costs such as utility adjustments and legal fees.

Title deeds (if any) and mortgages will be registered at the lands office in your state or territory.

Finally, you get the keys!