I’ve had requests from buyers recently for an easy guide to understanding how the buying process actually works. I’ve written this before, but good advice never gets old, so here is a breakdown of the process:

Understand your budget

The most common error buyers run into is looking before they are ready. This can waste time and money. It isn’t difficult to get preapproved, or to speak to a representative from your bank or mortgage broker, and get a ballpark of what you can afford. Window-shopping is fine for clothes, but involves a lot of commitment from home owners and real estate agents, so be sure you’re ready to buy.

Establish your criteria and plan

Once you have a sold understanding of 1) your financial capacity 2) your personal limits, then it is time to decide what and where. If you are buying with your partner or spouse this is more challenging, as you need to be on the same page as to your expectations and your work and lifestyle needs. Remember (unless you are exempt as a First Home Buyer or pensioner) you will pay stamp duty. That is a lot of money to spend if you aren’t staying for a few years.

As part of establishing your plan, make confident plans for the future. It is very difficult to look forward 2 years let alone 5 years, but although life can change rapidly, it is important to be realistic about when your next move might take place

Shopping for a house

This is the fun part. Nine times out of ten, people will buy the house they fall in love with, but also try and use a practical mind to get the best outcome. When you find a house you like, it’s time to make an offer

The offer

If you have gotten preapproval or at least a verbal confirmation from your broker, you should have no problems making your offer “Subject to Finance”. This means the offer is conditional on you getting your loan approved. It is important to be clear and confident when communicating with the agent. Also ask them about their offer process, as many agents manage offers in different ways. It is worth having a conveyancer who will legally represent you during the sale so that they may offer advice during this period


Once your offer is successful, you need to get your loan approved as well as satisfy any other conditions. This means actually as quickly as possible. Ensure you are in constant communication with the agent and the conveyancer. If you need finance, it is your job to provide your bank / mortgage broker with the essential paperwork – remember, being organised is important because time is of the essence. If there was other interest in the property, you don’t want to miss your chance


Once you have achieved all your conditions, the next important date is the settlement date (which you would have nominated when you made the offer). Before this date you will need to organise your move, but also insurance, utilities, and arrange your final inspection to ensure the house is as it was when you made the offer. It can be a very simple process if you break it down into parts. A time like this can make simple processes seem more complex, but if you are organised there really is nothing to worry about. The last piece of advice I want to give any readers of this article is on price. Hence the title of this article: the bottom of the market is yesterday. With the current lockdown in full swing, I wanted to reassure vendors and buyers alike that we have not seen any indication of price tremors. In fact it has been the opposite, with 3 bedroom homes confidently moving into the $600,000 price bracket. For any buyer considering waiting. Don’t. You will be priced out of the market, and for any owner considering selling, now is the best time. There is limited stock available. Due to this vacuum in the market, timing is everything. When funnels of demand exist, we see the most dramatic growth in value.

For advice on when to sell over the coming months, get in contact with our team at Integrity on 5786 2033.