Buying a home in Australia can be a lengthy process if you don’t already have a property in mind.
If you’re starting your homeownership journey from scratch, it could take you anywhere from six months to two years to buy a home. However, if you’ve already found the house, the process could take just about three months. Here’s a breakdown of where you’re going to spend your time.
Planning and Research
This phase requires dipping your toes into the real estate market. You’ll have to visit real estate websites, talk to agents, and find out the average price of deposits for the kind of home you’re looking for.
If you plan on getting a mortgage, you’ll also need to apply for a home loan pre-approval. Since this process can be different for each person, it’s hard to assign it a fixed amount of time. It could take weeks for some, and years for others.
House Hunting and Assessment
Next is the hardest part, finding the right property that fits all your expectations. This also often takes a lot of time and largely depends on what’s available in the market.
You’ll have to spend a lot of time in open houses doing house inspections and talking to your real estate agent. For most people, this takes anywhere from 3 months to a year. The search could, however, be longer if there’s a high demand for property within your local area.
Negotiation and Offer Acceptance (1 to 4 weeks)
Once you’ve found your property, it’s time to make your offer. Depending on your budget, you may have to negotiate with the seller for a while before the bid is accepted.
If the seller is in a rush to sell, your offer might be accepted that same day. But if there’s a high demand for the property, he/she can hold up on the sale waiting for the best offer. Most times this process will take between 1 to 4 weeks.
Contract Prep and Mortgage Approval (3 to 5 weeks)
Immediately after your offer is accepted, the contract preparation begins. This will include home appraisals, and building inspections among other due diligence processes to ensure the house is in good condition.
The necessary legal work including a title search will also get done proving that the property doesn’t have any outstanding issues. At this point, you’ll need to have your mortgage pre-approved. You can get all this done in around 3 to 5 weeks.
Property Settlement and Closing (6 to 8 weeks)
Once everything checks out and the contract is complete, your final step will be settling the paperwork. The seller and buyer sign the required documents, the mortgage is finally approved, and the ownership is transferred. If all your documents are in order and everything goes per the plan, the entire phase will take between 6 and 8 weeks.
It’s important to note that numerous factors may lead to delays in you finally owning a home. The timelines given here are just a guide that should help you during your homeownership journey.