Listings | Auctions | Inspection Report | Making an Offer | Legal | Valuation | Property Market
Houses for sale in Australia can be sold at a list price or by auction.
Whatever the selling method, open homes are common. The sellers will arrange times with the real-estate agent – usually at weekends – when anyone who is looking for property can turn up and have a look around.
Spending a day visiting open homes is an excellent way of acquainting yourself with the property market in areas you are interested in.
Once you have found a house you wish to purchase, it’s a good idea to first get a building and pest inspection report and a valuation. Even if you feel you are knowledgeable about property in your home country, there may be flaws in Australian homes – such as termites – that you are not familiar with.
Assuming the house valuation and inspection reports are satisfactory, you will then want to make an offer for the house or to bid for the house in an auction.
Making an Offer
The seller’s real estate agent will submit your offer in writing to the sellers – and offers from any other would-be buyers. While the seller considers the offers, the property will remain on the market.
You are free to make an offer conditional – on factors such as satisfactory title search or a satisfactory inspection or valuation report. If they are happy with your offer, the sellers will counter-sign your offer / contract and you will be informed of their agreement, at which point the contract becomes legally binding on both parties.
If your offer is conditional, you will still be able to withdraw it if the conditions are not met. If the conditions have been met, you will need to pay a ten percent deposit. You will pay the balance on an agreed day and the house will become yours.
Bidding in an Auction
Most auctions in Australia are not distress sales – they are sales of property for which the real-estate agent or owner believes they may get a higher price by forcing potential buyers to compete with one another in a bidding war.
Home owners will usually set a reserve price for the auction. If bidding does not reach this price, they need not sell the house. In fact, the seller will sometimes instruct the auctioneer to bid on their behalf to push up the price.
Auctions can take place in auction room or at the property itself. If you bid successfully in an auction, you will need to pay a deposit of ten percent of the purchase price immediately. If you subsequently do not follow through on the deal, there is every likelihood you will lose your deposit.
The conveyancing system – transfer of ownership title from seller to buyer – differs between Australia’s states and should be carried out by a lawyer.