The 10 key steps every property buyer should follow

Buying a property can seem like a daunting and complex process but following these ten easy steps will take some of the stress out of the process and provide a route through the maze.

Illustration of maze with house at centre
Buying the dream property can turn into a nightmare if you don't know how to navigate the procedural maze. (Image source:

Buying a property is a little like baking a cake.

Just as you gather ingredients before baking, purchasing a home requires assembling a team of professionals. Your “ingredients” include real estate and/or buyers agents, mortgage brokers, inspectors and legal advisors.

Once you have your team in place, you’ll need step-by-step instructions to bring everything together and achieve your goal.

Like baking a cake, buying a property involves following a specific sequence of steps to ensure success. This guide will walk you through each stage of the process, helping you make informed and secure decisions along the way.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make informed, secure decisions when buying a property.

1. Define your objectives

Start by identifying your primary reasons for buying property. Is it for personal use, rental income, or long-term investment? Your objectives will guide your search and influence key decisions.

2. Conduct thorough market research

Knowledge is power in real estate. Dive deep into the market trends, current property values, and future projections.

Use reliable sources such as the suburb research section on the API Magazine website. This is one of the best fee tools available online, showing market growth, median house and unit sale and rental prices and also demographic analytics as well.

3. Establish a practical budget

Creating a realistic budget is crucial. Assess your financial situation, considering savings, income and ongoing expenses.

Don’t forget to factor in additional costs like stamp duty, legal fees, and maintenance. It’s wise to have a buffer for unexpected expenses.

4. Secure pre-approval for financing

Before you start viewing properties, get pre-approved for a mortgage. This not only sets your budget but also demonstrates to sellers that you are a serious buyer.

Compare offers from multiple lenders to secure the best interest rates and terms.

Remember, buying property is a finance game as much as it’s a property game.

5. Choose a location strategically 

Location plays a crucial role in determining property value.

Investigate areas with consideration to their proximity to schools, transportation, amenities and future development plans.

Choosing a strategic location not only fulfils your current needs but also offers potential for value appreciation.

I prefer ensuring the area is aspirational—if it’s a place where people aspire to live, it typically attracts future buyers and enhances both desirability and an increase in market value long term.

6. Conduct detailed property inspections

When you find potential properties, conduct thorough inspections. Look beyond surface aesthetics and check for structural issues, water damage, and necessary repairs.

A professional inspector can provide a detailed report, mitigating future risks.

7. Get a pre-purchase valuation

To ensure you understand the market value of your desired property and avoid overpaying, obtain a pre-purchase valuation.

A professional valuer will assess the property’s worth based on current market conditions, comparable sales and the property’s condition.

This step provides a clear picture of the property’s value, helping you make an informed and financially sound decision.

8. Perform due diligence

Due diligence is critical.

Before you put your formal offer in, have a legal professional review the contract, check for any encumbrances, and confirm all necessary inspections are completed.

This step helps identify any potential legal or financial pitfalls.

Get a building and pest inspection and or conduct a strata report and if you are thinking of building or developing on the property one day, make sure the zoning and council regulations permit any future plans.

9. Make an offer

Base your offer on a mix of your own comprehensive market analysis and a property valuation.

Avoid emotional decisions. Yes, if it’s your family home, emotion should come into play, however, make sure your emotions don’t come between you and not sticking to your budget.

Always be prepared to negotiate. Ensure all terms are clearly outlined in the offer to avoid misunderstandings later.

10. Finalise with care and start packing

After due diligence and securing financing, proceed to finalise the purchase.

Ensure all legal and financial aspects are meticulously handled during settlement.

This is when the property officially becomes yours.

Knowing that the right professionals have handled your settlement means you can concentrate on the most important part – packing up the old house and knowing where to unpack everything in the new house.

Article Q&A

What steps do I follow to buy a property?

Ten steps to follow when buying a property are: Define your objectives; Conduct thorough market research; Establish a practical budget; Secure pre-approval for financing; Choose a location strategically; Conduct detailed property inspections; Get a pre-purchase valuation; Perform due diligence; Make an offer; Finalise with care and start packing.

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