Step-by-step guide to buying property

The process of buying a new home can be both exciting and overwhelming. Becoming familiar with the following steps can help reduce any stress involved in the buying process.

1. Budget

Decide how much you can afford to spend, keeping in mind all the additional costs associated with buying a home.

2. Research

Research the market in the area where you want to buy. Look at local infrastructure and amenities such as public transport, educational facilities and shopping centres.

3. Pre-approval

Having pre-approval means you can move quickly when you find your dream home. When applying, you’ll need to provide employment history, income and expenses, assets and liabilities and some personal details.

4. Inspections

Your solicitor or conveyancer can recommend what property inspections to undertake. You should check with local council and state government about zoning issues and future developments that may affect your home.

5. Offer and approval

Once your offer has been accepted, a holding deposit needs to be paid. The following ‘cooling off period’ is a set number of days specified in the contract in which you can walk away from the agreement to purchase the property.

6. Contract deposit

If paying the contract deposit from your own funds, you can generally use a personal cheque or a bank cheque. If part of the contract deposit is coming from your home loan, you may need to use a deposit guarantee.

7. Contracts and legal work

Do your research and find a reputable conveyancer or solicitor that meets your needs. Ask them to explain the contract so you understand the contents before signing. Your conveyancer or solicitor will then organise for you and the vendor to sign contracts and pay your contract deposit.

8. Settlement

This is when you take legal ownership of your new home, usually four to six weeks after contracts are exchanged. The balance of the purchase price will need to be paid. Your solicitor or conveyancer will arrange this with your lender, then advise the real estate agent to give you the keys.

Looking for all the information on home buying in one place?

At Teachers Mutual Bank, we’re aware there are many factors to consider when choosing a home loan. Discover more about getting started with buying a home with our helpful resource centre at