You’ve found a property, what next

Once you’ve found a property you are interested in, it’s time to get stuck into the buying process. Our guide below outlines the steps involved in purchasing a property, though the order in which these events may occur can vary.

Engage a solicitor or conveyancer

If you haven’t yet secured the services of a solicitor or conveyancer, now is a good time to do so. Friends and family can be a useful source of referrals or we are happy to provide you with some names of reliable and trusted conveyancers.

Obtain a copy of the contract of sale

The selling agent will provide you with a copy of the property’s sale contract. You may like to arrange for your solicitor or conveyancer to check the contract carefully before you make an offer, this will be at a cost but offers protection from any legal restrictions you may not be aware of.  We will need a copy of your contract of sale.  If you are applying for the First Home Owners Grant, you will need to have the copy certified at the police station.

Secure your purchase

To secure your property purchase you will need to sign the sale contract and pay a deposit – usually 10% of the properties agreed sale price, alternatively Deposit Bonds can be used at this time.

Until you and the vendor have signed and exchanged contracts, the property can still be sold to another buyer offering a higher purchase price. It’s a practice known as ‘gazumping’ and the possibility of being gazumped is one reason why a pre approval is a good idea. It allows you to move ahead with the buying process rather than missing out to another buyer.

Cooling off period

If you purchase your home through private treaty, you may be entitled to a ‘cooling off’ period following exchange, during which you can opt out of the purchase and still be entitled to a refund of your deposit.

There is no cooling off period for auctions. Once the hammer falls you are committed to buying the property.

Arrange insurance cover for your new home

It’s a good idea to arrange insurance cover for the property as soon as you exchange contracts. At the same time, you may also want to arrange contents insurance – to commence from the date you move in.

Following the exchange of contracts

Once you and the vendor have exchanged contracts, you have 6 to 8 weeks to settle on the property. During this time your solicitor or conveyancer will conduct a range of title and property searches to ensure everything is in order prior to title (ownership) of the property being transferred to you. Use this period to make arrangements for furniture removal and to organise utilities connection and mail redirection.


Settlement is the final legal stage of your home purchase. On the settlement date, representatives of the seller, the buyer and the lender all meet to complete the deal. The keys are handed over to you, the buyer, and at last you have purchased your own home