Buying your first home

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I’ve found a house I want to buy. How do I make an offer?

  • Contact the real estate agent and indicate what you are prepared to pay
  • If your offer is accepted, you will normally be required to pay a refundable holding deposit to show good faith
  • This doesn’t mean the seller is obliged to sell to you or has to take the house off the market. It just means that if you do follow through in a timely, business-like fashion, the home will be yours
  • If your offer is too low, the agent will indicate this and guide you towards a more acceptable offer
  • Once your offer has been accepted, your solicitor or licensed conveyancer will receive the ‘Contract of Sale’ from the seller’s legal representative. After checking the contract, your legal representative will ask you to sign it and exchange contracts. On exchange of contracts, you pay the full deposit and the Cooling Off Period starts. This varies from state to state but is usually between 3 to 5 days (no days in WA).
  • To save unnecessary expense, do your building and pest inspections during the Cooling Off Period
  • You can change your mind if you get cold feet or if a building and pest inspection reveals something of concern. Most of your deposit will be refunded (check the contract for details)
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