Once you have found the perfect property, we can help you through every stage of the purchase process for a smooth and pleasant transaction.


Buying a property with Tolcher Realty

Tolcher Realty can help you arrange the inspections and pre-purchase reports you require, most of which can be completed within 24 to 48 hours. We can also put you in touch with independent finance brokers, tax depreciation specialists and building inspectors - particularly useful if you are purchasing an investment property.

At Tolcher Realty, we can assist you with the moving process as well - whether you need help relocating or setting up your utility accounts your agent can offer valuable support and trusted reputable relocation specialists.



Guide to Buying Real Estate

You may think that buying a property is simple - but there are steps and processes that are specific to the purchase of property you should be aware of.

We have created a guide for buying property in South Australia including the different ways to buy, how to research our local market, the costs involved when buying a home, how to find a property, what to look for at inspections, understanding contracts, the settlement process and more.


First Home Buyers Guide

Buying a first home is a nerve-wracking experience and what you need to know. Here is a complete first home owners guide to help you navigate through the buying process and get you onto the property ladder faster.

From understanding the first home owners grant, working out how much you can afford, the different ways to buy a property, where to research the local property market, tips on finding the right home, what goes into a contract of sale, how the settlement process works and more.


First Home Buyers Guide for South Australia

Step by step guide for buying in South Australia

Are you ready for your first step on the property journey in South Australia? Real estate might be big business, but we're here to make small work of it. Here is a condensed set of resources and tips to get you on the way to buying your first home in SA!


Ways to buy your first home in South Australia:

  1. Tender - To buy a property via tender, you'll need to make an offer, along with a deposit of up to 10 per cent of that figure. The vendor will then decide whether the offer is suitable.
  2. Auction - At an auction, you'll have to meet a reserve price - you cannot offer any lower than this. If the bid goes higher than the reserve, the highest bid wins the auction. Once the auction has concluded, the winning bidder must sign the contract on the day.
  3. Private Treaty - A common way to buy, private treaty sees the vendor choose an appropriate price. The real estate agent will then arrange a sale, attempting to get a price as close to the figure as possible.



What about finance?

The first thing that you need to work out is how much you can borrow. If you can figure out how much deposit you can pull together - 20 per cent is usual - you're off to a good start. It's possible to get a loan with a smaller deposit, but you then run the risk of restrictive conditions being placed on your mortgage, so try and save as much as you can.

A smaller deposit, for example, could mean that you have to pay lenders' mortgage insurance, which can be very expensive. Be sure to read The ASIC MoneySmart website for more information, or get in touch with the team at Tolcher Realty and we'll point you in the right direction and provide you with independent lenders.



The South Australia First Home Owner Grant

Just like every other state and territory, South Australia has its own set of benefits for people buying their first home. Whether it's in central Adelaide or some rural real estate up near Coober Pedy, you might be eligible for the SA First Home Owners Grant (FHOG).

This applies when you buy your first home in SA. More information on this is available at RevenueSA, including the amounts available for varying types of construction. 

The organisations that process your application for the FHOG must be approved as well - take a look at the list of such bodies on this web page. Depending on when you buy, you may even be eligible for an off-the-plan concession!


What are hidden costs of buying your first home in South Australia?

As Revenue SA points out, there are three main costs you incur when buying a first home:

  • Stamp duty. This is a tax imposed by the South Australian government and is based on the value of your property. Be sure to use the South Australia stamp dutycalculator to figure out what you’ll owe.
  • Land tax is considered at midnight, June 30 each year - ownership, site value and usage are all taken into consideration as to how much you’ll pay. This tax applies to land values over $332,000.
  • Emergency services levy.
  • Legal fees / conveyancing can all become very costly depending on the complexity of contracts your Tolcher Realty sales consultant can provide you with tried and trusted independent professionals.
  • Applying for a loan can incur loan application fees. Often, the lender will waive the fee.
  • Having a home independently valued will cost you around $300-$500.
  • If you borrow more than 80 per cent of your new home's asking price, lenders mortgage insurance could be charged and is usually incorporated into the loan.
  • A house inspection will cost around $400. A strata report will cost you something like $200.

On top of this, there will be fees for the use of a conveyancer, or solicitor you engage to help with paperwork, as well as real estate agents you engage to help source and negotiate the purchase price. These will likely all be necessary to help you navigate the first home buying process in SA.


Choosing your first South Australian home

Property reports and research

When you're new to the SA property market, you may have absolutely no idea where to start your search. You can use your handy friend Google, or simply come and talk to a Tolcher Realty representative. Property portals and newspapers, such as The Advertiser, often update their listings.

From there, you'll want to conduct extensive market research, perhaps with the help of a professional who has been through the process before. Have you saved enough for a deposit, do you need to do specific mortgage calculations, and what kind of SA first home benefits might you qualify for?

Doing your homework on the property market in South Australia will also give you an understanding of where you can buy, and how much it’ll cost.

  • Tolcher Realty Market Report will give you a regional snapshot of the property market
  • Websites like domain.com.au, realestate.com.au will show you what is on the market.

Once you’ve carried out your research, you can settle on what kind of property to buy, an existing home, city centre apartment, or new build. It’s up to you! 


Where to look for a first home in South Australia

When looking for a home in South Australia, it’s well worth contacting your local Tolcher Realty Agent. We know the local market well and want to help you find your dream home.



What do you need to know when looking for a home in South Australia?

Are house inspections important?

They are indeed, and this is because they'll tell you a whole lot more about the house than you first realised. Additionally, the results of a house inspection will put you in a better place to bargain when it comes to price negotiation. 

If you choose not to inspect the property first, you could be lumped with a house that needs extensive repairs before it's of a liveable standard. Therefore, it makes sense to have your home evaluated by an accredited inspector.

Documents issued to the buyer  

When buying for the first time, you must be given certain information about the property you are looking at. This is a legal requirement that all vendors, sales representatives, agents and auctioneers are obliged to comply with.

When buying a property, you must be given a copy of:

  • The buyer’s information notice, and
  • The vendor’s statement.

If you’re buying a residential property at auction, you must also be given a copy of:

  • The bidder’s guide, and
  • The collusive practices statement.

Typically, an agent is not able to act as a representative for both the buyer and the seller. Only in certain circumstances is this allowed, but the agent will have to give you a copy of the warning notice for purchasers for you to sign.


Contract of Sale

There is little more important documentation than the contract of sale when buying your first house in South Australia.

It includes basic, yet essential details about the purchase, including:

  • Contact details of the seller, buyer and selected others involved in the sale,
  • How and when the deposit will be paid, and where it will be kept,
  • The date of the final settlement, and when ownership will be transferred,
  • The length of the cooling-off period (in South Australia, this is just two business days).

The contract of sale in most instances is a fairly standard document, but when there are multiple conditions and complicated circumstances enlisting the aid of a solicitor to help you make sense of it and ensure you safely negotiate any confusion which may arise would be prudent.


Finalising the Sale

Private treaty

Once you've found your dream South Australian home, it’s time to make an offer. Be sure that you have taken the time to consider how much you can afford to pay, as well as your tactics - will you go in high or deliver a low-ball offer? Once you’ve put in your offer, the seller will decide to accept, not accept or negotiate. Often, the price will be negotiated until an agreement is met. 

The contracts of sale and form 1 will be signed and exchanged, the settlement process begins, this is when the two-day cooling off period is triggered. You should use this time to go over the contract of sale once again and ensure you are happy with your purchase. Then you'll pay the deposit and the contract becomes unconditional. During this period, till settlement things are finalised by conveyancers - paperwork will be checked, finance revaluated, and preparations for the move itself begun. It's worth pointing out that you are not usually allowed to move in until after your settlement date.


When you buy a home at a South Australian auction, you'll lose your right to a cooling off period. Certain other conditions are also forfeited, such as subject to finance. If you would like a building inspection it needs to be organised prior to auction day. Should you win the auction, you'll have to pay your deposit on the day, so it's vital that you have it ready once the bidding war is over. This is usually around 10 per cent of the final price and 30 days settlement unless prior approval from vendor.

You can choose to have a Tolcher Realty buyer's agent do the bidding for you at auction. Why? Well, not only will it save you time, but you won't have to endure the stress of what can be a very combative atmosphere.

Buying your first South Australian home need not be the confusing, tangled mess that you imagine it to be. Tolcher Realty is here to do all the work for