• Phone : (07) 3366 1764

  • What is an open listing?

    An open listing is where you have gained the services of a number of different real estate agencies who will list your property and attempt to find a buyer.
    All the agents compete against each other and the agent who finds and signs a buyer is the only one who will receive a commission for selling the property. The benefit of selling your property like this is that your property may be advertised to a wider group of buyers, however the negative is that you may not receive the same individual attention as you would by employing the services of just 1 agent.

    What is an exclusive listing?

    An exclusive listing is where you give only one real estate agency the right to sell your property at any one time during a fixed term of normally 90 days. If the real estate agent finds a buyer and gets them to sign a contract of sale during this fixed term then the real estate agency will be entitled to receive their commission which will be agreed upon by the agent and the seller before the property is listed for sale.
    An exclusive listing arrangement is most commonly used for the sale of residential properties.

    What is the agent's role at an open house?

    An agent’s role at an open house inspection is to spend time listening closely and observing attendees to gauge buyer interest.
    By talking to potential buyers the agent can learn whether or not the potential buyers like the property. Some buyers may be viewing the property with someone they have brought along so it is important that the agent only engages in conversation at the appropriate time.

    Why should I be away from the home during an open house?

    Buyers need the freedom to view the property and imagine themselves living there. This is the most effective way to generate buyer interest.
    So that this can be achieved it is important that a buyer feels relaxed and unhurried. If the owners are present at the property it can be off putting for buyers and can cause them to feel uneasy and act as a deterrent. Giving the potential buyers the freedom to stay as long as they need without any intrusion can be difference between selling and not selling a property.

    Why is it important to declutter an open house?

    First impressions are everything. Removing personal objects from the property gives the buyer a clearer view of what the property looks like and gives them the chance to imagine themselves living there. Homes with a modern look tend to be styled with the “less is more theory” and too much clutter can give the buyers the wrong impression.

    How long will it take for my house to sell?

    For a property to sell a number of factors need to line up. The right buyer has to offer the right price at the right time. That could happen one day after the property is listed or it could happen 3 months after the property is listed. An agent can tell you the approximate number of days that properties similar to yours have spent on the market before selling. Our aim is to get the properties we sell on the market as fast as possible. Then with our unique sales strategy that has been tailored for your individual property we can advertise your property and start generating buyer interest.

    What does “overcapitalized” mean?

    The term “overcapitalized” refers to a situation where the seller has spent more money on the property than they will get reimbursed from the sale of the property.

    While it is likely that any work that has been performed on the property will add value to the property, there is no guarantee that a buyer’s offer will reflect these improvements in the sale price.

    Do I pay the agent a commission if I sell the property myself?

    Paying the agent a commission will depend entirely on what was written in the agreement you signed with them. In most cases the agent will still be entitled to receive the commission from the sale of the property because it will be likely that the agents marketing has exposed the property to the buyer. You should talk to your agent about this or get advice from your solicitor or conveyancer.

    Can I sell my house by myself?

    It isn’t a legal requirement to employ an agent to sell your property and you may choose to sell your property by yourself. However there are many reasons to employ a real estate agent to act on behalf of the seller such as if buyers know that the seller is not using an agent then they will usually expect the sale price to reflect this. Real estate agents are professional negotiators and are more likely to receive a higher price for the sale of a property compared to an owner. There are also a lot of legal and ethical requirement to follow when selling a property.

    In the end, selling a property on your own may lead to a lot of work and pressure without actually saving any money or maximizing the end sale value.

    Hiring an agent is the safest way to ensure that the transaction of the sale of a property is done legally, ethically and you receive the highest sale price.

    I am considering employing a buyer's agent. What do they do and how do they get paid?

    A buyer’s agent’s role is to inspect properties on behalf of the buyer and create a shortlist that meet the buyer’s needs.

    The agent then takes the buyer to these properties and usually negotiates with the seller’s agent on behalf of the buyer or possibly does the bidding at auction.

    There is a fee for using a buyer’s agent but the main advantage is that it saves the buyer time by avoiding inspecting properties that do not suit their requirements.

    Should I carry out a final inspection on the property I am buying?

    It is very important to undertake a final inspection to ensure that the property is still in the same condition it was in when you signed the contract.

    Most legal representatives will recommend that you carry out a final inspection one or two days prior to settlement to ensure everything is in order and is still in the same condition.

    How many homes should I inspect before buying a property?

    Unfortunately there is no set answer to this question. Some people fall in love with the 1st property they inspect, some people fall in love with the 10th property they inspect.

    We recommend that all our buyers take the opportunity to inspect enough properties to give them an opportunity to see what is out there and what the suburb is like.

    It is important to feel confident about your end purchase so take the time to view as many properties as you wish online and in person.

    What is the 'cooling off period' in a contract?

    A cooling off period is where the buyer has _____ business days during which they may withdraw from the contract with written notice.

    The seller is generally bound to the contract and prohibited to sell the property to anyone else during the cooling off period.

    The cooling off period STARTS when the contract is exchanged and ENDS at _______ on the ________ business day. Sundays are not business days.

    How much money will I need to purchase a property?

    The minimum you will need to buy a property is 10% of the sale price + enough money to cover stamp duty, legal fees and a building and pest inspection.

    If you buy a property with a deposit of less than 20% of the purchase price, most financial lenders will require you to take out mortgage insurance as well.

    Is it better to save up more and buy later or buy now?

    It depend on the interest rates and the property market. If interest rates are low and the market is rising, the increased growth in property prices will usually outweigh your ability to save. This means it’s often better to purchase your home as soon as you can afford it.

    Where should I buy?

    The best location is different for every homebuyer depending on their individual requirements

    Start by looking in the locations you can afford to buy in and where it’s convenient for you to travel to your work and to visit family and friends.

    I’m not really sure what this property is worth?

    The best way to determine what a property is likely to visit realestate.com.au. From there you can view comparable properties in your selected suburb and gain a better idea of what you think your selected property is worth.

    Is it better to buy a house or an apartment?

    That depends on where you are buying, your budget and what kind of home suits your individual requirements.

    First home buyers in major cities might be better off buying an apartment so they can get into the property market and get on track to purchasing a house later whereas to smaller city or country town buyers it usually makes sense to buy a house you plan on living in long term.

    I can’t afford to buy by myself – can I buy with another person?

    Buying with a friend or a family member is more than acceptable and not that uncommon. Before you buy it is recommended that you get legal advice and work out what percentage of the home each buyer will receive. From there have a legal representative draw up a contract and make sure that your purchase is recorded as tenants in common and not joint tenants.

    How do I choose a real estate agent?

    The first thing to understand is that not every agent is the same. Some will promise the world and the results will be poor. Distinguishing between the good and the bad agents can be the difference between a good sale price and a poor sale price.

    Each agent will provide a different level of service. A good agent will be able to answer any questions you have honestly and correctly and make you feel comfortable about appointing the sale of your property to them.

    It is important to understand how the agent views the marketplace and what they think your property is worth. Remember that while a higher price sounds attractive, if your property is priced too high then it is likely to scare buyers away and your property becomes a “stale listing”.

    What information do I need to tell the real estate agent?

    The agent in charge of your property needs to know everything you know about the property. All improvements, defects and property information needs to be written in the contract so that there are no misunderstandings between the buyer and seller.

    What are the services of a real estate agent?

    The service of a real estate agent will be dependent upon the agency you appoint. Not all real estate agents services are the same and it is important to clarify and document all the services that your agent is and isn’t offering.

    The services of an agent acting on behalf of a seller may include:
    – Inspecting the property.
    – Recommending ways to optimize the appeal of the property.
    – Determine and research any existing tenancy arrangements.
    – Providing a market appraisal.
    – Researching comparative sales in the selected suburb.
    – Research the Certificate of Title and any documents relating to encumbrances.
    – Provision of a marketing plan that would consider the price, the most suitable type of promotion and the attributes of the property.
    – Recommend the most appropriate types of advertising.

    I’m new to town and I’m not sure where to buy – can you give me some advice?

    The best way to get to know an area is to research it online and then go and see it for yourself. When a buyer attends a viewing of one of the properties we are selling we inform them of all the important information they need to know such as schools, infrastructure, shopping centers, distance to city, public transport, crime rates, even traffic congestion are all things that we take the time to point out to our buyers.

    Our team is made up of local agents so we have extensive local knowledge and experience when it comes to the areas we sell properties in. Once you have viewed a few properties, you will start to get a good feel for what location is best for your individual requirements.

    What should I do to my property prior to selling?

    There are a wide array of relatively inexpensive improvements you can make to your property prior to selling which will help with maximizing your sale price. If you choose to sell with Loth Estate Agents we take the time to revisit, inspect everything and offer advice on ways to tidy up and improve your property so that when buyers attend the property for the first time they are given a great first impression.

    What if I want to buy another house before I sell my current one?

    If you are in a situation where the perfect property for you has come available before you have found a buyer for your new property you may wish to find out about a form of bridging finance, to carry you over until you sell your old home. We can recommend local finance specialists who may be able to assist with this.

    Can I sell my property if it is tenanted?

    You are able to sell a property while it is being leased, however any potential buyer must be notified that there is a current lease on the property and the property will not be sold as a vacant possession.

    The tenant has the right to continue renting the residence until the end of the lease term, unless both parties negotiate and agree to terminate the existing agreement early.

    Selling a property with tenants is usually appealing to buyers who are looking at owning the property as an investment.

    What is a “Contract of Sale”?

    The “Contract of Sale” is a document that both the seller and buyer sign. The “Contract of Sale” sets out the terms and conditions by which the property is being offered for sale

    The “Contract of Sale” must contain a copy of all title documents and water / land rates etc.

    What happens when we have agreed to purchase a new house?

    Once a buyer has decided that they would like to purchase the property the agent will ask you to “Make an Offer”. From here the agent will present this offer to the seller and the seller has 24 hours to make a decision about whether they would like to accept or decline the offer.

    If the seller chooses to decline the offer the agent will notify you and ask you to make a “Counter Offer” for a higher price or at this time you have the option to not make a counter offer and walk away from the sale.

    If the seller chooses to accept the offer a “Contract of Sale” will be drawn up and it will include the full names of the purchasers, the purchaser’s solicitor, the purchase price, the deposit being paid, any inclusions in the sale and the proposed settlement date.

    Do we need to organize pre-purchase pest & building inspections?

    It is always best to authorize professional building and pest inspection contractors to inspect the property and prepare reports on your behalf. Building and pest inspections were introduced so that homes could be inspected for termites or any major structural faults.

    If you choose to purchase a property and don’t get a building and pest inspection and damage is discovered at a later date the buyer is fully liable for the repairs.

    If we need finance, when do we submit our loan application?

    Loan approval should be granted before you attend any property inspections to make sure that you qualify for your selected loan amount. Once you have decided on a particular property you need to advise your Bank or Financier and submit a loan application.

    What is a bank valuation?

    A bank valuation is where your financial institution sends a registered valuer to inspect and value the property. Your bank or financial institution does this to make sure the property is worth what they are lending you, to protect the banks interest. You should check with your bank whether they will require a valuation for you loan as formal approval of finance is not available until the inspection is done.

    What do we need to sign to secure our property purchase?

    To purchase a property the agent will present you with a “Contract of Sale” filled in with all of your details, the seller’s details, the property details and all the terms and conditions. Upon signing the contract we will also request that you pay the agreed deposit.

    What do “Special Conditions” mean?

    Special conditions can be documented into the “Contract of Sale” which can protect you if you require finance approval and pest & building inspections after exchange of contracts. This means you can secure the property but if anything goes wrong with finance or pest & building inspections you can terminate the sale.

    What is an “Exchange of Contract”?

    The exchange of contract is where the buyers signed contract and the sellers signed contract which are identical are dated and a copy is sent to the buyers and the seller’s solicitor.

    What is forfeiture of the deposit?

    Normally if a contract is cancelled by the purchaser during the cooling off period the purchaser would be liable to pay the vendor 0.25% of the purchase price.

    What happens to our deposit once it is paid?

    When a contract is signed, a 10% deposit is usually required. The deposit is collected by the real estate agent and is paid into a trust account they operate. The deposit is then held in the trust account until settlement where the real estate agent is given a cheque for the remainder of the commission and the deposit is withdrawn and is kept by the agent as the commission price.

    Even though the buyer pays the deposit the total commission that an agent receives is deducted from the sale price and is fully paid by the seller not the buyer.

    What happens to the keys at settlement?

    Legally a buyer is entitled to the keys and vacant possession of the property as soon as settlement has taken place and all parties including the real estate agent have been notified.

    In almost every instance, Loth Estate Agents holds the keys to the property during the marketing period and hand them over to the buyers once the property has settled.


    * This information is current as of the 01/01/15 and may change at any time in the future without notice.