The five stages of purchasing a property

Regardless of whether you’re purchasing your first home or your fifth, buying a property involves a series of stages.

And these stages can take time to complete, with the average journey to buying a property taking anywhere between three and 12 months.

So let’s look at the stages involved and where you might be up to in your personal purchasing journey…

Stage 1 – Preliminary research

The first stage of buying involves preliminary research and will also see you asking a series of questions, such as whether now’s a good time to buy and how that purchase will impact your lifestyle.

The preliminary research you conduct involves gauging things like what’s going on in the market, the locations where you would consider purchasing, and the budget you’re likely to have.

At this point you’re probably scouring the listing portals, seeing what sort of properties are available, where, and how much they cost.

You might also be attending open homes, with a view to determining how quickly properties are selling in your desired areas and how much demand there is from other buyers.

Stage 2 – Exploring your options

Stage 2 sees you get a little more serious. You‘ve probably narrowed down where you’d like to buy and also have a list of features you’d like the property to have.

You also now have a pretty good understanding of the local market, including which properties have recently sold and the price that they’ve commanded.

Meanwhile, it’s also likely you have spoken with your lending institution regarding finance, have a good indication of the deposit you require and are working on ways to have that deposit ready to go – whether that involves saving more money, selling another property, or cashing in other assets.   

Stage 3 – Lining up the ducks

This is an important part of the purchasing journey. Ideally, you will have finance pre-approval and your deposit is in the bank.

You are regularly attending open homes, have a clear vision of the type of property that will suit your needs, and should the right one come along, you are in a position to make an offer.

You will also have a team of experts in mind to help you conduct any required due diligence on a home that piques your interest.

This team will include:

  • A mortgage broker/lender
  • Conveyancer/solicitor
  • Pest and building inspection services

Stage 4 – Making an offer

At this point, you have found a property (or perhaps more than one) that suits your needs and you are ready to put in an offer to buy it.

You also know what conditions will be required in the contract of sale to either make that offer more appealing to the vendor or to meet your personal needs.

Now it’s time to put that offer in writing, along with those conditions, which might include things like:

  • The purchase being subject to the sale of an existing property
  • The purchase being subject to pest and building inspections
  • The purchase being subject to finance

When the vendor receives this offer, they can choose to accept it, reject it , or put in a counter-offer and negotiate for a higher price.

Once the offer is accepted the countdown begins to settlement, with both the buyer and the vendor now working to meet the conditions of the contract of sale by the set deadlines.  

Stage 5 – Finalisation and settlement

With all conditions of the contract met, the clock begins ticking down to settlement, which is the day the property officially changes hands.

At this stage you will be finalising details including insurance for the home, removal dates, the exchange of keys and the commencement of the mortgage for the property.

Then, on settlement day, the property officially becomes yours!

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