Buying Information/Tips

Frequently asked questions


What are the stages of the buying process?

The Queensland Govt has some great information on the whole purchasing process and stages on their website, including things to think about and practical tips. Click here for more information.


What are the costs associated with buying a property?

There are a few costs that come up when you are buying a house so it's a great idea to plan ahead and work these into your budget. Some of the common expenses when buying property are:

  • Stamp duty - this will vary depending the purchase price of the property and whether your new home or an investment property. Check out our Stamp Duty Calculator here
  • Fees and charges related to obtaining a mortgage - this will vary depending on your lender. Be sure to shop around, you may also seek the advice of a Mortgage Broker to get the best deals. We've worked a lot with Smart Solutions, check out our team page for more info, click here
  • Search costs
  • Registration fee
  • Conveyancing fee
  • Moving costs - are you able to move yourself or will you need to book a removal company. These costs can add up quickly be sure to factor them into your budget
  • Taxes and rates over the period for which you will own the property - if your property is in Brisbane have a look the BCC website for information on how rates are calculated - click here for more information


Does the government still give a first home buyers grant?

As a first home buyer you may be eligible for the first home owners grant but only if you are building or buying a brand new property. Click here for more information and eligibility criteria.


What is a buyer's agent and do I need one?

A buyer’s agent is a third party engaged to act exclusively on your behalf as the buyer. Their role is to help you identify properties suited to your needs. They organize inspections, negotiate the selling price and contract on your behalf. They'll also monitor the contract from sale to settlement. 

You don't need to have a buyer's agent. It may be useful to appoint a buyer's agent if:

  • You lack the time to search for properties that meet your needs. Hot properties often move quickly on the market so you need to spend your evenings viewing the newly listed properties online.
  • You hate negotiating and would prefer someone else to handle that for you to get the best price. Bear in mind that you will pay a buyer's agent a commission so you may want to do the sums and see if it stacks up cost wise for you.
  • You want someone on your side of the purchasing process to provide advice on what is a good buy and what would be possible from a re-sale perspective down the track.
  • Food for thought, a buyer's agent can't make that tough decision for you! 


Should I hire a conveyancer or do the job myself?

While you are permitted by law to do your own conveyancing, it is a specialized job best left to a professional conveyancer.

If you do decided to do it yourselve make sure you know what you are doing or you risk delaying the settlement. It's critical that you conduct all of the relevant searches, otherwise you may be in for some nasty surprises.


You want to put in an offer on a place but what conditions can you include in the contract of sale?

There are a number of different conditions you may want to include in your contract of sale. The standard ones are:

  • Finance clause - this gives you time to get approval from your lending institution to buy the property. It's important to remember that pre-approval isn't the same as approval. Your lending institution will want to check out the property before giving the final okay. The standard term for this clause is 14 days but can be shorter or longer if needed. You can also meet this condition early if you get approval earlier or request an extension if the lender needs more time.
  • Building and Pest inspection - this clause gives you time to get a professional out to review the property for any building defects or pest activity. The standard term is 14 days but again could be shorter or longer.

There are other conditions that you can add if they are important to you. Remember though, if you are in a multiple offer situation, the seller will pick the offer that has the most favourable conditions for them. Other conditions can include:

  • the successful sale of your existing property


Do I need to organise insurance when the contract is signed?

The short answer is no: you are not legally obliged to organise home and contents insurance before your final settlement date. However, you should definitely considering taking out a policy insurance. In most cases your lawyer or conveyancer will usually recommend that you take out a suitable policy that is effective from the date you purchased (or sold) the property. This means after signing the contract but before settlement.


What things should I consider if I'm looking to buy a property at auction?

Real estate auction sales are unconditional sales. That means you cannot cancel the contract if your loan application is rejected. Auctions are great for buyers who have cash ready to complete the purchase. If you are borrowing to finance the property purchase, it's best to get pre-approval and then speak with your lender about the property you are wanting to bid on. They may be able to give you some information that will assist in how high you can go at auction but also things you need to be aware of. For instance some lenders will not lend against properties in flood zones. It's best to get advice first, otherwise an auction can be a huge risk if the home loan is not approved.


Can I buy a property with another person?

Yes, there are two types of shared/co-ownership you can consider. Joint tenants is one, where you and the other individual (spouse or other) own equal shares of the property. Tenants in common is another form of co-ownership, where the two owners can hold equal or unequal shares of the property.


What happens on settlement day?

On settlement day, your conveyancing team will ensure that the money from your lender has been received by the seller's bank, the title is transfered into your name, and you get the keys to your new home!

Settlement is a date that you as the buyer can stipulate in the contract however it is usually 30 days. 

The seller is liable to pay rates up to the settlement date and from that point forward they are your responsibility.

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