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1) Start the savings habit early - While most lenders require a deposit of at least 5% of the property’s value, bigger is definitely better. A larger deposit may help you to avoid costly Lenders Mortgage Insurance, which is charged when a home buyer borrows more than 80% of the property’s value. Putting a savings strategy in place early on in your financial life-cycle will make it easier to obtain finance and purchase your dream home down the track.

2) Get your finance pre-approved. When it comes to negotiation property sellers are often attracted to buyers who have pre-approved finance over those who don’t. Loan pre-approval lets you head into the purchase process knowing the maximum amount you have to spend on the property, giving you confidence to buy at auction or negotiate on price. It also saves you from looking at places that aren’t in your price range.

3) Know what you want - Prepare a short list of preferred areas that suit your lifestyle. Keep in mind affordability and accommodation requirements.

4) Develop a relationship with a Combined Sales Agent specialising in your preferred area. The agent will be able to offer additional advice and also alert you to new listings before they reach the media.

5) When you find a property that suits your requirements, ask your agent to send a copy of the sale contract to your solicitor or conveyancer for their perusal.

6) We recommend that you arrange a pest and building inspection to make you aware of any major defects and pest concerns. Eg. Termites.

7) Following your solicitor or conveyancers advice on the sale contract and taking into consideration the pest and building reports, you are now able to make an informed decision to proceed with an offer on the property through the agent.

8) If you are bidding at an Auction, we recommend that you read the Office of Fair Trading “Bidder’s Guide” before you attend the Auction. You can find a copy of the Bidder’s Guide at

http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Factsheet_print/Tenants_and_home_owners/Buying_property/FTR31_Bidders_guide.pdf

9) Once negotiations have been finalised, you will be required to sign the sale contract and pay a deposit. Your deposit will be held in a Sales Trust Account.

10) On settlement day, your solicitor or conveyancer may request that you have a pre-settlement inspection before the settlement takes place. This is to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when you last inspected it and that all of the inclusions are as per the contract in which you signed.