Steps to buying a home

  1. Step 1

    Organise your finances

    Your lender will let you know how much you can borrow based on your income, assets and expenses. But you can decide if it’s affordable.

    Make sure you have funds for the deposit before you:

    • bid at auction
    • sign a contract to buy.

    Finance tools

  2. Step 2

    Find and research properties

    When you are looking for properties, you could:

    • observe auctions without bidding
    • go to open inspections for different properties
    • Check on building restrictions for a specific property but also for the area.
  3. Step 3

    Inspect the property

    Make sure you thoroughly inspect the property. You can check some things yourself but others should be done by a professional.

  4. Step 4

    Buying a property

    Making an offer

    You can make an offer if a property is advertised for sale. Often the seller will set a minimum amount but the price is usually negotiable. Remember, the real estate agent acts on behalf of the seller.

    You can include conditions to the contract of sale for things such as finance approvals and timeframes.

    In many cases you also have a cooling off period of two clear business days once the contract is signed.


    You will need to register to bid at an auction. A reserve price is set by the seller but is not shared with the bidders. The property is sold when the highest bid is reached above the reserve price. The sales contract is signed on the same day as the auction.

    There is no cooling off period or option for conditions in the contract when you buy at auction.

    Read about the differences between making an offer or buying at auction.

  5. Step 5


    This is the date that all legal documents are transferred from the seller's name into yours.

    Your conveyancer or solicitor will represent you throughout this process.

    Find a conveyancer

    After settlement, you will be given the keys to your new property.

    Find out more detail about settlements.

Related information

On this site

Hiring a real estate professional

Contact CBS

Online: Contact CBS

Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001

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Page last updated 15 May 2023

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Attorney-General's Department
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