Buying Tips

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Create a Wish List

Your needs will influence where and what you buy. Therefore it is a good idea to start with a list outlining the attributes you most desire in a property such as location, size, number of bedrooms, or parking. Bear in mind that you might need to compromise on some of your wishes.

Research the Market Place

The Internet is a great source for information. Property reports and statistics can be downloaded conveniently from home. Drive around the area, attend open homes and auctions to see what is happening in the local market place or alternatively seek advice from your Balmain Realty agent, they can provide a detailed list of comparable sales in the area.


Sign up to Property Alert services

Most agencies and all of the major property search sites such as and have 'property alert' facilities. Simply enter your details and your property requirements and you'll be emailed as soon as a property meeting your criteria is listed. This helps give you a jump on the market and saves considerable time.

Be Financially Prepared

Many buyers begin looking for a property without even knowing what they can afford to spend. This can be a big mistake as many buyers can end up disappointed when having found their dream home only to find out that they do not have the borrowing capacity to purchase it.

On the other hand, buyers can restrict themselves to a certain price range without knowing that their real borrowing capacity which could fulfill more from their wish list.

It is wise to seek financial advice from a lending institution or mortgage broker to determine your actual borrowing capacity before you commence your home search.

Additional expenses

While your lender will identify upfront costs such as stamp duty and mortgage insurance, you should also be aware of other ongoing expenses such as strata fees (if applicable), council rates, water rates, electricity, maintenance costs, land tax, and home insurance. These factors should all be investigated so you know how much to budget for on top of your mortgage repayments.


Organise your Solicitor or Conveyancer

Appoint a solicitor or conveyancer in advance of finding your dream home so you can act immediately. If you don't know of one, ask your Balmain Realty agent.

Buying a First Home

If you are buying your first home, you may be eligible for benefits under the First Home Owner Grant Scheme, NSW First Home Buyers Supplement, Australian Government First Home Owner Boost and the First Home Plus Scheme. Visit the following link for further details;

Buying as an Investor

Buying an investment property is different from buying as an owner occupier. Your decision will not be based on emotion however factors like rental yield, body corporate fees and how attractive it is to the rental market will come into play.

Buying an investment property also has tax benefits associated with negative gearing and can be less volatile than purchasing shares.

Balmain Realty can assist the investor. We have an experienced property management department which can keep you up-to-date with the current rental market and new investment opportunities.

Making an Offer

Once you have found the property that includes the must haves of your "wish list", what do you do next? Answer, your make an offer! In doing so it is important to understand the terms of a contract of sale before signing. Below is a brief outline of the process involved;

Your Balmain Realty agent will mediate the negotiation process between yourself and the seller until terms can be agreed.

  • Contract Price and Deposit - The main terms of the contract are the price you agree to pay, the deposit amount and when it is payable. The deposit amount is usually 10% of the purchase price.
  • Deposit Bonds - If you do not possess enough cash deposit a Deposit Bond can be used as a substitute.
  • Settlement Date - This is the day the seller hands over transfer documents and the buyer pays the Contract Price. The date is normally set 42 days after the contract date.
  • Cooling Off Period – The purchaser may exercise a 'cooling off period' which in New South Wales legislation is 5 business days from time that contracts are signed. If the purchaser decides to rescind the contract and withdraw from the sale then usually a 0.25% deposit of the purchase price is forfeited to the seller.
  • Unconditional Contract - This is a contract of sale without any conditions or a contract of sale with all conditions met. Under New South Wales legislation to exchange contracts unconditionally the purchaser's solicitor or conveyancer must sign a waiver form.

Buying at Auction

Buying at auction, the contract of sale is without any conditions. So have your finance pre-approved and building and pest inspections carried out prior to the auction day.

Pre-Settlement Inspection

Visit the property on the day of settlement to be sure there are no surprises. Be absolutely positive that the property was left exactly as you had agreed upon in the contract.