Buying Real Estate in Queensland
Ready to buy some real estate in the Sunshine State?
We have gathered all the resources you need to make an informed and smart decision
The Sunshine State is an attractive prospect for anyone looking to purchase real estate. With a laid-back lifestyle only a hop, skip and jump from the city, bustling CBD areas and expansive country and outback, it blends everything great about Australia into one wondrous tableau.
But how do you go about buying property in Queensland? There are specific steps to take, just as there are everywhere else in the country.
How do you buy property in Queensland?
There are a few main ways that people will buy Queensland real estate - working out which is best for you is something that the team here at LJ Hooker can help you with!
This is a process where you browse advertised homes, and make an offer on ones you like based on the listed price. You then negotiate with the vendor or their real estate agent until you both come to a satisfactory price for both parties.
An auction is a one-off event. You register as a bidder, and compete with others - whoever has the highest bid over the set reserve price will own the home.
With the tender process, there is not necessarily a listed price. You submit an offer along with a 5 or 10 per cent deposit, and the vendor will accept or reject this depending on whether it meets their wants and needs.
This is a method of buying where you actually make the purchase before the property is built. Usually this is done by engaging developers or their representatives, and the property can look slightly different to what was advertised - but entry price points tend to be relatively low.
For more information on each method of buying Queensland property, the State Government is an excellent resource.
Financing a property purchase in Queensland: how much can you afford?
One of the first steps when buying Queensland property is determining how much you can borrow and spend - as well as the associated taxes. The Queensland Government has calculators for stamp duties, where you can determine how much your setup fees are likely to be. Keep in mind, a deposit on a home loan is normally between 10 and 20 per cent of the total purchase price. More information on housing finance is available from the State Government here.
Once you have factored in the grants and duties that will be part of your property plan, it's a good idea to start shopping around for home loans that suit your means. This is a good point to talk to LJ Hooker Home Loans - they can help you lay out a budget, work out what you can borrow, and begin organising your pre-approval (which is always recommended). These steps can make all the difference to your buying power.
Hidden costs of buying Queensland property
Just like any other state or territory, buying property in Queensland comes with its own specific set of costs and taxes.
- The QLD Government stamp duty calculator shows that on a $450,000 home the duty will be $7,000, but this scales with price - on a $900,000 stamp duty would be $26,350. There are certain exemptions and concessions, but these apply to quite specific situations or for first home buyers.
- Stamp duty might be the main tax you pay, but there are many other costs you must keep in mind, including:
- Landholder duty where excluded interests apply,
- Loan establishment fees (up to $1,000),
- Legal fees for the transaction (between $1,500 and $3,000),
- Lenders Mortgage Insurance (up to $10,000, depending on your home loan deposit),
- Building and pest inspections ($400 to $600),
- Valuation fees ($300 to $500),
- Swimming pool inspections ($170 to $350),
- Land tax (payable by the owner of the property at midnight on June 30 every year),
- Cancelling on a deal during the cooling-off period (0.25 per cent of the purchase price),
- Moving costs ($500 to $3,500 depending on distance).
There can be many more costs, but this provides a broad overview of what you will come up against when buying Queensland property. Speak to your LJ Hooker real estate agent if you want more in-depth information on each and every one of these.
Finding Queensland property to buy
Once you are prepared, the next step is taking on the Queensland property market. The Real Estate Institute of Queensland and Property Council of Australia's Queensland branch are both excellent places to start with to begin understanding the local landscape. Domain.com.au, Residex, the Queensland Valuer-General, SmartMaps and of course ljhooker.com.au are useful research tools as well.
LJ Hooker Open Market report gives a regional snapshot of the property landscape, and your local LJ Hooker office can provide in-depth local market reports.
Where to look
Once your research shows you the type of Queensland property you want to buy and where you might find it, your LJ Hooker real estate agent can find you specific homes. With deep understanding of the market and a wealth of experience, they can unearth gems and cut down on the work you have to do.
State and community newspapers and listings will also prove useful for finding property to buy in Queensland.
Additionally websites such as realestate.com.au, domain.com.au and ljhooker.com.au are an important resource to use when searching for properties. You can also set up property alerts so you are advised via email when a new property that matches your criteria comes on the market.
The importance of inspections
Spending time inspecting any property you wish to buy is critical. Download our handy open for inspection checklist it will show you what to look for and if you use a different one for each property you inspect, it’s a good way to keep track of them. Additionally getting a building and pest inspection is highly recommended so as to ensure you are not buying a property with serious issues.
Make sure your inspector is qualified with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, and check the State Government for more details.
The Queensland buying process
Buying by private treaty
If you like the look of a property and want to make an offer, you can do this yourself - or with the help of an LJ Hooker buyers' agent. You then negotiate the price of the home and any relevant conditions (such as subjecting the home to an inspection or moving in by a certain date), until both parties are satisfied.
You then both sign the contract of sale, you pay a deposit (normally 10 per cent of purchase price), and the settlement process begins. You will have five days from receiving the contract of sale in which you can back out of the deal, which is a cooling-off period.
Buying at auction
Buying Queensland property at auction means there is no cooling-off period, and normally no conditions (such as inspections) placed upon the sale. If the home goes above reserve and you are the highest bidder on the day, then the home is yours - exchange and payment of the deposit occurs on the day.
You should still conduct all of the relevant inspections and checks, to make sure you know everything about the home. Bidding can be a stressful process, so getting an LJ Hooker buyers' agent to do it on your behalf could be a good idea.
Contracts of sale
This is the main document in the purchase of Queensland property. It includes details on the purchase price, you and the vendor, as well as agents, solicitors and conveyancers involved in the process. It will also include conditions of the sale, and it must outline penalties for backing out, which are 0.25 per cent of the purchase price in Queensland.
It is highly recommended that you use a conveyancer or solicitor to handle the paperwork at this part of the process, as it can be very complicated. For more details on contracts of sale, the Queensland government is once again a good resource.
Settlement of Queensland property
Settlement begins once contracts are signed and exchanged, and usually takes 30 to 90 business days, depending on what checks and inspections need to take place. Once the process is complete, the title is transferred, keys are handed over and you can move in - congratulations, you have bought Queensland property!
For any further questions, get in touch with your local LJ Hooker office.