Buying Real Estate FAQ’s

Navigating the world or real estate is tricky at the best of times, even for those who aren’t new to the game. Our clients trust us to give them the right information they need to make the choices that are right for them. Our team at Page & Pearce are always happy to help, which is why we have listed some frequently asked questions and other helpful information below…

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

  • 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 much are council rates/strata fees?

Why should I buy with Page & Pearce?

Enlisting the help of a trusted real estate agency can help you make the right choice for your next dream home or investment property. Page & Pearce are a local family owned business with grassroots in the real estate business going back well over 100 years ago, so you can be assured that Page & Pearce can offer you good advice and expertise. Page & Pearce are well positioned in the Townsville residential property market to offer homeowners an alternative to the traditional way of doing real estate by offering a ‘No Sale, No Charge’ guarantee. Not only that, we also offer landlords a ‘Flat Management Fee’ guarantee, which means property owners know how much they’ll be charged without any hidden extras or add-ons.

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.  Your Page & Pearce agent can give you a free property appraisal to help you here.
  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
  6. Finalise property must-haves
  7. Start house hunt
  8. Lawyer/conveyancer to review contract
  9. Get a building inspection
  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 4 main ways to buy real estate in Australia

  • Private treaty – when the vendor or homeowner 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 licenced 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, and it 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
  • 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 strata fees
  • Stamp Duty – differs in each state
  • Moving costs

What is the first home buyer grant?

The First Home Owner Grant (scheme) is a state government led initiative 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. You can read more about it on the Queensland Government website.

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is a tax levied by Australian states and territories on the transfer of land or property. The State Government charges may vary depending on the purpose of the property purchased. The stamp duty a buyer is required to pay is based on the property purchase price, location, and the loan purpose.

Where do I search for properties?

You can visit the Page & Pearce page and click on the ‘For Sale’ menu item to find current sale listings. Alternatively, you can try websites portals such realestate.com.au and domain.com.au or even your local newspapers. You can contact a Page & Pearce real estate agent to assist in your search, who better than a local expert to find other properties that are up for sale.

What research should I do before buying a home?

Having a firm understanding of the property market will give you the confidence to know where you can buy, and how much it will cost. There are plenty of resources out there to help you learn more:

  • Australian Property Monitors and CoreLogic RP Data are excellent online providers of property data and information.
  • Websites like domain.com.au, realestate.com.au will show you what is on the market.
  • Talk to a Page & Pearce agent as they have a depth of knowledge on the local market.

What happens on auction day?

If you are looking to bid on auction day, you must register in the bidders record where you will then you will receive a bidder’s number that you will use when placing your bid(s).

As the auction commences, the auctioneer outlines 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. It is best to check the rulings and listen carefully to the auctioneer as they may be specific rules for each auction you attend. 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.

In the case that the highest bid is below the reserve price, the property is then ‘passed in’, meaning it’s no longer subject to auction. The vendor’s agent may then try negotiating a sale post-passing in with interested bidders.

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. Sometimes the auctioneer will explain some terms and proceedings, however, we advise you to do some research to avoid any confusion on the day.

What should I look for in a neighbourhood?

To find the right neighbourhood for you, there are a few things to consider. 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? If you have a family or have plans for one, consider schools, transport and amenities, and safety of suburb. Transportation is also important; how many vehicles do you own and what will practical for your daily commute to work.

What is the settlement?

The Closing Settlement (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 several weeks after the offer is formally accepted. On the closing date, the ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer.

Do I need a Building or Pest inspection?

Though not necessary, it is recommended that you get these to ensure the property you are buying has no major issues as this could save you a lot of money in the future.

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