Home buying process 25 March 2012 If you haven’t bought a house before, you may be wondering what’s involved and the sequence of events. The process starts off with saving to buy a house. Organising finance is critical to the process; you can learn more by reading tips for a loan interview or you can read more on the lending process as well. Once you can afford to buy a house, you’ll need to find a house on sale that suits you. You’ll likely look online then attend some open inspections where you’ll meet a real estate agent who will sell you the property. Read ‘Top 5 questions to ask a real estate agent’ for more details on how to handle this encounter! You may then make an offer for the property and begin negotiating with the agent/owner to purchase the house. If your offer is accepted, contracts can be exchanged and looked over by your conveyancer who will organise the transfer of the property. It’s a good idea to include a ‘subject to finance’ clause so you’re covered should anything happen with your loan. You can also seek legal counsel before signing any paperwork. The lender will also have the property valued. During the cooling off period of 2 clear business days, you can have a building and pest inspection done. The deposit can then be paid which goes to the agent’s trust account. Prior to settlement, your conveyancer will liaise with the real estate agent to finalise all transfers and paperwork. Note that if you are purchasing a home at auction, you pay the deposit on the day of the auction and a cooling off period does not apply. You also need to take out any insurance cover immediately to insure your equitable interest in the property, which starts on that day and not at settlement. Your settlement date would have been determined in the contract note. Once settlement has taken place you can then receive the keys and move into your new home. Don’t forget to organise your utilities and redirect your mail. For more information check out HomeStart’s guide to buying a home.