Tips for Buyers

Purchasing Townsville Real Estate by Private Treaty

Purchasing residential real estate can be a very exciting process, however, it can also be a confusing time for the prospective buyer as there are many new homes for sale.

As you may already be aware, different agencies usually have different sets of rules and standards, so we would like to inform you of the buying process should you decide to purchase a property through Graham Lynham Real Estate.

STEP 1: Before making an offer

If you want to make an offer, be certain that you can follow through by having the following items confirmed:

  1. A pre-approval of finance from your bank or lending institution.
  2. Your own property sold or at least assessed for value and possible sale time.
  3. You have obtained a Buildings insurance quote so that in the event your offer is accepted you can arrange insurance on the property you are purchasing. (This applies in Queensland only).
  4. You have a solicitor or conveyancer selected. (They will be required to supply any legal clauses for any special conditions such as a contract being subject to the sale of another home etc.).
  5. Determine how you will be paying the deposit if your offer is accepted.
  6. An idea of the time required for finance approval, building and pest inspections and the actual settlement date. Most agencies allow up to 21 days for building and pest inspection to be undertaken, 21 days for finance approval and 45 days until the day you take ownership.
  7. Any special conditions or requests that you may have so that we can inform the vendor (property owner).

Once we have the above information, we are in a position to present your offer to the vendor (property owner).

You can ask for a copy of the contract document to be provided for either yourself or your solicitor to peruse prior to making the offer.

STEP 2: Once your offer is accepted

Once the price, terms and conditions of the offer have been agreed upon and all parties have signed you have a legally binding albeit conditional contract for sale.

The agency will forward copies to all parties involved (buyer, seller, bank, and solicitors).

A “cooling off” period applies to all contracts.

The standard contract for buying a home comes with a cooling-off period of 5 business days.

This means if you’re not totally happy, you can cancel the contract during this time.

The cooling-off period starts the day you get a copy of the signed contract (signed by both parties).

  • If you get it on a weekend or a public holiday, the cooling-off period starts on the next business day. The cooling-off period still begins if a representative takes the signed contract on your behalf.
  • If there’s a dispute over when you got the contract, the seller will need to prove they got it to you.
  • The cooling-off period ends at 5pm on the final (5th) day of the cooling-off period.


In most cases, you will become responsible for the property from 5pm the next business day after the contract date. In other words, you must, in Queensland, organise buildings insurance cover for the property through your preferred insurer.

Building & Pest Reports

Before you complete the purchase of any property it is important that you obtain a Building and Pest Report from a qualified inspector. The contract will allow a set time frame for this to be completed.

Please note that this report is a complete list of defects of the home. The point to remember here is that all homes at one time or another homes require maintenance, and the age and condition of the home will influence it’s value and fair market price.

You should ask the building and pest inspector to walk you through the report. If there are major defects these may be points for negotiation prior to the contract being unconditional. Buyers should make sure your building and pest inspector communicates the details of the report to you in person and explains any issues in layman’s terms.

Bank Valuation

Don’t be alarmed if your bank or lending institution requests a valuation by a registered property valuer. This is the normal practice of lending institutions and serves as confirmation that the agreed sale price represents fair market value.

STEP 3: An Unconditional Contract

Once unconditional your solicitor will advise all parties that the terms of the contract have been met and then it’s time to

  1. Organise the signing of your loan documents with your Bank or lending institution.
  2. Organise the signing of your legal documents with your solicitor
  3. Arranging removalists (Get help from the moving company that has more than 10 years of experience, an unbeatable reputation and is able to handle all your moving needs)
  4. Arranging connection of services including phone gas and electricity and diverting any mail to your new address

Pre-settlement inspection

As a buyer, you are entitled to a pre-settlement inspection with the building inspection to confirm the property is to a reasonable standard and presented to your satisfaction prior to you handing over your funds for the completion of the purchase. One of our team will meet you at the property to conduct the inspection.


On the day of settlement, your solicitor and bank will have organised a time to exchange funds and hand over the legal paperwork so that you can finally hear: Congratulations! Welcome to your new home.

Preparation is the key. Understand your rights and have everything in place. If you follow the advice in this document, along with that of your solicitor and your agent you will be on your way to securing the right home.

Whether you are considering purchasing in the near future, or are currently in the process of buying a home through another company and in need of advice, please feel free to call any of the Lynham team with any questions that you may have. We will be happy to assist.