Buying a property can be quite an overwhelming experience, especially if you have never done it before.
Here are the steps in buying a house, unit or townhouse in QLD:
Seek pre-approval on your borrowing capacity so that you know the upper price limit.
Appoint a conveyancer.
Start looking for that property.
If you find a place you like and intend to make an offer, send your conveyancer a copy of the contract of sale so they can review it.
Make a verbal or written offer on your chosen property. Be sure to specify that you want to allow 14 days for finance approval and to carry out inspections.
If your offer is accepted, the agent will ask you to sign the contract.
Signed contracts will be exchanged (the Exchange date) with the seller - you then have 5 business days as a cooling off period where you may withdraw from the contract. Tip: Some agents will try to convince you to waive the cooling off period as a tactic to lock you in to buy - don't agree to this.
While it is not mandatory, it is generally expected to pay some deposit upon contract signing. The amount is negotiable with the seller. If you don't have the cash for the deposit then you can arrange a deposit guarantee with your mortgage broker. This comes at a small fee.
You then need to (a) get your loan fully approved - send your signed contract of sale to your mortgage broker and the lender will do a valuation on the property before granting full approval, (b) get a building and pest inspection completed on the property if it is a house or (c) get a strata inspection report done to ensure that there are no big surprises if it is a unit or townhouse (your conveyancer will usually arrange this). This needs to be completed within your negotiated "14 day subject to finance and inspections".
After the 5 day cooling off period expires, you bound by the contract to buy. If buying a house, consider taking our building insurance for the property since, in most cases, you are now responsible for the property - you can confirm this with your conveyancer.
Your lender's solicitors and your conveyancer will work with the vendor's solicitors to book the settlement date and calculate the exact amounts that need to be transacted - there will be some minor add-backs and deductions for council rates and other things. You will also be required to pay stamp duty upon settlement - your conveyancer will include this in the transaction calculations.
If you are using your own funds to make up the total transaction then you will be required to provide the funding gap just before settlement date.
You inspect the property just prior to settlement
The property settles on the settlement date - and the keys are now yours!