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RBA Cuts Official Interest Rate

RBA Cuts Official Interest Rate

Yesterday the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to cut the official interest rate to a record low of 1.75 percent. This is the first movement on the official interest rate since the last cut in May 2015, and some economists are predicting more cuts on the horizon! To read more about the reasons for the cut and what this might mean for the economy, click here to view an article by Dr Andrew Wilson, economist from Domain....
Should I sell at auction or sell privately?

Should I sell at auction or sell privately?

The property market continues to be very hot in Sydney and surrounds – including the Illawarra. It is certainly a seller’s market and it seems as though there are auctions happening every weekend in every street! However, you might be surprised to learn that approximately 75% of properties sold in Australia are done so by private treaty. That’s not to say that auctions are not as good as a private sale, but there are important considerations to take into account when you are determining whether to sell at auction or sell privately. Need an urgent sale? Perhaps you are having trouble paying your mortgage? Or maybe you’re about to add another child to your family? Whatever the reasons, you may need an urgent sale. One of the benefits of selling at auction is they generate a sense of urgency and competition that you don’t always get with a private sale. Agents employ a short but strong marketing campaign to generate as much interest in the property as possible. Auctioneers create an atmosphere of intensity on the day, which encourages prospective buyers to bid for fear of missing out. Private sales can lack this sense of urgency and competition – unless you have a number of parties interested in purchasing the property. Want the buyer to sign a contract immediately and not be able to pull out? With a private sale, sometimes there is a delay between when the offer is accepted and when the purchaser signs the contract. In addition, private sales are often subject to a 5 business day cooling-off period. During this time, the purchaser can decide...
A Building and Pest Inspection Could Save You Thousands

A Building and Pest Inspection Could Save You Thousands

When it comes to property, looks can be deceiving. Your dream home could hide many defects that are not immediately obvious to the ordinary buyer. Purchasing a brand new house or unit, does not guarantee that the property will be free of issues – sometimes builders cut corners or forget to do things like waterproofing the bathroom. How do I find out about any defects before I purchase? Many defects are only discoverable through ordering a building and pest inspection before committing to purchase the property. Not obtaining a building and pest inspection means that you could purchase a house that may cost you thousands of dollars to repair. Unseen issues such as dampness and rotting floorboards can be expensive. Pest infestations (such as termites) can be catastrophic for a home owner. You may also find you have trouble selling the property later on if buyers are diligent and obtain their own inspection. What if I don’t have time to get a building and pest inspection? Sometimes agents will put pressure on prospective buyers to commit to the sale as quickly as possible. They might tell you that other offers have been made that match yours, and the quickest person to exchange contracts will be the successful purchaser. If you are in a hurry to exchange contracts, you can do so with a cooling off-period. Legislation in NSW provides buyers with a 5 business day cooling-off period, during which time you can pull out of the purchase (however you will forfeit 0.25% of the purchase price). If the agent or vendor’s solicitor insists upon exchanging contracts without the cooling-off...
New Selling Laws for Real Estate Agents

New Selling Laws for Real Estate Agents

This week the NSW Government announced they will be cracking down on underquoting by real estate agents and there will be severe penalties for agents who do not obey the new laws. The new law reforms (that are not yet in force but are expected to come into play in the near future) are designed to restrict agents from advertising any price for a marketed property that is less than the selling price recorded in the agency agreement. What does this mean? If an agent advises a seller that they can expect to receive $500,000 for the sale of their property, the agent is not able to provide a price guide to prospective purchasers that is less than $500,000. In other words, an agent cannot underquote to a prospective buyer. What else is covered under the new laws? Under the new laws real estate agents are also required to: Include their estimate of a property’s likely selling price in the agency agreement (the agreement that the seller signed when they engage the agent to sell the property); Record the evidence that informed their estimate and provide the vendor with this evidence in writing (for example, provide the vendor with addresses and figures of recent sales in the local area); Ensure a price range is no greater than 10% of the bottom figure (eg. $500,000-$550,000); Ensure advertising does not include any imprecise or unclear statements such as ‘offers over’ or ‘offers above’; Record all quotes provided while a property is marketed; and Notify the vendor if the original estimated selling price is revised. The agent will be required to provide the...
Buying Off The Plan – Will You Get Your Property?

Buying Off The Plan – Will You Get Your Property?

Buying off the plan sounds like a great idea. Quite often you are promised a brand new apartment with all the bells and whistles of modern day living! But there are downfalls with purchasing a property that has not yet been built and one of the major risks is cancellation of the contract by the vendor. Cancellation by the vendor Most off the plan sale contracts contain special conditions allowing the vendors to cancel the contract in certain circumstances, such as when the development is refused by council or the plan of subdivision cannot be registered within a specified period of time (usually between 18 months and 3 years from the date of sale). Purchasers are usually refunded their full deposit, but they also potentially find themselves in the situation of real estate prices having increased during the time they were waiting for their off the plan property to be ready – thus, they are unable to purchase a similar property for a comparable price. This recent article on Domain.com.au shows how frustrating it can be for a purchaser to have their contracts cancelled by a...
Law Society of NSW Guide to Buying and Selling a House

Law Society of NSW Guide to Buying and Selling a House

A home is usually our most important asset. Buying or selling a house is a big decision and you should ensure you obtain appropriate legal advice. The Law Society of NSW has put together a guide to Buying a House,  which answers common questions about the process for buying a home in NSW and how your solicitor will guide you through each step, including: buying at auction buying a strata title property how the conveyancing process works. The Buying a House guide is available online at http://www.lawsociety.com.au/cs/groups/public/documents/internetcontent/657101.pdf They have also published a guide to Selling a House, which covers answers common questions about the process for selling a home and includes important topics like: preparing the contract for sale what laws you’ll need to comply with how the conveyancing process works. The Selling a House guide is available online at...