6 steps toward first home ownership

Don't let this exciting milestone in your life overwhelm you!

If you’ve ever tagged along on a family member or friend’s house hunt you may have some idea of what’s involved, or perhaps it’s all a mystery to you. Whatever the case, understanding the steps involved in making the purchase, as well as having an idea of how long the process can take, will go a long way towards making this an enjoyable experience.

Contract of Sale

Once you have inspected a property and decided it’s a strong contender, make sure you closely read over its Contract of Sale.

It’s crucial to be thorough in checking the document, no matter how determined and excited you are about buying the place. 

It’s always a good idea to get another pair of eyes, ideally those of a lawyer or conveyancer, to check the contract before you sign.

A standard Contract of Sale will vary depending on which state you’re in, but as a general rule, it should include building inspection reports and details such as the deposit amount required and the intended date of settlement.

Place an Offer

Once you (and your legal advisor) are happy with the contract, it’s time to place the offer!

This needs to be done in writing and addressed to the seller or real estate agent.  If you haven’t already, it’s recommended that you enlist the services of a conveyancer at this point.  They can help you draft and review the offer letter.

You should also consider including clauses in the contract that make it subject to such things as getting your finance approved and/or having a building and pest inspection done.


Unless you’re fortunate enough to have your initial offer accepted, you will have to enter negotiations with the vendor.  The offers are generally made via the Real Estate Agent engaged by the seller.  

Enlisting the help of your mortgage broker can be beneficial at this stage.

Try to restrain from getting too excited at this point.  The seller may also be receiving offers from other interested parties, so don’t plan the housewarming just yet!

If an offer from you is accepted by the vendor, you will need to have the full deposit amount ready to be transferred. You will also need to sign the contract - again calling on your conveyancer for professional guidance.

Cooling Off

In some instances, a cooling off period applies.  This means if you experience cold feet, you may be able to get out of the sale. 

Please keep in mind that pulling out at this point in the process means you are likely to lose your holding deposit (if one was made).  It can be quite complex to cancel the sale after all the paperwork has gone through.  

For this reason, it is crucial to check all the terms and conditions of the sale thoroughly, and to be certain about the property before you make an offer.


The settlement period is indicated in the Contract of Sale.  The seller determines the settlement period although it is most commonly 4-6 weeks. 

Once this period is over, stamp duty as well as the balance of the price of the property needs to be paid.

Move in!

It’s important to keep your eye on the prize!  Moving can be a tiring and emotional time but that exhilarating feeling of settling into your own home is in sight!

I’ve helped a significant number of people with their property purchases and I’m extremely well-versed in all aspects of the process.  I am driven to make it as seamless and stress free as possible for my clients.

I’d love to be by your side as you make this journey.  Let’s have a chat about how I can help you.