Buying Real Estate FAQ's

Enlisting the help of a trusted real estate advocate can help you navigate the often-tricky world of residential real estate. With voracious market knowledge, passion and tenacity, your LUSH real estate agent is perfectly-placed to provide you with advice and assistance relevant to your local real estate market.

What questions should I ask the agent when buying a home?

  • Can you show me a recent property sales report to show what the house is worth?

  • How long has the property been on the market?

  • Are there any known issues with the property, land or neighbours’ properties?

  • Exactly what is included in the sale?

  • How long have the owners lived there?

  • Does the property have any overlays? If so, what grade is it? And is it in a conservation area?

  • How much are council rates / strata / or owner’s corporation fees?

Why should I buy with Lush?

We help you through every stage of the property buying process, including finding a property within your price range, helping direct you to organising your finances, providing reports and searches, help with choosing a conveyancing or property lawyer and we’ll even ease your actual move including helping you to connect your utilities.

What are the steps to buy a home?

  1. Own a home? Get an appraisal as this is a great way to find out how much equity you already have.  We can give you a free property appraisal to help you there.

  2. Contact a Home Loans specialist to discuss your home buying plans and borrowing capacity 

  3. Create a budget and save deposit

  4. Choose a home loan and apply for pre-approval 

  5. Research property market and neighbourhoods with us

  6. Finalise property must-haves

  7. Start house hunt 

  8. Engage that property lawyer / conveyancer to review contracts 

  9. Get a building and or pest inspection if necessary

  10. Make offer or bid at auction

  11. Sign contract and pay deposit

  12. Arrange insurance 

  13. Process First Home Owner Grant

  14. Complete settlement and move in

What are the different ways to buy a home?

There are 3 main ways to buy real estate in Australia 

  • Private treaty - when the vendor, or home owner sets the price they would like to sell their property for and their real estate agent negotiates individually with prospective buyers to achieve a sale as close to this price as possible.

  • Auction - which is a public sale conducted by a licensed auctioneer.  Properties are offered up for bid and if the reserve price is reached the property is sold to the highest bidder 

  • Tender and Expression of Interest are processes wherein you submit a single offer, usually accompanied by a 5 or 10 per cent deposit, which is accepted or rejected by the vendor.

What are the costs of buying a property?

  • Deposit - usually 10-20% of the home’s overall cost

  • Stamp Duty - differs in each state, there are savings for first home buyers and concession card holders

  • Lenders mortgage insurance if you borrow more than 80% of the property purchase price 

  • Building insurance 

  • Legal help such as lawyers or conveyancers

  • Building, pest and strata inspections 

  • Council rates and owner’s corporation fees 

  • Buyer’s advocate fee

  • Moving costs 

What is the first home buyer grant?

The First Home Owner Grant (scheme) was established to assist eligible first home owners to purchase a new home or build their home by offering a grant.  The grant amount is determined by the date of the eligible transaction and each state has different rules and regulations.  

More information available here - First Home Buyer

What is stamp duty? 

Stamp duty is a charge which is applied by state governments in Australia and is in relation to the transfer of land or property. The State Government charges may vary depending on the purpose of the property purchased.  Victoria charges the highest rate of stamp duty.

More information available here - Stamp Duty Calculator

Where do we search for properties?

Website portals such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au are excellent resources along with regional and local agents directly. We hear about and have access to off market and unlisted properties, we’ve also door-knocked homes not currently for sale when our clients have identified them as being of interest.

What happens on auction day?    

The auctioneer will outline all rules before the bidding begins, including their obligation to refuse bids after the hammer falls, to arbitrate bid disputes and also to refuse bids that come from those who have not registered for the auction (if they have required bid registration beforehand).  There may be more specifics depending on where the auction takes place, so check the rulings and listen carefully to the auctioneer.  If you are the successful bidder and the property sells to you, you are required to sign the contract immediately and pay a 10% deposit.  There is no cooling off period if you buy at auction.

What auction terms should I know?

It is important that you understand these terms before your bid at an auction: Bidders guide, Inspection, Vendor and Dummy Bids, Rises and Advances, Reserve, On the Market and Passed In.

What should I look for in a neighbourhood?

To determine the right neighbourhood for you, consider your pace of life - are you young and is the proximity to friends and entertainment important or are you looking for a quieter suburb. Are you looking for resale potential or investment? If you have family plans consider schools, transport and amenities and safety of suburb.  Consider where you work and the daily commute.  Every client is different with different requirements. The time we spend together at the beginning of your search is time well spent.

What is the settlement?

Closing (also referred to as completion or settlement) is the final step in executing a real estate transaction. The closing date is set during the negotiation phase, and is usually 30, 60 or 90 days (but not limited to these parameters) after the offer is formally accepted. On the closing date, the ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer.

Who is eligible to receive the first home owner grant?

To qualify for the first home owner grant you must meet the following criteria: each applicant is a person and not a company or trust, the applicant is a permanent resident or Australian citizen.  Each applicant must be 18 years of age or above. All applicants and / or their spouse / de facto, have not owned a residential property, jointly or separately in any state or territory of Australia before July 2000.  Each applicant must have entered into a contract for the purchase of a home and the total value of the home does not exceed the cap amount for eligible transactions (different in each state).  Must also be the first time an applicant/spouse or defacto will receive the grant and that at least one applicant will occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of 6 months commencing within 12 months of purchase.