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What Are The Steps To Buying A House?

What Are The Steps To Buying A House?

April 8, 2021


Buying a house is typically a fun and exciting time. But for many the process of dealing with banks and paperwork, even if you are an experienced investor, can be an uncertain and stressful process. We understand the challenges our clients face negotiating with Real Estate Agents, Banks and Conveyancers.

Our team work for you and we take care to advise you and protect your interests so have the best experience possible when buying a property.

When buying a home most people are entering into the largest financial commitment that takes years to repay. So, it pays to know what to expect.

The steps to buying a house mostly go like the list prepared below. This can vary depending on your individual circumstances:

Finance Pre-Approval

This is a critical first step for most – finding out how much you can afford to spend will dictate what area and type of property fits your budget.

Find your dream home or investment property

This can be exhausting work especially for first home buyers. Getting the best property that fits your budget and needs can be tricky. Dealing with Real Estate Agents it is important to understand that they act for the seller. Make sure to check if you are unsure of what they are saying or suggesting.

Contract Advice

As conveyancing lawyers, we are often helping our clients out of sticky situations and we don’t want to see our clients get into unnecessary difficulties. The best way to avoid that is by getting advice from an experienced lawyer before you sign the Contract of Sale.

Order Build & Pest Inspections & other due diligence

This is also crucial to ensuring you know what you are buying. Many properties can have major issues. These can be difficult to see if you are not an experienced building inspector. In a competitive auction market this step can get missed. We strongly recommend that you get a professional build inspector to check your property before you buy it.

Negotiate & Sign the Contract

Many properties end up at auction, whilst others are privately negotiated. Private negotiations take more time to get a price an than an auction. During the process you can feel vulnerable. We can help you if you come across a situation where you would like some further advice or a second opinion. Remember that real estate agent’s don’t work for you – we do.

More legal Advice & Start Finalising the Mortgage Application

Once you have signed up the contract the ball gets rolling with more legal advice and your mortgage application. Delays often happen if you don’t respond quickly enough and finalise documentation. Be sure to respond quickly to all correspondence so this doesn’t happen. This is especially true for finance and mortgage processes in busy times such as Easter, Spring or Christmas.

Your Conveyancer starts all the legal paperwork

Once we have your contract we start to prepare all the paperwork and online procedures to get ready for settlement. We make sure that all the parties have the relevant information they need to attend settlement.

Lodging and payment of land transfer (stamp) duty (VIC excluded)

Lodging and certification of land transfer Duty is done online now via the State Revenue Office Portal. You get an invite sent via email and you need to approve and sign the Stamp Duty payment online.

Get Mortgage Documents Signed

The mortgage documents should be ready in a few weeks and you should definitely sign and return them to your lender as soon as possible. This way if there is a problem it will be found and fixed quickly.

Book Settlement and Calculate Settlement figures

We start co-ordinate the settlement details with the other side and your bank. Once the settlement figures are agreed upon then this is uploaded to PEXA with the date and time of settlement.

You start packing and finalise your finances

By now the loan should be unconditionally approved and your lender should be ready for settlement. If you have lender, you may also be contributing funds (shortfall funds) as well. This needs to be in a bank or trust account so that they are automatically drawn upon at settlement.

You should be almost all packed up and ready to move too!

Do a Final Inspection of the property – Check the dishwasher is still there!

You will be able to inspect the property for a final inspection during the last seven days before settlement. This is so that you can check that the property is in the same condition as the day you bought it, fair wear and tear excepted. Sometimes things may be missing so check for appliances and other goods that they are there and nothing is damaged or rubbish not removed.

Settlement Day

Settlements are mostly online now and they can take around half an hour to finalise. Sometimes if there is an issue they can be bumped to another session eg if a party is not ready in time. Typically, it is a lender who hasn’t finalised their details and running late that can cause a delay.

At settlement all the monies get distributed to the Vendor and outstanding rates are paid as well as paying your conveyancer.

Move In and start unpacking!

Once settlement is through then you can go and collect the keys from the selling agent and move in! It is an exciting time getting your hands on the keys and moving in for the first time.

Your conveyancer will handle the post settlement queries and lodgements.

After settlement your conveyancer or lawyer will notify all the authorities such as the Council and Water authorities that you are the new owner. There are also a few other things that may need to be done after settlement as well by your conveyancer such as title insurance.

Here are some additional things you should consider when buying a property.

You Are Entering into a Contract! – Caveator Emptor

Throughout this process we work to ensure that all your legal and contractual deadlines are met. There are many legal considerations and conditions in property contracts. Your conveyancer or lawyer will provide contract advice and make you aware of your obligations and rights so you understand what you must do under the contract.

Other things to watch out for….

Like all legal transactions, things can go wrong and with conveyancing it can get expensive quickly in penalty interest. Getting the right conveyancing legal representation is key to ensuring that if something does come up that your team have the skill and experience to negotiate and defend your legal position.

The otherside can take advantage of you if your conveyancer doesn’t understand the law and processes sufficiently, which can leave you out of pocket or at a disadvantage. We know the law and what can be done and what can’t be done. We also know how to bring a quick resolution to disputes and protect your interests..

Good conveyancing advice should not be underestimated when you are buying a home. It can save you thousands of dollars and even some grey hairs!

We have helped many clients through this process and fought for them when things didn’t go their way.

Our firm is owned and run by lawyers who have many years of experience in Conveyancing, Property and Disputes and Litigation. There is not much we can’t handle for our clients and not much that we haven’t experienced.

Whether you are buying a house, unit or off-the-plan property we provide excellent customer service and legal advice to you. Speak to a conveyancing lawyer today about how we can help you buying your property.

Our property team are dedicated and friendly experts that are ready to help you know. Pick the up phone and call us now on 1300 900 440 or complete an online form and we will get back to you quickly.

Disclaimer: This article has been prepared for general information purposes and may not apply to your situation. This information should not be relied upon for legal, tax or accounting advice. Your individual circumstances will alter any legal advice given. The views expressed may not reflect the opinions, views or values of Conveyancing Depot and belong solely to the author of the content. © Conveyancing Depot Pty Ltd.

If you require legal advice specific to your situation please speak to one of our team members today.