Getting started on your home buying journey

Buy with confidence with our video guide to the home buying process, from planning your purchase to settlement and beyond.

1. Apply for conditional pre-approval to search with confidence

Conditional pre-approval provides an estimate of how much you can borrow based on the information you provide to us. Applying for conditional pre-approval is important as it will help you understand what you can afford and give you the confidence to make an offer when the right property comes along.

  1. To help you with the home loan process and to apply for conditional pre-approval, make an appointment with a Home Lending Specialist 
  2. Ask your Home Lending Specialist for a personalised property report for your preferred suburb or property. They’ll also estimate your upfront buying costs (e.g. stamp duty, legal fees)
  3. Once you’ve received conditional pre-approval, it’s time to start searching for your property

Estimated time conditional pre-approval is valid for: 6 months

2. Found your property? Apply for a home loan 

You can apply anytime online, over the phone or in person with help from one of our Home Lending Specialists. They’ll let you know exactly which documents you’ll need for your application.

  1. If you’re buying at an auction chat to your Home Lending Specialist about what’s required
  2. Let your Home Lending Specialist know you’ve found your property
  3. Gather all the necessary documents (e.g. payslips, bank statements)
  4. Find a solicitor or conveyancer who can help you with the contract and any other legal documents.

Estimated time to complete home loan application: 15mins – 48 hours

3.  Secure your property & pay the deposit

You can use the Contract of Sale to negotiate your offer on a property. Once accepted, both you and the vendor (seller) sign this contract, which confirms selling price, settlement terms and any other conditions for the sale.

  1. Arrange a property and pest inspection
  2. Check with local and state governments about zoning and future developments that may affect your home
  3. Check if there’s a cooling off period for the contract
  4. Sign the contract and pay the deposit – usually 5-10% of the property price

4. Your home loan’s been approved, so it’s time to sign

Once your loan application and documents are submitted, we’ll review them and complete any necessary checks we need to do at our end (e.g. property valuation, credit checks, building documents) before we provide formal approval and your loan offer documents. 

  1. Complete stamp duty forms (if applicable) – your solicitor or conveyancer will organise this
  2. Review your loan documents, either in person with your Home Lending Specialist or in NetBank with our SmartSign service. You will need to sign the loan documents
  3. Look into home insurance options prior to settlement.

Estimated time for home loan approval (once documents submitted): 1-5 business days

5. Settle & move in

Settlement is when the purchase of the property is completed and it officially becomes yours. We will arrange a settlement date, time and location with your solicitor or conveyancer and notify you by SMS as soon as settlement is completed.

  1. Arrange a pre-settlement inspection with the seller’s real estate agent
  2. Make sure you have enough money in your nominated CommBank transaction account 48 hours before the settlement date – your solicitor will advise how much you’ll need
  3. Pick up your keys from the seller’s real estate agent

Estimated time from application to settlement: 4-6 weeks

Congratulations! You’ve bought your home

Each home buying journey is different. Your Home Lending Specialist is there to guide you through these steps and help with anything specific to your situation.


Our step-by-step home buying guide

$2,000 cashback when you switch your home loan to us

For refinancers who apply before 31 October 2020 and have their loan funded by 31 December 2020. Minimum refinance amount $250,000. This offer is not available for Bridging Loans. 

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Things you should know

This advice has been prepared without taking your individual objectives, financial situation or needs into account. Before acting on this advice, you should consider whether it is appropriate to your circumstances. Applications for finance are subject to approval. Full terms and conditions will be included in the Bank’s loan offer. Home Insurance is provided by CommInsure, a registered business name of Commonwealth Insurance Limited ABN 96 067 524 216 AFSL 235030 (CIL). CIL is a wholly owned non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (The Bank). The Bank does not guarantee the obligations or performance of CIL or the products it offers. Where we refer to 'we', 'us' and 'our', we mean CIL. A Product Disclosure Statement is available at all Commonwealth Bank branches, by downloading them from or by calling 13 2423 and should be considered before making any decisions about this product. You should also read the Home Insurance Key Fact Sheet, Financial Services Guide and Privacy Policy which are also available by calling 13 2423.

Our staff may receive payments for business they refer to other persons in the Bank who specialise in certain products and/ or services and may be eligible for prizes including overseas travel and gift vouchers. Our staff may also receive benefits such as tickets to sporting and cultural events, corporate promotional merchandise or other similar benefits from product providers whose products they may sell or for business they may refer to product providers. We receive commission for selling CommInsure Home Insurance and Loan Protection Insurance. The commission amount ranges between 0% to 20% of every annual premium amount. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945. Registered office: Ground Floor, Tower 1, 201 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW 2000.