Buying Information

Buying Information

1. Location, location, location

It is often said that there are only three things to consider when buying property - location, location and location. Property should be an investment which will continue to grow in value in the years to come. Always research an area thoroughly and consider the following when purchasing property:

  • Always look at the surrounding areas - what sort of infrastructure exists, what is important to you and your family life style. Could be libraries, parks, walking trails or Coffee shops, restaurants & hotels!
  • Ensure that you are comfortable with the commute to work and the distance and time that you will spend on the road each day.
  • Try to purchase property in a good school district. This advice applies even if you don't have school-age children. When it is time to sell, strong school districts are often a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost property values.
  • If the preferred area is too pricey, consider buying in an adjoining area. Buying a home that needs some work is another option as this can be done over time.

2. Budget

Before starting to look at properties, calculate how much you can actually afford. Experienced Mortgage brokers or Bank Managers can help, free of charge and guide you through the mass of paperwork, fee’s & requirements and work out exactly what to budget for. In addition, the broker can also advise you on getting a pre-approved home loan, in order to ascertain what you can afford before starting the hunt.

3. See what's available

Most potential buyers would start their search online. Property websites like & domain, will prove to be very useful. Information with regards to price, the suburb, photos and number of bedrooms and bathrooms will be available on these sites.

It is also worth looking through the local newspapers for the latest listings in your chosen area for example the Mount Barker Courier.

A good estate agent can access invaluable market information before the public, knowing the homes just on the market and comparable prices. Working with a good agent will make the search process much easier.

4. Choosing a mortgage

This is where Mortgage brokers are invaluable, as they are able to approach multiple lenders, ensuring a higher probability of approval, as well as securing competitive terms. Their job is to shop your application around at all lenders in order for the banks to compete for your business, thereby securing the best deal possible. They also get paid by the banks when they sell a loan product, so no cost to you for this service.

5. Structural aspects of a house

Always consider the following structural aspects before purchasing a house and always consider a building inspection if you are unsure. This can normally be done in the 2 day cooling off period, so no need to waist your money every time you like a house.

  • Pay attention to detail on an initial inspection of a property, but don’t be afraid to take a 2nd appointment outside the set open times. Things to look for include wall cracks, sagging gutters, broken windows, missing tiles and the like.  It is a buyer’s duty to acquaint themselves with the general condition of the property.
  • Approved plans for all alterations: You can consult the local Council on whether or not all buildings on the property have been approved, but it also forms part of the vendor statement or Form 1 which starts your cooling off period.

6. Making an offer

Ensure that you do adequate research on the prices of recent sales in the area, visit enough property and gauge local market conditions before you make an offer. Agents can easily provide comparative market reports and are happy to do so if it help you make up your mind.

7. What happens next?

Once the offer has been accepted and the cooling off period is over, deposit is paid & any conditions have been met, you then have a water tight contract. The agent then sends all documents to the nominated licenced conveyancers who start the preparations for transfer of title. You choose your own conveyancer as they are impartial third parties to the transaction. They liaise with the banks and organise payout figures, adjust all rates and taxes, prepare the memorandum of Transfer. This now includes the need for verification of identity as well as assembling all other documents required for a successful settlement. This all seems easy, but best left to the experts it a mine field.

The following information is supplied to assist vendors & purchasers with the steps involve from the signing of contract through to settlement.

PURCHASER: The purchaser sign a contract note formalizing the offer. This can be preceded by an offer sheet or letter of offer.

VENDOR: The vendor accepts (perhaps after some negotiating) and signs the contract (under contract).

PURCHASER: The purchaser has an insurable interest from the signing of the contract and must take out a cover note to protect their interests.

VENDOR: Note the vendor must also retain their insurance cover until settlement.

VENDOR & PURCHASER: The vendor & purchaser are supplied with a completed contract along with the vendor Statement / Form1. This has been signed by the vendor & agent, and receipt of acknowledgement by the purchaser.

PURCHASER: As from above, this acknowledgement starts the cooling off period which is 2 clear business days. If the property is purchased at auction or with legal advise the cooling off does not apply. The following day after cooling off period the deposit is due to Gardiners Trust account, which we hold in trust until settlement and forms part of your purchase price.

VENDOR & PURCHASER: The vendor and purchaser advise of their conveyancers

PURCHASER: If there is any subject conditions (e.g finance or sale) the purchaser must make every effort to fulfil those conditions by the date specified in the contract. Gardiners must be advised in writing either way.

GARDINERS: We provide copies of all documentation to the conveyancers along with a story sheet advising of all relevant details of the transaction (e.g the profession fee & marketing cost for the vendor & any conditions).

CONVEYANCERS: The vendors conveyancer then proceeds to prepare the transfer document which includes a verification of identity and the forwards it the purchasers conveyancer for signing & all signatures must be witness by a JP. The conveyancer will also request an instruction regarding the distribution of settlement funds ( e.g bank details to withdraw or deposit funds.)

VENDOR & PUCHASER: Must organize the connection/disconnection of Power, Telephone & Internet provide for the settlement date. All other rates & taxes will be adjusted at settlement.

CONVEYANCER & LANDS TITLES OFFICE: At settlement payment of funds for the property form one conveyancer to the other, stamp duty for the purchaser & adjustment of all rates and taxes. The certificate of title – transfer of ownership happens, along with any mortgages registered or discharged along with any other LTO documentation. This can now all be done electronically –eConveyancing.

If a mortgage is registered, the lending body will receive a certified copy of the mortgage and the duplicate certificate of title.

If there is a clear title the purchaser will receive a duplicate copy via the conveyancer a week or so after settlement.

KEYS: The key are handed to Gardiners just prior to settlement, when we receive confirmation settlement has taken place the key can then be collected by the purchaser.

Our aim is to make sure the sale & settlement process runs as smoothly as possible we pride ourselves on selling property and we want you to enjoy the experience of buying or selling with us.