House Buying in Brisbane

Hello Joy friends

So the beautiful Liz, who herself knows what its like to move here to Brisbane from New Zealand, has given us her top tips for house buying here in Brisbane

I want to buy a home! Where do I start?

You’ve made the big move and you’re finally here and now your task is to find a home to buy!  It can be a bit daunting.  Most of the shopping for real estate is online now… well the initial stages anyway.  There are a number of websites and one of the best websites to go to is Also check out Domain who have lots as well  You can set up an alert so you are notified of all the new properties as soon as they come on the market.  Then it’s a matter of driving past to ensure you like the street and location.  You have a choice of going to the “Open Home”on the weekend or calling the agent to view it privately on your own.  I would recommend calling to show your interest just in case it’s snapped up before the first open home

How do I know if a home going to Auction is in my price range? 

 With homes going to auction real estate agents are not able to disclose the reserve or give any indication of price. However, the best thing you can do is to make contact with the agent and tell them what your price range is and they will advise whether that particular home will be suitable or not.

Nobody knows what the house will end up selling for, be it an auction property or for sale by ‘private treaty’.  Agents help the vendor to set a listing price by comparing the home to others similar that have sold in the past 6 months or so.  In the case of an auction, the agent advises the seller on all the market feedback which helps the seller to set their reserve price.  It is always important to make sure you do your homework, and all your due diligence prior to auction day, as buying at auction is an unconditional offer. 

The great thing about an auction is that it is totally transparent.  If there is competition, you will see who it is and be given the opportunity to purchase if you wish. If there is a property that you like which is going to auction, it is important that you communicate with the real estate agent and tell them that you are interested in it.  You may wish to make an offer prior to auction, or in the case that somebody else does, if you have registered your interest… this ensures that the house will not be sold without the agent making contact with you. If an offer is made prior to auction day which the vendor is willing to accept and therefore stopping it going to auction, all interest buyers are contacted and also given an opportunity to make an offer prior to the vendor accepting that offer. Communication with the real estate agent is paramount!!

make sure you check out our house auction blog as well for more information

I’m busy, how can I save time?

It’s a good idea to befriend one or two agents whom you trust and feel is willing to help you. Tell them your “wish list” and what you are looking for in your new home.  They may have properties on their books that are coming to the market soon which may be just what you are looking for.

Stamp Duty and getting your finance sorted first.

Yes, getting your finance sorted before you start is a very smart plan.  You then know exactly how much you can spend, and you’ll be a step ahead of others if you happen to end up in a multi offer situation.  When buying a property in Australia you have to pay stamp duty, and sometimes you may qualify for a first home owner’s grant.  Your mortgage broker or bank will help you with this, but as a rough guide the stamp duty is in the region of 3.5 % without the first home owners grant.

Paying the deposit, building & pest inspection & the cooling off period

Once both parties have agreed on a price and conditions, the contract is signed and dated by both the seller and buyer. A deposit is payable within 2 working days. This deposit is paid into the real estate agents trust account, which is a non interest bearing account. On settlement you will then pay the remainder of the value.

You as the buyer then have a certain number of days for you and your solicitor to have all your due diligence completed. This period is the “conditional” period of the purchase where the buyer does all their checks to ensure they wish to proceed with the purchase. Due diligence refers to things like obtaining a building and pest inspection, obtaining finance and other title searches which your solicitor will advise you on. We have white ants/termites here in Queensland which can do a lot of damage so it’s a good idea to check that the house is clear and in reasonable condition. If the contract does not proceed to the “unconditional” period then the deposit is fully refunded.

We also have something called “the cooling off period”. This means you can get out of the contract for no reason or simply a change of mind within 5 business days from signing. Be aware though, as the seller does hold the right to charge the purchaser a termination fee of 0.25% of the contract price if they so choose.


It is important to note that from 5pm the next business day after the contract is dated, the purchaser is responsible for insuring the house.  Occasionally some companies offer a free 90 days, so ask your agent if they have any suggestions. (We at PLACE offer this service through our broker free of charge).

Good luck in finding your first home in sunny Queensland! …and if you need any further advice then please contact Liz Browning  on 0404 251 016 at PLACE  Estate Agency, or you can email Liz on 

Many thanks Liz 🙂

Happy house hunting


The Joy Girls xx

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