If you’re ready to take the leap and enter the property market, congratulations! While an exciting step in anyone’s journey, the process from inspections to making an offer and getting those keys can still be a little daunting.
If you’ve ever wondered what’s involved with this process and how long it actually takes from start to finish, you’re not alone.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through what to expect in terms of timelines and what each stage of this journey entails.
Being prepared and across these steps can help you be in your new home as soon as possible.
Let’s dive right in.
Buying A Home – How Long Does It Take?
There are four main stages in the home-buying process which can be broken down as follows:
- Researching and inspecting
- Obtaining pre-approval for a home loan
- Making an offer, negotiating the final price and conditions
Each of these steps can differ in terms of time needed and steps one and two can also be interchanged depending on individual circumstances.
This means that what your friend or family member experienced when buying their home, could look vastly different to what you will experience when it’s your turn.
Variables That May Influence The Process
To help make better sense of the four stages above, we’ve broken these down in more detail as follows.
Research & Inspections
Some buyers know exactly what they want and are lucky enough to find the ideal property almost immediately. For others, months may be spent trying to pinpoint the right home in the right area at the right price.
To help you make the most of this stage and keep you focused on what matters most to you, we suggest keeping in mind:
- The non-negotiables such as location, school zonings, nearby amenities, access to public transport, home layout, size or similar.
- The things you’re willing to compromise on. These include things like, whether it’s move-in ready or needs a little work, whether it features a pool, garage or other nice-to-have, but not essential things based on your preferences.
One way to aid in this is to use the filtering features on popular property apps and websites.
However, be sure to keep an open mind too as you may surprise yourself with what you end up buying vs. what you set out to buy.
In terms of actual time needed for inspections, most properties will be open mid-week and over the weekend for 45 minutes to an hour each.
During this time you are free to wander and inspect the home and ask questions of the real estate agent.
Ways To Speed Up This Stage
As your chosen properties may be open at conflicting times, this can also make this process a little longer to navigate. You may also like to book a series of private inspections to better suit your schedule and reduce the time needed to manage this.
Additionally, working with a buyer’s agent can help to speed up the process of finding suitable properties. They will seek out properties within your preferred area that meet your budget and preferences.
Opting to build via a house and land package can also be a great option – we’ll touch on this further on.
Gaining pre-approval or conditional approval for a home loan can give you a greater idea of what you can realistically spend and allow you to make an offer on the spot if you feel compelled to do so.
Pre-approval with some lenders is advertised as being available in a matter of minutes but usually takes days to weeks to firm up based on your provided financial documentation.
Remember that pre-approval is not a guarantee of a loan or loan amount but is usually a good indication.
Once granted this pre-approval lasts between two and three months and will have some terms and conditions associated, so be sure to read the fine print.
If your pre-approval lapses and you’re still not quite ready to buy, we suggest holding off renewing this until a later date. Continued renewals and lapses can damage your credit score over time and may damage your borrowing power down the line.
Making An Offer & Negotiating Terms
Once you’ve found your ideal property, it’s time to make an offer. Usually, you’ll work closely with the selling agent on this as they are best placed to tell you what the vendor (seller) is likely to accept or be open to negotiating from.
Of course, you can make an offer at any amount without discussing this with the real estate agent and wait to see what the vendor comes back with, but this is a risk. If the clearance rate of properties in your area is high, this could see you missing out to another buyer.
If an offer is accepted, it is then time to discuss the settlement terms and negotiate these as needed. Typically, settlement takes between 30 to 90 days, but a longer settlement can be discussed where needed.
Some vendors may require a longer settlement due to a new build not being finished, or a buyer may prefer an extended settlement to avoid breaking a rental lease.
There can be any number of reasons and neither party has to agree but ultimately the ball will remain in the vendor’s court so try to remain as flexible as possible.
During the settlement period, several important administrative tasks will occur such as:
- Title searches
- Town planning or zoning searches
- Pest and building inspections
- Finalising mortgage paperwork
Most of this is handled by your solicitor and in cooperation with your lender, but expect to be asked to provide paperwork or review findings as needed.
Once the settlement period has passed and these tasks are completed, you’ll arrive at settlement day!
On this day your lender and solicitor/conveyancer finalise the sale and transfer of funds and ownership following relevant legislation. Once processed, you are then able to collect the keys from the real estate and head to your new home!
Occasionally, delays can occur with settlement due to improper paperwork, bank complications or issues raised at the final inspection. Delays in settlement can incur penalties against whoever’s side is responsible or even see a termination of sale issued.
For this reason, we recommend engaging a highly skilled solicitor or conveyancer to manage this process and not booking a removalist for settlement day, just in case.
Build Instead Of Buy And Be In Your Dream Home Sooner
If the above all feels like a lengthy and exhausting process you’d rather avoid, then a house and land package with Stop Renting Perth could be your ideal solution.
Skip spending your weekends at back-to-back open homes, battling against other buyers and having to compromise on what you want.
With over 70 home designs and land available in suburbs all over Perth, you can build your perfect home in your preferred suburb and save time on many of the above steps.
Our expert financial team can even help you achieve your home ownership goals with little to no savings or deposit prepared. Passionate about helping everyday Australians enter the property market, we work with you to create a roadmap out of the renting cycle.
We want to see you in your own home sooner and enjoying the freedom that comes with being your own landlord.
To learn more about whether you qualify for one of our house and land packages in Perth or get started on your new build, call 0402 513 446 today.