Buying Information

Buying Methods

New South Wales is Australia’s most populous state, with both the highest average house and unit price in the country and many suburbs exceeding a million-dollar property value. With so much competition, buying real estate in NSW can be a tough prospect, but with proper planning, it can be accomplished with little to no stress. Before purchasing property in NSW, it is critical that you understand the various options available to you.

Private Treaty

A Private Treaty sale is a typical residential real estate transaction. This is when a seller, or homeowner, determines a value for their property and their real estate agent negotiates with potential buyers directly to reach a sale as close to that price as possible.

Buying at Auction

An auction is a public sale regulated by strict rules and performed by a licensed auctioneer. There is a reserve price, which is the lowest price at which the home can sell; if bids exceed the reserve and you are the highest bidder, you must sign the contract right away.

Buying by Tender

Tendering for property in NSW is a procedure in which you make a single bid, which is subsequent to a 5% or 10% deposit, and the seller accepts or refuses it.

Buying off the Plan

Purchasing a home off the plan means you are paying for something that has yet to be built. It is possible that the house will turn out differently than you expected. It does, however, come at a lower cost than many other properties.

Financing a Purchase in NSW

When deciding a budget and how much you can borrow, CIA Real Estate Home Loans will assist you. They will help you understand how much you can afford as a deposit ranges from 10% to 20% of the purchase price.

Hidden Costs in NSW

You should be mindful that buying a home in NSW comes with many hidden costs. A summary is provided below, but a complete list can be found at the Office of State Revenue.

  • Stamp duty is a tax imposed by the NSW government. It is measured based on the value of your home. In NSW , you will pay $8,990 plus $4.50 for every $100 you pay over $300,000 for property. As a result, stamp duty on a $650,000 home will cost $24,470 and $56,990 on a $1.3 million home. Click here for the NSW stamp duty calculator.
  • Legal fees will be between $1,500 and $3,000 depending on the complexity of your contracts.
  • Mortgage duty (including multi state duty) and land tax can cost between $300 and $400.
  • Pests and Building Inspections will be between $300 and $400.
  • Loan application fees can range from nothing to $1,000 – sometimes this is waived by the lender.
  • Independent valuers’ fees – you will require an independent valuer to value the property you are planning on buying. This is generally $300 to $500.
  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) – if borrowing more than 80 per cent of the property’s purchase price, you’ll need LMI. This is a one-off premium to cover the lender should you default on the loan. This varies but allow for around $10,000.
  • Registration of title – you are required to register the title with the NSW State Government for $75.
  • Building, Pest, and Strata – It is $300 to $400 for a building or pest inspection and $200 for a strata report.
  • Council Rates and Strata Fees – these commence from settlement. Allow for an extra $500 to $800.

Once you understand the costs, you’re ready to secure a home loan. CIA Real Estate Home Loans can offer you a wide range of products to suit a number of incomes. We can help you weigh up all these costs and give you a clear idea of what you can borrow to buy NSW property.

Finding Property to Buy in NSW


It is important that you do your research on the suburb you’re considering purchasing in. Here is a brief list of tools to get you started:

  • CIA Real Estate Open Market report for a regional snapshot of the property market, and your Local CIA Real Estate office for a local market report.
  • Australian Property Monitors and CoreLogic RP Data are excellent online providers of property data and information.
  • Websites like, and agent sites like will show you what is on the market.

Then you can decide whether to purchase an existing home, an off-the-plan unit or house, or something completely different. The Department of Housing’s A-Z of Buying is also a useful guide.

Importance of Inspections

Make sure you thoroughly inspect the property. Here are some inspection tips to keep in mind as you walk through the property.
Click here for a checklist for an apartment and here for a checklist for a house inspection.

It is also advised to have a pre-purchase building / pest inspection performed on all properties you are serious about purchasing, as this can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Buying Process

Private Treaty

After you have found a home you are interested in and want to make an offer. Make sure you have considered how much you are willing to pay, how much you can afford, and whether you want to go in high or low.

You must make all offers and counter offers in writing and sign them. The agent is legally obliged to forward all offers to the vendor as soon as possible. The seller must then decide whether to accept or decline the offer. The sale price is negotiated until both parties reach an agreement on a final price. If your offer is accepted, you have a five day cooling off period during which you can withdraw from the sale.


In NSW, auctions are regulated by strict guidelines. To bid, you must first register with the vendor’s agent and receive a bidder number. The auctioneer is in charge of the proceedings, and all potential buyers’ bids are recorded. The seller will generally set a reserve price before the auction starts, and if the bidding reaches the reserve, the property will be sold at the fall of the hammer.

The seller is also permitted to make one bid called a vendor bid which the auctioneer will announce. If you are the highest bidder, you have to sign the contract of sale right there and then and pay your deposit (normally about 10 per cent). Also be aware, there is no cooling off period.

Contract Exchange and Settling the Sale

After purchasing property via private treaty or auction, you should seek advice from a solicitor or conveyancer as the seller and buyer exchange signed sales contracts. The buyer usually has a 5-day cooling off period in private treaty deals. There is no cooling off period for properties purchased at auction. This includes the sellers.

Settlement is the completion of the sale transaction and typically occurs 6 weeks after the contracts are exchanged. Contact your local CIA Real Estate representative if you have any further questions or want to learn more about getting into the NSW property market.

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