Home Buying Guide

Essential information for home buyers

To prove that when it comes to buying a home, we want what is best for you, we’ve created a Home Buying Guide that is filled with all the essential information for home buyers.


Defining Your Budget

Knowing how much you can afford to spend on a home before you start looking will make your life easier, less stressful, and less disappointing.

Go Shopping For A Mortgage
Too often, home buyers leave mortgage shopping to the last minute and watch their dream home go to another bidder who already had their financing in order. Having mortgage pre-approval will present you as a serious, qualified buyer.

Tip: Don’t just check out the banks – we have relationships with professional mortgage brokers who would be happy to assist you.

Prepare Your Deposit
When you buy a home without a decent deposit, you risk being hit with lender’s mortgage insurance, which protects the bank against you failing to meet repayments. This can cost you upwards of $5,000.

Tip: First home buyers should aim for a twenty percent or better deposit. The more the deposit you have the better.

Don’t Forget About Stamp Duty
Many Australian home buyers forget to factor in stamp duty. This is a mandatory tax that varies from state to state, but needs to be paid within 30 days of settlement. Get an idea of how much you might have to pay by using the realestate.com.au stamp duty calculator.

Tip: There are certain concessions for first-time buyers, and rates vary for land purchases, so be sure to check out whether or not you are eligible for an exemption.

Consider Other Costs
Home buyers often get blindsided by extra costs that they didn’t plan ahead for. When you’re purchasing a property, try to forecast all future costs so you don’t cause yourself unnecessary stress later down the line. These extra costs can include:

Home & Contents Insurance
You will need to decide whether or not to take out home and contents insurance, though some lenders can insist upon it. Not having it can be risky, as it covers you for damage to the property and its fixtures. If you buy into a community titles scheme, you will still be required to ensure your own individual property and contents, while the body corporate will be expected to take out insurance for any common property.

Property Inspections
For most of our listings, we will have building and pest inspections available to potential buyers. However, you may wish to conduct your own professional inspections as well. Knowing exactly what condition the property is in will inform your future decisions, and help you to feel confident in your final offer. When getting an inspection, be sure to find out exactly what the report will cover, and what it won’t cover.

The main types of property inspections are:

Building and Pest Inspections
You can get a combined building and pest inspection. The person conducting the inspection must hold a current licence from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. These usually cost between $400 and $600 for a standard, 3-bedroom home.

Swimming Pool Inspections
If the property has a swimming pool, the owner may provide a current pool certificate. If not, you are required to arrange for a licensed inspector to verify that it’s safe and complies with local safety regulations and attain this certificate within 3 months of purchasing a property. Swimming pool inspections can cost between $170 to $350, and inspectors must hold a current licence.

Tip: If you can’t arrange for inspections to be conducted prior to making an offer, you may still have inspections carried out during the conditional period of the agreed contract. In this instance, it’s crucial that you write conditional terms into the contract that will allow you to cancel the sale if the property gets a poor inspection report.


Finding An Agent

Building a relationship with an agent can help you to achieve your property dreams. They can help make the process easier for you by:

Finding your ideal property faster: Once a Place real estate agent knows what you are looking for, they will help you to actively search for your dream home

Preventing wasted time: Place agents will only show you properties of interest, which will ensure that none of your precious time is wasted

Making sure you never miss an opportunity: Gain access to true off-market properties, hidden gems, and little-known opportunities through our collective network

Avoiding bad decisions: Our agents are happy to share their market knowledge to ensure you make the best decision possible

Providing property expertise: When you buy with Place, you’ll benefit from our collective networks, knowledge, experience and expertise

Tip: When finding an agent, look for someone you feel comfortable and with whom you are able to easily communicate. The best place to get to know an agent is at property inspections


Starting a Property Search

Chat To An Agent

Once you’ve sorted your budget, it’s time to focus your energy on finding the property of your dreams. But there are many variables to consider when choosing that perfect place to call home, so it’s worth taking the time to do your homework; do you have the ability to buy a home in an area, which represents great value for money?

Where are the hot spots? Suburb choice is incredibly important when you’re looking for a place to call home. Ideally, you’ll want to be in close proximity to good schools, public transport lines, and local shops. You may also want to look into crime rates and statistics of an area, and do some research into the market value of that suburb.

For The Quick Property Search Option:

If you want to quickly kick off your property search, simply check out Place’s For Sale section. Select your own personal must-haves, familiarise yourself with the different styles of housing available from Colonials and Queenslanders through to Ultra- Modern, and check out what you can get for your money.

Tip: Property searches are made up of these essential elements – price range, location/suburb, dwelling size, style, and era, and land size.


Open Homes & Property Inspections

When you’re looking to buy a property, attending open homes is one of the more exciting parts of the process… but inspecting properties can be a bit like sampling perfumes; after a few, things start to smell the same! If that’s been your experience, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

Here are some proven ways to avoid the stress of attending too many property inspections:

  • Limit the suburbs – don’t try and conquer all of Brisbane
  • Conduct an online search before you hit the road
  • Have a close look at the photos provided
  • Have a set plan on the day

Tip: Take photos. At the end of a long Saturday filled with house viewings, you won’t remember which property had the sensational view, or fancy new kitchen, and which had the ugly bathroom.


Making An Offer

Knowing when and how to make an offer is crucial. You can buy at a private sale, before an auction, by bidding at auction, or by having a negotiation after a property has been passed in at auction.

6 expert tips for making an offer on a property:

  1. Get to know what a contract of sale looks like beforehand so you’re confident about what to do
  2. Before signing anything, it’s perfectly appropriate to talk to your solicitor
  3. Submit your offer to the agent who listed the property
  4.  Remember there is a 5-day cooling off period that applies to residential property contracts, within which time you are free to change your mind (this does not apply if you buy at auction)
  5. Everything is negotiable
  6. Price is not the only thing you can negotiate. You can make conditions within a contract, such as settlement length, deposit amount, wavering the cooling off period, and building and pest inspections.

Here are 5 expert tips to help you navigate a sale by auction:

  1. Remember to register
  2. Bid early and start where you feel comfortable
  3. Go slow
  4. Be confident
  5. Set yourself a limit

What Happens After The Auction?

If you’ve won at auction either under the hammer or bought the property as the highest bidder, you have bought the property with no cooling off period in a cash unconditional position. This means you’ll need to pay your deposit, which is usually at least 5% of the purchase price. This is why it’s important to be ready with a form of payment when you attend auction. If the auction is on a Saturday we allow for electronic transfers of deposit on the following Monday. You’ll also need to sign your contracts. Remember, until the contract has been signed the seller is under no legal obligation to follow through on the sale.


Closing the deal

Chat To An Agent

You’ve bought a home! Congratulations! Now, here’s what you’ll need to do between now and when you get the keys…

  • Pay your deposit
  • Take out insurance
  • Finalise your home loan
  • Conduct a pre-settlement final inspection
  • Settle

Settlement usually entails: paying the remaining purchase amount to the seller, receiving the title of the property, getting the keys, and moving into your new home!

Tip: You’ll also become responsible for council rates and other applicable fees from the day following settlement.


Benefits Of Buying A Home With Place

We strive to maintain good relationships with our buyers, providing them with what they need to make purchasing a property from us fast, easy, and straightforward. We have identified some of the industry best practices that ensure an outstanding buyer experience.

We live and breathe property. We know everything there is to know about the product we are selling and the marketplace it’s located in. We’ll guide you through every step, from the basics right down to the nitty-gritty details.

We demonstrate transparent pricing expectations using accurate comparable sales information. We will direct you to external reports and service providers so you can make informed judgments about what to offer for a property. We’re also committed to being honest about any negative issues regarding a property and providing a list of vendor-qualified quotes for repairs or remediation work.

At Place, if we say we are going to call a buyer back at a certain time with more information, we do it! We believe everyone deserves prompt, clear, and respectful communication throughout the buying process.

Empathy & Understanding
We listen to and understand the needs of our buyers when recommending properties. We are happy to offer realistic suggestions of places that will meet a buyer’s needs and accommodate their budget; even if we are not the agent actually selling that property.

Engagement & Interest
At our Open for Inspection days, our agents strive to be approachable and easy to talk to. Sometimes we find ourselves pushed for time, but we value everyone’s feedback, so we will call you after the inspection to discuss your impressions and to get an understanding of how we can help.

Going The Extra Mile
We will bend over backwards to accommodate buyer’s personal circumstances, whether it means arranging after-hours inspections or post-sale visits to fit in with work schedules. We endeavour to be prompt and responsive to enquiries and always keep buyers up to date and informed with each step in the lead-up to settlement, which we understand can be a particularly stressful time.

Follow Up
We will be there even after the paperwork is signed! We’re dedicated to staying involved in the purchasing process all the way to settlement, and endeavour to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Purchasing a home is a major milestone; and all of us here at Place enjoy being part of the process and getting to know you along the way!