Buying a home usually represents your single biggest investment – and debt.
The home buying process is one of the most exciting, and frequently stressful, experiences you’ll ever go through.
This holds true whether you’ve bought many homes or you’re looking to buy your first, whether you’re in the market for a new primary residence, an investment property or that perfect holiday getaway.
Today’s real estate market can offer more opportunities, yet can be filled with more risks than ever before.
There are a multitude of factors to consider and decisions to make.
When buying, it’s crucial to have all the available resources necessary to make a well-informed decision, together with the time required to make use of them.
It’s important to enlist the help of a trusted real estate professional who’ll be able to provide expert guidance at each step of the buying process.
Finding and purchasing a home includes the following steps, which we’ll examine in more detail throughout this buyer guide booklet:
1.) Define your goals, research your options, make your plans
Given that buying a home is such a big step, it’s very important to educate and prepare yourself as much as possible.
This means clearly determining the reasons you’re buying and what kind of home you’re looking for. Since buying and financing a home are so closely related, it also means examining your current financial situation and projecting how much you can afford.
Once you’ve answered these questions, even tentatively, you’ll be in a better position to research housing and mortgage options, and create an action plan and timelines for moving forward.
Although it is possible to do this yourself, you may benefit by consulting an experienced real estate professional right from the start.
2.) Contact a real estate professional
Buying a home or any real estate is a complex matter with many factors to consider since no two homes or transactions are exactly alike.
Moreover, with all the unique opportunities and potential pitfalls of the current market, it’s more important than ever to contact a trusted real estate professional once you’ve decided to buy.
When choosing a real estate professional to guide you through the property search, financing, negotiation and transaction processes, you should consider their market knowledge, experience, and track record.
3.) Get pre-approved for a loan
We recommend that you get pre-approved for a loan before you start viewing properties with the serious intention of buying a home.
The pre-approval process involves meeting with a lender and authorizing them to examine your current financial situation and credit history.
On the basis of this examination, the lender may provide you with a document detailing the amount you can borrow to buy a home.
Consider looking online to see what different lenders offer, or contacting your local bank, credit union, finance broker or Homestart.
The benefits of pre-approval include:
You’ll know what you are eligible to receive and be able to plan accordingly
As a qualified, motivated buyer you’ll be taken more seriously when you make an offer
Lenders can tell you if you qualify for special programs that will help you afford a better home (particularly if you’re a first-time buyer).
Real estate financing is available from many sources, and an experienced real estate professional will be able to suggest lenders with a history of offering excellent mortgage products and services. For more information about the benefits of pre-approval and the loan process in general, see - The Loan Process – Financing Your Home Purchase, on page 14.
Here’s a Mortgage Calculator to make it easier.
4.) View homes and select THE ONE
Simply put, the key to the home search process is knowing what you’re looking for.
Among other things, that means distinguishing between “must-haves” and “like-to-haves”. To help you to target your search and define your home preference priorities, this guide includes a Home Search Worksheet on page 23.
That said, here are a few recent facts about the search process that might put your experience in perspective:
92% of buyers use the internet or mobile apps to search for homes.
The typical buyer searches for 12 weeks and views 12 homes.
97% of buyers view real estate agents as important in the home search process.
There are many benefits to starting the search process at a real estate websites like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au
You can view many homes and their details, take video tours and access neighborhood info.
You may also like to view www.PlazaProperty.com.au
However, it’s also important to view homes in person. While the property details may seem similar online, homes can be very different in terms of layout, design, workmanship and other aspects.
Ideally, you should view homes with the help of an experienced real estate professional who’ll notice things you might miss and provide expert analysis. Remember though, the agent worksfor the seller.
As the technology grows and allows 3D viewing and VR Virtual Reality glasses. It’s easier to do a Virtual walkthrough. However, it is absolutely necessary to visit the homes you like in person.
5.) Make an offer and negotiate with the seller
Once you’ve found the home you’d like to buy, it’s time to make an offer.
Your state or local real estate association likely has contracts that are generally used for transactions in your area.
These contracts enable you to specify a sale price and also allow the inclusion of clauses specifying various terms of purchase, such as the settlement date, your deposit amount, and other conditions such as finance and subject to clauses.
In South Australia, the sellers agent will likely use contacts from either the Society of Auctioneers & Appraisers, Real Estate Institute of SA or the Law Society.
You should carefully review these clauses with your real estate professional to be sure that they accurately express your intended offer.
In addition to drawing up the contract, your real estate professional will be happy to address all of your questions about the offer process.*
Once you’ve written the offer, your real estate professional will present it to the seller and/or the seller’s representative. At that point, the process will vary somewhat depending on the market you’re in.
Generally speaking, the seller can accept your offer, reject it, or counter it to initiate the negotiation process.
Successive counter-offers, with deadlines for responding and meeting conditions, may be exchanged between you and the seller until a mutual pending agreement is reached or the negotiations breakdown.
Negotiations involve many factors specifically relating to different market conditions, homes and sellers, some of which are examined in – Successfully Negotiating The Deal – on page 18.
6.) Secure your financing
Once you have an Under Contract agreement, it’s time to return to your chosen lender to finalize mortgage details in order to close the deal.
This means finalizing your deposit, interest rate, regular payment schedule and all other financial conditions associated with the Settlement.
As the saying goes, ‘let the buyer beware’. Unfortunately, too many buyers suffer negative consequences from not fully understanding their financing decisions.
Thus, it’s crucial for you to work with people you trust. In this regard, a good real estate professional can become a true friend for life.
For more information on the loan process, see – The Loan Process – Financing Your Home Purchase, on page 14.
7.) Close the deal
If you’ve efficiently taken care of everything connected with purchasing your new home, taking ownership should be a positive joy with no surprises.
Key steps to the closing, usually referred to as “Settlement”, include:
Getting a title search – you will need a historical review of all legal documents relating to ownership of the property – to ensure that there are no claims against the title of the property.
Preparation for settlement – typically, before the Settlement Date you’ll meet with your Conveyancer, solicitor or lawyer to verify and sign all the paperwork required to complete the transaction.
The settlement will include paying your closing costs, legal fees, property adjustments and stamp duty (Stamp Duty Calculator – www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au). At that point, you’ll receive the property title and copies of all documentation pertaining to the purchase.
In most cases, on Settlement Day you will be able to move into your new home.
Oh, and the most important thing – you’ll get the keys!
Read the Entire Buyer Guide:
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Provided courtesy of Plaza Real Estate and Realtor.com
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You can find also out more here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Links of Interest
Forms & Fact Sheets
You May also Like to View:
It’s about THE HOUSE – Advice from Consumer & Business Services
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