Buying a HomeConveyancingProperty

5 Steps to Buying a House

5 steps to buying a house in NSW conveyancing

Whether you’re looking to buy your first home or it’s time to relocate, the buying process can be daunting. In this blog, we set out the 5 steps that will take you from dreaming about your new home to owning your dream home.

1. Finance Approval

To ensure your house hunting goes smoothly, it’s a good idea to obtain pre-approval for your loan before you start looking. This allows you to have a clear idea of your budget and once you are successful in finding a home, you’ll be able to quickly proceed with exchange of contracts.

Not only should you consider the cost of the home but other costs which are part of the purchasing transaction such as the deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price), pest and building inspection, legal fees and searches, mortgage fees and stamp duty.

If you are unable to provide a cash deposit on exchange of contracts, you will need to obtain the vendor’s approval for use of alternative security such as a deposit bond.

2. Making an offer

When you’ve found the right home that’s within your budget, it’s time to make an offer. If your offer is accepted by the vendor, you will then receive a contract to sign. Once you’ve received the contract, you’ll need to arrange a time to speak to a lawyer or conveyancer to review the contract.

It’s also a good time to start arranging a pest and building inspection to confirm the current condition of the home and identify any pest or building issues.

3. Pre-exchange

After your offer is accepted your lawyer or conveyancer will review the legal terms of the contract before you sign the contract. The role of a lawyer or conveyancer is to ensure that good title of the property is passed to you.

4. Exchange of Contracts

Once the deposit is paid and any agreed changes to the contract are made, contracts are signed and then exchanged. In the sale of residential premises, the Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW) allows for a cooling off period of 5 business days. The cooling off period allows you to withdraw from the contract and forfeit 0.25% of the purchase price. Keep in mind the vendor will usually ask the purchaser to waive their cooling off rights so that the contract becomes immediately binding on exchange.

5. Settlement

From 1 July 2019, the NSW Government has mandated that the most common types of property transactions, such as transfers, mortgages, caveats are to be lodged online. PEXA provides an online settlements platform for conveyancing.

Prior to settlement, your lawyer or conveyancer will prepare a settlement statement setting out adjustments to council and water rates, payment of stamp duty and legal fees and payment of the balance of the purchase price.


Cardillo Commercial Lawyers have extensive experience in conveyancing matters and offer a competitive fixed fee price for all conveyancing. Contact our principal lawyer, Emilia Cardillo for more information.

Disclaimer: the information contained in this post is not intended to be legal advice and you should consider obtaining your own legal advice before implementing any information in this post.

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