Archive for Uncategorized

A Guide To Your Real Estate Sale

A GUIDE TO YOUR REAL ESTATE SALE

The following information is provided to help your sale proceed with maximum efficiency and by the due date for settlement.  Please read it carefully since it may answer many questions that you might have concerning your transaction.  While every effort has been made for the guide to be as comprehensive as possible, we strongly recommend that you contact us, should you have any specific questions concerning matters not covered by the guide or any other matters relating to your particular transaction.

Your Rights

You have a right to have your Conveyancer act in your best interest at all times.  These rights are detailed in the Appointment to Act (Form 1) document and, where applicable, the Disclosure of Interest document (Form 2).

Your Obligations

You have an obligation to bring to your Conveyancer’s attention any matters that you think may affect your interests in the transaction.  This is especially important where the Conveyancer prepares financial information on your behalf, which you think is incorrect, or where you intend to vary the settlement date or give early possession of the property.

 

General

  • It is important that you attend to any requests for signing of documents as early as possible and return them quickly, particularly when the time frame for settlement is short or the mail is likely to take longer than the standard one business day.
  • Take prompt action in attending to any special conditions on the Offer and Acceptance contract, which have either been stipulated or you may need to satisfy.
  • If you plan to be away during the period leading up to settlement, please contact us to make sure any necessary documents have been signed and let us have alternate contact details. For example the Transfer of Land cannot be faxed or e-mailed but many other authorities do not need original signatures.

 

Discharge of Mortgage

If there is a Mortgage currently registered on the property, then you should contact your bank or financial institution as soon as possible and take whatever action is necessary to make sure that they are ready with documents to discharge the mortgage by the settlement date.  In most cases, you will be required to sign an “Authority to Discharge” form for your bank or financial institution and you should therefore attend to this without delay.  In cases where you are only “partially” paying out the debt, the discharge process may take even longer, especially if a valuation is required on the remaining security property/ies.

 

Special Conditions

If there are any special conditions on the Offer and Acceptance contract which you as the Seller are required to satisfy, please arrange to take whatever steps necessary to make sure that they are satisfied by the date required in the contract.

 

Documentation

We will forward the Transfer of Land document to you for signing once it has been signed by the Buyer.  Please ensure that the document is signed and witnessed as instructed and returned to us promptly to avoid any delays with settlement.  This is particularly important if the time frame for settlement is short or the mail is likely to take longer than the standard one business day.

 

Certificate of Title

If the property is currently mortgaged, your bank or financial institution will hold the duplicate Certificate of Title (if one is in existence).  If YOU hold the Certificate of Title yourself, we will require you to forward or deliver the Title to our office prior to settlement.  Please note that if you are posting the Title, ensure that it is sent by Registered Mail only for security reasons.  Once received, we will issue you with a receipt for the Title and this will be held by us and handed to the Buyer’s representative at settlement, in exchange for the correct balance of purchase price.

 

Settlement Statement

We will provide you with an initial settlement statement that will show the amounts payable by you in respect to the real estate agent’s selling fee and advertising costs (if applicable), settlement fees and other disbursements.  The statement will either apportion the current year’s rates and taxes or include an amount to be held in trust pending receipt of the relevant details.  After settlement, we will provide you with a final statement setting out the full disbursement of the sale proceeds including any adjustment of rates and taxes.

 

Rates & Taxes

If you receive any account for payment of water rates,  local government shire rates, land tax or strata levies (if applicable) during the period leading up to settlement, please forward the accounts to us so that we can apportion them and ensure that payment is made following settlement.  If the due date for payment is a date prior to settlement, you may wish to call this office to discuss the situation with interest payable on the account for later payment.  If you receive any accounts for any rates and taxes soon after the settlement date, please contact us before making payment, as the payment may already have been made at settlement.  If the property has a water meter, an amount of funds will normally be held back from the sale proceeds to cover any final water usage to settlement date.

Home Indemnity Insurance

If a building license was issued since 1 February 1997 for a dwelling or improvements to the value or $12,000.00 or over, the Builder must take out home indemnity insurance in the name of the home owner. This amount has increased to $20,000 since 1 July 2007. If this situation applies to you, please let us have a copy of the insurance policy or details of the policy so that we can show to the Buyer that the insurance is in place.  Home Indemnity Insurance is also required to be taken out by an OWNER BUILDER if they wish to sell the property within 7 years of issue of the building license and this must be taken out prior to signing of a Contract for the sale of the property.  Owner Builders must also receive Ministerial approval if they sell within 3 years of building.

 

Moving Out

After settlement, please make sure that any keys, remote control devices etc are handed to the real estate agent so that the Buyer can collect them.  If the property is your usual place of residence, you are entitled to stay in possession (i.e., occupy the property) until 12.00 noon the day following settlement.  If the property is sold with “vacant possession” to the Buyer and there are person/s other than yourself occupying the property, please ensure that they are aware of the time and date of settlement as they will need to have fully vacated the property by that time.

 

Please provide us with your forwarding address in the event that we need to contact you following settlement.

 

Things you should do

  • We can not make arrangements to discontinue power, gas or telephone services to the property and you should therefore make your own arrangements in that regard. Please try and call these service providers approx one week prior to settlement to ensure that they have sufficient time to arrange final meter readings on the date you require them.  We will notify the local council and the Water Corporation of the change of ownership and will arrange for the water meter to be read as close as possible to settlement date.

 

  • The property continues to be at your risk, as far as insurance is concerned, until the date of settlement or the date of possession (i.e., the date on which the Buyer takes the keys and commences occupation of the property), whichever is the earlier date. We can not make arrangements to transfer or cancel any insurance policies either or building or contents and you should contact your insurer to make necessary arrangements.  If you pay a proportion of an insurance premium on a strata titled property which is not included in a regular strata levy contribution, could you please forward details of the insurance and the amount paid by you to us so that we may attend to any necessary adjustment of the premium between you and the Buyer.

 

  • Remember to notify anyone with whom you are in regular contact, of your new address and contact details.

 

  • It is advisable to make arrangements with Australia Post for re-direction of your mail, if your address is changing after settlement.

 

  • You may wish to obtain quotes and book a removalist prior to the settlement date. Make sure that you are regularly in touch with us so that we can inform you if there is likely to be any delay in settlement.

 

Either you or the buyer may delay settlement for up to three business days after the due date, so, unfortunately, the contracted date is not assured.

 

If you have any queries or concerns in relation to any aspect of your transaction, please contact us without delay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Guide to Your Real Estate Purchase

The following information is provided to help your purchase proceed with maximum efficiency and by the due date for settlement.

A GUIDE TO YOUR REAL ESTATE PURCHASE     

The following information is provided to help your purchase proceed with maximum efficiency, and by the due date for settlement. Please read it carefully since it may answer many questions you might have concerning your transaction. While every effort has been made for the guide to be as comprehensive as possible, we strongly recommend that you contact us should you have any specific queries concerning matters not covered by the guide or any other matters relating to your particular transaction.

Your Rights

You have a right to have your Conveyancer act in your best interest at all times.  These rights are detailed in the Appointment to Act (Form 1) document and, where applicable, the Disclosure of Interest document (Form 2).

Your Obligations

You have an obligation to bring to your Conveyancer’s attention any matters that you think may affect your interests in the transaction.  This is especially important where the Conveyancer prepares financial information on your behalf, which you think is incorrect, or where you intend to vary the settlement date or take early possession of the property.

General

  • It is important that you attend to any requests for signing of documents etc as early as possible and return the documents quickly, particularly when the time frame for settlement is short or if the mail is likely to take longer than the standard one business day.
  • Take prompt action concerning any Special Conditions, which you have either stipulated or may need to satisfy, in your Contract for Sale by Offer & Acceptance.
  • Make sure that payment of any monies, e.g. deposit or balance of deposit, is made by the date set out in the Contract.
  • If you plan to be away during the period leading up to settlement, please contact us to make sure any necessary documents have been signed and let us have alternate contact details. For example the Transfer of Land cannot be faxed or e-mailed but many other authorities do not need original signatures.

Finance

If you require finance to complete the purchase, whether or not your Contract is conditional upon you accepting a loan offer from a financial institution, ensure that you take immediate steps to obtain the loan.   Attend promptly to any request by the financial institution concerned to sign documents to avoid delays in settlement.

Once you have accepted a loan offer you should contact us and let us know that the loan is approved and advise the date on which you accepted the offer of finance.   If your Lender is to be ready to settle on time, you will need to make an appointment to sign your Mortgage documents at least one week prior to the due settlement date.  If you are dealing with a finance broker, please contact the broker who will assist you to find out from the Lender when the documents will be ready for you to sign.  The Lender will advise you of any application, mortgage preparation fees or stamp duty which are payable in respect of the mortgage. The Lender’s fees and disbursements WILL NOT be included in the Settlement Statement you receive from us, however they may be deducted from you loan funds at settlement, therefore increasing any balance amount that you may need to pay or have available prior to settlement.

Documentation and Settlement Statement

We will send a ‘Transfer of Land’ document to you for your signature/s together with an initial Settlement Statement which will show amounts payable by you in respect of stamp duty, settlement fees and other disbursements. Please promptly sign and return the documents, together with a cheque for any funds requested. The statement will either apportion current rates and taxes or include an amount to be held in our trust account pending receipt of the relevant details.

If you receive any accounts for rates from either the Water Corporation or the Local Government Authority soon after the settlement date, please contact us before making payment, as these accounts may already have been paid following settlement.

Rate & Service Enquiries

We will make enquiries on your behalf to the Water Corporation (concerning the availability of services and the current or outstanding rates), to the relevant local authority (concerning rates, building licenses issued, orders and requisitions and housing indemnity insurance details) and to the Office of State Revenue (concerning any current or outstanding land tax). Fees are payable to the authorities concerned to provide this information.  We will advise you of the fee which applies in the case of your property and include it in your settlement statement

Responses to the enquiries mentioned above are not always received prior to the settlement date in the case of a short settlement time.  You might, therefore, wish to make your own enquiries direct with the Water Corporation concerning availability of services (connection to water and sewerage and any building restrictions which might apply) and with the Local Government Authority concerned to ensure that there are no outstanding orders or requisitions which apply to the property.

Building Licenses

Unless specifically requested your Conveyancer will not make enquiries with the Local Government Authority in relation to approved buildings on the property.   In many dwellings and structures built before 1990 records are not easily obtained and further fees and extended time periods apply to obtain the same from the Local Government Authority.   Where you consider that a patio, shed, games room or extension of a building was possibly erected after the main dwelling was built refer this query to the real estate representative who will make initial enquiries of the Seller.   Where the Seller was the owner of the property at the time these structures were built they may have retained the approvals thus reducing the time money and effort required to obtain this information.

Sewer Lines

If the property is not connected to sewerage then, in certain circumstances, it may be your responsibility to connect to the sewer line either within one year of the date of settlement or within 5 years of the Water Corporation issuing a notice to you to connect to sewerage.

Septic Tanks

Under the Health Act, if the property you are purchasing is connected to a sewer and septic tanks are still on the property and have not been de-commissioned, then within sixty days of settlement, you must de-commission any septic tanks on the property.

De-commissioning is done by:

  1. Emptying the tank by a person licensed to do so.
  2. Either removing the tank, or if that is not practical, breaking up the base of the tank.
  3. Back-filling the tank with clean fill and compacting.

Home Indemnity Insurance

If a building license was issued after 1 February 1997 for a dwelling or for substantial improvements of a value of $12,000.00 or more, the builder (including an owner builder) must have home indemnity insurance for the work.  From 1 July 2007 the $12,000 value limit was raised to $20,000. You will need details of the insurance in the event you need to make a claim for structural defects within the period of the insurance. If you believe this applies in your situation, please contact us so that we can attempt to obtain the necessary details.

Owner Builders are not required to take out home indemnity insurance before they can build or undertaken substantial improvements, but MUST do so if they sell the property within seven years of obtaining an owner builder license from the local authority.

An owner builder IS NOT permitted to sell the property within 3 years of obtaining their owner builder license without receiving permission from the Minister of Fair Trading, through DOCEP.

Strata Title properties

If the property you are buying is a strata title property, the Strata Titles Act states that you must receive a disclosure statement (Forms 28 & 29) either prior to, or at the time of, making your offer to purchase the property.  If you have not yet received the required disclosure information, the law gives you rights to avoid the contract.  Please contact us if you have any queries and we will refer you for legal advice if necessary.

Inspection of the property

Your Contract gives you the right to a final inspection of the property on one occasion within 5 business days before the settlement date or possession date.  You should contact the real estate agent concerned and make arrangements to inspect the property to ensure that it is in the same state and condition as it was when you made your offer to purchase.  If your contract has a condition which states that certain items are to be in working order at settlement or if it states that repairs are to be carried out by the Seller, you will need to check that these have been attended to satisfactorily and that the items mentioned are in fact working.

Keys

We will notify you once settlement has taken place, at which time you should contact the real estate agent concerned to arrange to collect the keys and any other security devices to the property.  If the property is the Seller’s normal place of residence, the Seller is entitled to stay in possession, i.e. occupy the property, until 12.00 noon on the day following settlement.  That provision is intended to allow adequate time for the Seller to vacate the property.

 

After settlement

If a Mortgage is to be registered on the property by your Lender, the Certificate of Title will be held by the Lender as security for the loan.  If you are paying “cash” for the property, we will forward the Certificate of Title to you by registered mail once it has issued back from the Department of Land Information.  If you wish to collect the Certificate of Title from our office, please advise us and we will contact you once it has issued back.  We recommend that you make arrangements for safe keeping of the Certificate of Title since it can be difficult and expensive to replace.  You might, for example wish to make arrangements for the Title to be held in a safe custody packet with your Bank.

Things you should do

  • It is your responsibility to make arrangements for connection of the power, gas and telephone services to the property. We can not attend to those matters for you as they are ‘occupier’ agreements. We will, however, notify the Local Authority, Water Corporation or alternate water supply authority (if applicable) of the change of ownership and arrange for the water meter to be read as close as possible to settlement date.  With a small number of multi-story Strata Units electricity and gas may be read and adjusted by the Strata Company but this will be clear on their response to our enquiry.
  • As far as INSURANCE is concerned, the property is generally at your risk from the date of settlement OR possession date, i.e. the date from which you occupy the property, whichever is the earlier. With the exception of common insurance on strata title properties, we can not make insurance arrangements for you.  It is strongly recommended that you make adequate arrangements for insurance for both the property and your contents, direct with the Insurer.  Please arrange the insurance prior to settlement or possession date, whichever occurs first.  PLEASE NOTE, the majority of Lenders will require to see, prior to settlement being arranged, adequate insurance cover in the form of the “Certificate of Currency”.  Please refer to your loan documents, which will normally outline insurance requirements.  Failure to provide a copy of the insurance certificate to your Lender may result in settlement being delayed and penalties being applied by the Seller.

 

  • You may wish to organise a re-direction of your mail to your new address.

 

  • Don’t forget to provide your new address and contact details to friends, relatives, sporting organisations, health providers, schools and anyone else with whom you deal regularly. Change your address with the Electoral Commission as soon as you move to ensure this is not overlooked.

 

  • You may wish to obtain quotes and book a removalist prior to the settlement date. Make sure that you are regularly in touch with us so that we can inform you if there is likely to be any delay in settlement. Unfortunately, due to the multiple parties involved, we cannot guarantee that settlement we be effected on the due date but will endeavour to achieve your contracted settlement date and with your help ensure you are ready to settle at that date.

Either you or the seller may delay settlement for up to three business days after the due date, so, unfortunately, the contracted date is not assured.

If you have any queries concerning any aspect of your transaction, please contact us without delay.

 

 

 

 

 

Checklist & Guide For Moving to a New Home

If there’s ever a time to embrace a comprehensive checklist, it’s when moving house.

The daunting process of shifting homes – whether to the next suburb or another state – can be streamlined by using a detailed checklist and timeline.

Six weeks until moving day

  • Start a file for moving documents.
  • Book removalist.
  • Research insurance.
  • Create a floor plan of new property and plan placement of furniture.
  • Assess current furniture and arrange to sell items not required at new place.
  • Plan packing. Discuss needs with removalist.
  • Organise delivery of boxes.
  • Organise moving supplies, such as tape, labels, markers etc.

Two weeks until moving day

  • Check the garden, garage, shed and under house for items to be packed, thrown away etc.
  • Hold a garage sale or speak to removalist about getting rid of unwanted items.
  • Use up all frozen food, unless moving locally.
  • Dispose of garden chemicals, paints, fuel and other flammable items, as suggested by supplier.
  • Get BBQ cylinders professionally purged.
  • Make arrangements to have pets looked after for at least two days before move. If moving interstate, book a pet transporter.
  • Ensure pets are vaccinated.
  • Arrange school and childcare transfers.
  • If a DIY move, start packing.
  • Label every carton and identify by room and keep a separate list of contents.
  • Notify family, friends and businesses of change of address.
  • If any furniture needs to be dismantled before move, begin to do it this week. Put all bolts and screws and other small attachments into a small self-sealing bag and tape to the base of the item or label clearly and put all in one box.
  • If travelling any distance by car on moving day, ensure it’s checked.
  • Arrange telephone, electricity, gas and water supplies for new property.
  • Return library items and things borrowed from friends.
  • If moving a boat or trailer, ensure all items inside are secured.
  • Buy a street directory of the new city or town, if required.

One week until moving day

  • Arrange mail redirection.
  • Cancel and re-arrange newspapers and any other deliveries.
  • Re-confirm travel arrangements for vehicles and care for pets.
  • Make a list of things to do on moving day.
  • If moving a waterbed, prepare as per manufacturers’ directions.
  • Remove batteries from battery-powered items going into storage.
  • If taking any light fittings, arrange with electrician for disconnection.
  • Drain fuel from lawn mower and empty other containers.
  • Check cut-off or final reading dates for electricity, water, phone and gas.
  • Collect anything being repaired or on loan to friends and family.

Two days until moving day

  • Arrange necessary finances for payments on moving day.
  • If travelling by car, check oil, water and tyres.
  • Pack luggage or items needed immediately after moving.
  • Collect dry cleaning.
  • Do the laundry; fold, and pack.
  • Dispose of remaining chemicals, flammables and garbage. Do not tip poisons down the drain.
  • Ensure all jars, bottles and cans containing non-flammable liquids are tightly sealed and packed in waterproof containers or plastic bags.
  • If keeping blinds or curtains, take these down now and pack.
  • Finish packing. Ensure all items are on inventory and each box is numbered and matches inventory.

Day before move

  • Be ready for professional packers to arrive. This is normally done the day before the move.
  • Defrost and clean out fridge and freezer. Check with manufacturer if the fridge motor needs to be specially secured.
  • Dispose of food that is open or will go off soon.
  • Wash and dry all dishes ready for packing.
  • Clean out medicine cabinet and dispose of unwanted drugs.
  • Check all drawers and remove items that are heavy, breakable or hold liquid.
  • Prepare washing machine according to manufacturers’ directions.
  • Leave forwarding address and contact number for new owners.
  • Notify the police and neighbours if the property being vacated will be empty for long period.

Moving day

  • Ensure removalist knows where parking is available at new property.
  • Walk around the house with the removalist, explaining what needs to be done and what will be needed first, so they can pack these items last.
  • Pack a survival kit with toiletries, tea, coffee, milk, water, personal items, first aid kit, spare clothing, tea towels and other dish cleaning equipment.
  • Ensure pets are confined and keep children out of removalists’ way.
  • Collect all house keys.
  • Make a final check of all cupboards, cabinets and storage areas to make sure nothing has been left behind.
  • Make a final check in all sheds and the garden area.
  • Before the removalist leaves, walk around and check all areas.
  • Turn off the power to the house, tighten all taps and make sure gas and all electrical switches are off.
  • Lock all doors and windows.