Buyer Checklist

At Keith Wiseman Real Estate, we are committed to helping you make your property dreams a reality. Our consultants will work with you to assist in the process of finding a suitable property to meet your needs. We have compiled a basic list of considerations to get you started.


Prior to starting your property search, make a list of your property requirements. Include your preferred suburbs, price range, style of home, access to work and schools, proximity to public transport and amenities, potential for future development and capital growth. Prioritise the list into 'must have' and 'nice to have'. Be sure to differentiate between your needs and wants.

When deciding on a location, we suggest that you check with the local council regarding town-planning regulations and the development potential of the area.

Property Inspections

List the pros and cons of each property inspected and compare these to your list of requirements. Be realistic when inspecting properties; rarely will one home present everything you desire. Be objective and flexible in your approach. Highlight the homes which best match your list of criteria.

Take your time during inspections and don't undertake too many inspections on the same day - it is easy to become overwhelmed. Be open to the possibility of making a second inspection of preferred properties. Once you have found your potential property, get a feel for the surrounding neighbourhood. Check out local amenities, public facilities and transport links. Ensure you undertake appropriate research in order to satisfy yourself as to the suitability of the property.

If you are purchasing an investment property and would like advice on its potential rental yield, an experienced property manager can arrange to inspect the property with you prior to submitting an offer. Our property managers have extensive knowledge of the rental market and will be able to advise you on the potential rental return of your chosen property.


Finance is a major consideration in any property purchase. Therefore, prior to embarking on your property search, it is recommended that you contact your financial institution. If you require a loan to enable the purchase of a home, your capacity to meet home loan repayments will determine the relevant price range in which you can consider buying. Your lending institution will advise your borrowing limit. Once this is established, you can then determine which properties are available in your price range.

Making an Offer

Buying through Private Treaty: Sale by private treaty requires the seller to advertise the property for an agreed price from the commencement of the campaign. 

In general, sale by treaty allows the vendor greater control over the sale, more time to consider offers and the ability to extend the time the property is on the market. If you are genuinely interested in purchasing your selected property, maintain open communication with your agent. Try to remain objective and know when to compromise and when to walk away. 

Private treaty sales will usually have a cooling-off period, meaning that a sale price has been agreed between buyer and seller however the sale is still subject to conditions.

Buying at Auction: Auctions by nature create urgency among buyers. Setting an auction date and grouping interested purchasers together creates a competitive environment and the greatest opportunity for the vendor to achieve the highest possible price.

If you are interested in purchasing a property at auction, do your homework and be prepared to act quickly. Research the auction process and tips on bidding at auction. Remember that once the hammer falls, the property is sold and there is no cooling-off period.

Legal Advice and Exchange of Contracts

After you have signed the offer the agent will forward the offer to the vendor. The details of your offer are expressed in the Contract of Sale. This is a legally binding document which sets down the terms and conditions under which the purchase and sale will be completed. At this stage, it is advisable to engage the services of your solicitor or conveyancer. Have your solicitor or conveyancer check the document and explain the contract to you.

The seller may not agree to your price and/or your conditions, and may make a counter offer or could simply reject your offer. Be prepared to negotiate with the seller via their agent to reach a final sum agreed upon by the parties.

Upon receipt of an acceptable offer, you will sign the Contract of Sale and the deposit will be paid. The contract is not legally binding until the Contract for Sale is signed and dated by all parties who are signatories to the contract, and communication of its acceptance is conveyed to all parties who are signatories to the contract.

Under Contract

The provision of a 5 business day cooling-off period allows you time to secure finance and to carry out any building and pest inspections required. During the cooling-off period you may terminate the contract for any reason. If you do decide to cancel the contract, the seller must refund the deposit within 14 days of termination of the contract, but may deduct a termination penalty equal to 0.25% of the purchase price. There is no cooling-off period, however, if your solicitor is instructed to sign a 66W certificate waiving your cooling-off rights, or if the property is sold at auction.

Professional Inspections and Reports

Once the contract is deemed acceptable, you should consider engaging a professional property inspector to check the property. Do not be tempted to forego property inspections in order to save costs. Depending on the type of property you are purchasing, consider having (where applicable) a building inspection, pest inspection, strata title inspection and land survey (this may have previously been obtained by the vendor).

Pre-Settlement Inspection

Prior to settlement you are entitled to a 'pre-settlement inspection'. The vendor should give you reasonable opportunity to inspect the property within seven (7) days prior to settlement. This is to ensure the property is in the same condition as when you last inspected it, that any special conditions have been satisfied and that all inclusions are as per the signed contract.


At settlement, the balance of the purchase price is paid to the vendor and any outstanding mortgages will be discharged. Any new mortgage for the buyer will then be registered with the Land Titles Registry and the purchaser becomes the legal owner of the property. Possession of the property usually occurs on settlement day, however, the date may differ by agreement between the vendor and purchaser.

For further information, please contact us on 02 9875 1533

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