• Step by step guide to buying a home

    Step by step guide to buying a home

    Buying your first home can be confusing. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you understand what happens during the process. 

    1. Initial meeting

    Once requested, a RAMS Home Loan Manager will contact you to organise an appointment. You’ll discuss your requirements, objectives and financial situation.

    2. Application (pre-approval)

    This is where you could be issued with a pre-approval based on your borrowing capacity. We’ll talk about available government grants and you’ll need to provide some personal information including details of your financial position, and identification. Once completed, you can now

    Start house hunting! 

    3. Offer accepted!

    Once an offer is accepted, you will be required to pay a holding deposit. If you’ve bought privately, the cooling off period begins once you exchange contracts and pay the full 10% deposit (or the deposit agreed by the parties and stated in the contract). If you have been successful at auction, you will need to pay a deposit up front. There is no cooling off period if you buy at auction. 

    4. Valuation of the property

    If RAMS hasn’t already done so, it will order a valuation¹ – a full valuation usually takes between 3 and 5 days.

    5. Approval (unconditional)

    Before giving your unconditional approval, your RAMS Home Loan Manager will consider your contract of sale and full valuation, as well as updated financial documents. If you satisfy RAMS’ lending criteria, the unconditional approval will be given. If you’ve bought privately and have not yet paid your full deposit, you’ll be required to pay the balance now. 

    6. Loan documents

    RAMS solicitors will prepare the loan documents and will contact your solicitor or conveyancer to obtain a copy of the transfer and other required documentation. Unless you’re buying vacant land or an apartment, you’ll need to arrange building insurance and provide a copy of the certificate of currency to your RAMS Home Loan Manager.2

    7. Loan settlement

    Your solicitor or conveyancer will contact the RAMS solicitor to book a settlement date. Settlement periods vary between different States and Territories so you’ll need to confirm your timeframe with your solicitor or conveyancer. You’ll need to provide your financial contribution to the purchase at this stage. 

    8. Your new home!

    The settlement is complete and your RAMS home loan is in place. Congratulations! We’ll confirm your new account number and repayment details. We’ll be there to help with any questions or changes to your home loan now or in the future.


    More Information:

    1 RAMS orders a valuation of the security property for the loan for its own purposes. 

    2 If your property is in Queensland, unless the contract of sale is otherwise amended, risk in the property passes from the seller to you from 5pm the next business day after the date the contract of sale is signed by both you and the seller (not from the settlement date which occurs later). Therefore you will be responsible for insuring the property from this point in time. You should check with your real estate agent, solicitor or conveyancer when you become responsible for insuring your home. 


    View more blogs and videos for first home buyers

    View more blogs and videos on buying a property

    Download pdf version of this step by step guide.


    About the author

    • Raymond

      Raymond A Ram is the RAMbassador for RAMS Financial Group. Raymond works with the RAMS team to bring simple, helpful and expert information on home loans and savings accounts to life with his down to earth and cheeky personality. He enjoys seeing everyday Australians turn their dreams of saving for a goal or getting into a home a reality. 

      Growing up in Goulburn, NSW, Raymond was brought up with good old-fashioned Aussie values of hard work and a fair go. It soon became apparent that Raymond wasn't content for the conventional path of grazing, producing the very best wool, and finding a nice sheep to settle down with. So it wasn't long before his passion for performing and his talent as a likeable larrikin shone through - landing him a few roles such as 'RAMlet'. He was even tipped to play RAM-bo at one point but chose to become star of the small screen instead as RAMbassador for RAMS. He now finds this role so much more rewarding.

      Contact your local RAMS Home Loan Centre about your home loan options.

      Raymond A Ram

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  • Disclaimer:

    The information here is of a general nature only and is not intended to constitute financial or tax advice. You should consult your professional adviser, accountant or taxation expert for advice specific to your personal circumstances.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of RAMS Financial Group Pty Ltd ABN 30 105 207 538 (RAMS),  Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac) or their related bodies corporate. This article is strictly for information purposes only and neither RAMS, Westpac nor any of their related bodies corporate make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information in this article or endorse the views expressed in it.