Buying Information

Buying a property is an exciting time in most people’s lives; a time when you are entering a new phase of your life and making new plans.

At Sanctuary Lakes Real Estate we understand that this can also be a stressful time for buyers who do not undertake such a transaction very often. In fact, this may be your first time.

To assist you with the buying process we have established a check-list below. We deal with purchasers every day and, from our experience, this list will help you through the steps that you will need to take from the time you commence viewing homes to actually buying your dream property.

How much can you afford?

Speak with your bank or financier to determine your price range. Your financier will take into account your deposit, your income and your employment to work out how much a lender will allow you to borrow. That will determine the limit on what price you can pay for a property.

Where do I look for a property?

There will be many factors in determining where you want to live. Certainly price will be a factor as well as where family and friends live, access to your work and your other family activities and proximity to schools, shopping centres and transport.

As a general rule, property closer to the city will be more expensive and prices will gradually reduce as you move further out of town.

How do I start researching properties?

At the start you need to view a range of properties to get a feel for the type and size of property you will be able to buy in your price range. Generally, properties for sale will be open for inspection on weekends, and if not, you will be able to make an appointment to view.

We have a My Property Alerts facility on this web site where you can register to be advised of any property that comes onto the market for sale in your price range. This will give you an ‘early warning’ and saves you having to be constantly checking on new properties. Click here to register for My Property Alerts.

After viewing a number of properties you will gain a better understanding of what is available in your chosen suburb and in your price range.

Where can I go for advice?

You will get advice from family and friends but the best advice will be from property professionals. Our team of Sales Consultants has worked in this area for many years and are assisting buyers and sellers every day.

It is sensible to discuss your buying requirements with one of our team. If you are just relying on what is advertised you may miss some good properties. There are times when properties for sale are not actually advertised because one of our Sales Consultants already has a buyer or the vendor has requested an ‘off market’ sale. Once we know the type of property you are seeking and your price range we can be looking out for suitable properties that match your criteria.

Consumer Affairs Victoria and the Real Estate Institute of Victoria are both good sources of general advice on purchasing property. CAV has published a checklist which contains important information you need to know before buying residential property which you can download from

Well done – you have found a property that suits you!

When you find a property that suits your requirements it is sensible to ask your agent to send a copy of the sale contract and documentation to your solicitor or conveyancer.

How much do I pay?

Most properties will have an ‘asking price’ in the advertising and, quite obviously, the owners will accept that price. To what extend the owners may be prepared to negotiate below the asking price will vary from property to property. Your sales consultant will know the situation best and will be able to advise you.

If the property is advertised for auction then there will be no asking price and you will have to undertake your own research to determine the likely price. An auction property will have an auction date and time when you can attend and bid for the property. If your bid is the highest you will either have purchased the property, or if the bid is not accepted by the owner, you will have first right to negotiate with the owners to try to finalise a deal.

As a negotiating tip, inexperienced buyers tend to make unreasonable offers which will annoy the owners and encourage owners to say to themselves, “We wouldn’t sell to those people for any price”. The best deals are done when the property owners feel that the purchasers are being reasonable.

Where do I sign?

Once negotiations are completed you will be required to sign a contract and pay the deposit. If your financier has asked that you make your purchase ‘subject to finance’ you should discuss that with your sales consultant. It is usual, except with auctions that your purchase can be made subject to approval of your finance provided that is done within 10 to 14 days. Most banks and other lenders will be able to finalise finance in this timeframe.

Your deposit will be held in your agent’s trust account for safe keeping.

When can I move in?

At the time of signing the contract you will be asked to specify a completion or ‘settlement’ date. This is the date that your bank will hand over the finance and you will become the property owner.

The settlement date is usually 60 to 75 days after the date when you signed the contract but can be shorter or longer depending on what you have negotiated with the property owner. If you would like to settle sooner, and that suits the property owner and your lender, then your settlement date could be as short as 21 to 30 days.

Pre-settlement Inspection

It is usual that the purchaser will visit the property with the selling agent in the last few days before settlement to make sure the property is as inspected. This appointment will be made with the selling agent.

Settlement occurs and you move in!

Welcome to your new home. The team at Sanctuary Lakes Real Estate hope you have many years of enjoyment. If there are ever any questions relating to your home or property generally, we are always happy to assist you.