Buying Guide

Buying a property is an exciting time… but it can also be a daunting one. But rest assured, working with a trusted and dedicated local real estate agent will help you achieve your property dreams. Created by PRD, Australia’s real estate leader, this Property Buying Guide is here to help. From the basics of property buying, to deciphering financial and legal terms, you’ll be equipped to enter the market whether you are looking for a residential or investment property.

Types of property

Choosing the property type is just the first of the big decisions. How many bedrooms do you need? How many bathrooms? Do you need a car space? All these and more requirements need to be considered. Then you need to think about where you want to live. Your budget might help that decision, but you still need to consider proximity to schools, transport, shops and facilities to ensure the property suits your lifestyle. Or, if it is an investment property, the lifestyle of your expected tenants.

It’s wise to choose a property with at least one unique feature. It could be a renovated bathroom, large kitchen, original period fixtures or beautifully landscaped grounds. Unique properties are harder to replace, so often they have a higher resale value.

Gold Coast Properties

What can you afford?

Budgets are less intimidating when you know where to start. First, calculate what repayments you can afford – as a rule of thumb, lenders base the loan on an amount that does not exceed a set percentage of gross (pre-tax) income. It’s always a good idea to talk to your financial adviser or lender before you make any big decisions. They’ll be able to help you determine what you can realistically afford, and the loan rates that best suit your needs.

Borrowing Power Calculator

Tips to finding your dream home

Register with PRD’s Real Estate
Property Finder.

Register your intent to buy with
your local PRD Real Estate Agent.

Search local newspapers and
online for real estate and homes
for sale.

Let people know you are looking to
buy. They might know a place that
would suit you!

Drive around the suburbs you are
interested in and see what is

Find out what is available at both
ends of your price range.

Attend auctions and open houses
in your preferred area to see what
is available.

Contact your local PRD office for a
research profile on the suburb.

Property inspections

There are two types of property inspections: open house or inspection by appointment. In an open house, the public is invited to view a property at set dates and times, usually displayed on marketing material. Inspection by appointment requires you to contact the sales agent to arrange a time to see the property.

Make sure to take a list of your requirements to the inspection and take plenty of notes. Check with the agent if you can take photos of the property to remind you of its features. Once you have inspected several properties, you’ll have a good idea of what is available for your budget. Once you’ve chosen the property you plan to buy, you may choose to have a pre-purchase inspection for structural defects, repairs needed or pests. If the property is being auctioned, these inspections must be completed beforehand!

Property Inspections

Buying at a private treaty sale

A private treaty sale is where buyers make their offers directly to the seller or agent. While this sounds simple in theory, offer and acceptance is quite formalised so it’s important to understand the process.

  • The agent will submit all offers to the seller.
  • The property remains on the market until an offer is accepted.
  • Your offer may include a finite date.
  • Your offer can be made subject to finance.
  • Your offer can be made with specific conditions written into the contract, for example, to exclude a water pump.
  • You can make an offer with a deposit to demonstrate your intention to purchase (the balance of the deposit is paid after acceptance). If your offer is declined, your deposit will be refunded.
  • An offer is not legally binding to both parties until both the buyer and the seller have signed the contract.
Buying at Private Treaty

Offer Acceptance

Once your offer has been accepted, it’s time to pop champagne and celebrate your new homeowner status. But first, you’re required to pay the deposit as specified in the contract. The seller will then sign the offer document, making a “contract” legally binding you to the sale. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice before signing anything.

Offer Accepted


By law, all deposit monies must be banked into an official trust account by no later than the next business working day. If purchasing at an auction, the holding deposit must be paid on the day or as stated in the contract. Agents do not receive any interest or benefits whatsoever from holding deposits on behalf of the seller.