Advice for buyers and sellers as spring property season arrives

Share this story

We always see an increase in activity in the local property market in spring. The sun is out, lawns and gardens are green and lush, and it is much more appealing to hit the open home circuit in warm weather.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in the coming months, here are a few tips…


1. Speak to your mortgage broker before you go house hunting. Find out how much you can borrow and set yourself a limit. There is nothing worse than finding a house you love only to discover it is outside your budget.

2. Pay attention during open homes. If you make a successful offer you will have an opportunity to get a Pest & Building Report, however spotting minor defects from the outset and formulating your offer with those defects in mind can avoid disappointment once your Pest & Building Report comes back.

3. Have a chat to your solicitor or conveyancer early in the piece to make sure you understand the process. One of our solicitors will happily speak to you on the telephone free of charge to discuss things like unconditional loan approval, cooling off periods, and settlement – all conveyancing buzz words that will become the centre of your universe for the next six or so weeks.


1. Walk through your property like you are in an open home and make a list of the minor defects that turn you off. Fix them. The buyer is going to get a Pest & Building Report and minimising minor defects makes for better viewing.

2. Talk to your solicitor or conveyancer about whether or not there is anything you want do disclose in your Contract, such as building works completed without approval (for example carports and decks). It is good to talk to your agent about whether or not this is something you should be on the front foot about. By disclosing items like this in your Contract you can avoid purchasers being able to withdraw and get their deposit back.

3. Check with your mortgage broker to make sure you are not in a fixed rate home loan product that will set you back thousands of dollars to break. If you are selling to buy, talk to your broker about how much equity you have in your property.

We often get phone calls from panicked buyers saying, “we’ve made an offer on a property and now the agent wants us to sign a Contract and pay a deposit but we haven’t seen our solicitor”. Provided that you are exchanging Contracts with a cooling off period, this is the most common way that property transactions are commenced in NSW.

Most of the time, once an offer is made a real estate agent will facilitate an exchange of Contracts in their office. To do so, the buyer needs to sign a Contract and pay a deposit equal to 0.25 per cent of the purchase price. This means that the property is then “off the market” for the duration of the cooling off period. During the cooling off period the buyer can pull out of the deal for any reason, but will forfeit their deposit.

Share this story