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Consider pre-approval

If you’re ready to make an offer on your dream home, by now you’d no doubt have your deposit saved and burning a hole in your pocket.

Before you go flashing the cash to your real estate agent though, it’s a great idea to speak to a lending expert and get pre-approved for your loan, so you can make an offer with confidence.

1. Know your borrowing power

First things first. You’ve got a ball-park figure for how much you’ll need to buy your home. Give yourself five minutes to take advantage of our handy Borrowing Power Calculator. Simply punch in a few numbers about yourself and get an idea of how much you’d be able to access to finance your purchase.

Borrowing power calculator

2. Know your deposit amount

Knowing exactly how much you'll need for your housing deposit gives you the correct savings goal to work towards. Take into amount whether of not you'll need to apply for Lender's Mortgage Insurance.

Savings goal calculator


Research and strategise

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

This process isn’t as simple as buying some gum at the checkout, so it’s recommended you do your homework.

1. Do your homework

In the lead-up to making your offer, consider the asking price of your potential property. Ask your agent or get online and look into the selling history of the surrounding streets.

Look for houses with comparable block size, building structure and property features to yours. Be sure to consider whether the market in the area is on the up or is cooling. These factors will help you devise your strategy.

2. Finalise your game plan

Based on your research, you should be able to arrive at a figure you think is reasonable for the property you want to buy.

For example, you may wish to make an initial offer 10-15% below the asking price if you think that the agent and seller have added on 5-10% due to the suburb being on the up. Or you may be willing to offer slightly over the asking price, but with some stipulations that the owner make a number of changes to the property before you exchange contracts.

Avoid the pitfalls

To give yourself and your offer the best chance of success, there are a few behaviours you should avoid during the process.

Don't play games

Be up-front about your interest in the property. Being honest and open is a two-way street.

Be flexible

If you really want the property, you may have to be willing to meet the agent and seller halfway.

Have perspective

Try to understand the vendor’s motivation to sell, and how that may be influencing their decision-making.

Make your offer

When you’ve ticked all the above boxes, approach the agent and make your offer. After all the prep-work, it really is as simple as throwing a number out there and seeing if you get a bite.

Unfortunately, it’s at this point when you’re at your most excited where patience is most crucial. Be sure to give the seller and agent some space, and to avoid disappointment, be prepared for the possibility of further negotiation.

If you’re looking for a way to use this time productively, why not start thinking about the right insurance for what could be your new home? You’ll need your Home Insurance in place for when contracts are exchanged, so be sure to get a quote that’s both great value while suiting your needs.


With the right prep, your offer will hopefully be accepted and you’ll be the owner of a brand new home!

Here’s what to do next:

1. Buy Champagne

Preferably the best you can get your hands on and afford.

2. Chill it lovingly

Then, remove the foil and wire cage from the bottleneck.

3. Pop that cork

Propose a toast to your brand new home - congratulations!

Your questions answered

What is the rule of thumb for making an offer on a house?

Speaking generally, there are a few things you can do to put yourself in the best position to make an offer on a house.

These include having your deposit saved, accounting for additional costs, securing pre-approval, doing your research and not being afraid to negotiate.

Obviously, you want to secure the sale for the lowest price possible as a buyer, so don't be afraid to start your offer on the lower side and negotiate.

How do you make a strong offer on a house?

To make your offer as strong as possible, it's really a case of doing your research and work in the lead-up, and being willing to act quickly.

Having your deposit and pre-approval in the bag will make your offer more attractive usually, as will showing interest early on. Attend the first open or contact the agent beforehand to get a seller's estimate, and put your offer forward as soon as you can.

Don't be afraid to start your offer lower than the estimate, but keep your price ceiling, or best offer in reserve.

Should you make an offer on a house right away?

If you notice that the open house you visit is poorly attended, or that a house doesn't go under offer right away, you may be inclined to wait it out in the hope that the seller chooses to lower their price out of desperation.

Often, this waiting simply allows time for other potential buyers to emerge, so generally, it can be wise to initiate contact right away if you really mean to buy.

How does making an offer on a home work?

Making an offer on a house is as simple as contacting the seller's agent and stating what price you're willing to pay for the property. The agent will then take this price to the seller, and there is usually some back and forth between the agent as you negotiate on price or conditions of sale.

After negotiations take place, you and the seller will have contracts drawn up to exchange.

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