Selling or Buying

My offer is accepted, how long before I can move in?
Once your offer has been accepted, the vendors’ solicitors will issue contracts for signing. From offer to exchange is usually around 2-3 weeks, from exchange to settlement is generally from 4-6 weeks. So from offer to settlement should be around 6-9 weeks (on standard contract conditions).
Unless there is a clause in the contract stating otherwise, there is a penalty payment to the vendor of 0.25% of the purchase price.
Unless a s 66W certificate waiving same has been signed, the cooling off period in NSW is 5 days from the date of exchange of contract with a forfeit of 0.25% of the purchase price to the seller.
There is no cooling off period for purchases made through auction.
You can make an offer on a property – just ensure that it is made subject to formal finance approval.
Your solicitor will usually encourage you to apply for a pest and building report to avoid any nasty surprises. Sometimes your bank will require same as a prerequisite to finance approval.
In NSW, legislation requires that your real estate agent must hold a current Listing Contract prepared by your solicitor or conveyancer. If you don’t have a solicitor or conveyancer, friends or family can often recommend one or ask an agent and they can offer several options. The contract will form the basis of the sale contract when an offer is accepted. A contract usually takes around 10-14 days to prepare so it can be beneficial to contact your solicitor and advise them of your intentions to sell.
The best time to sell your property is when you are ready. Presently Yamba is experiencing a shortage of listings and high demand so while winter is not recognised as the best time to sell, the market conditions and your personal circumstances are the major factors to consider.
When a property is sold by private treaty, a price is placed upon the home and buyers will come forward with an offer based on that price.
When a property is sold by auction, the price is taken out of the equation and the buyers (who are usually educated as to local prices) will set the price of the property based on current market conditions.
The standard selling fee in Yamba is around 3% plus GST. Selling fees across Australia vary greatly depending on market prices, volume and competition.
There are benefits for and against both directions.
Sell first and you are cashed up ready to pounce when you find your ideal home – although this means that there could be an additional move and expenses if you are required to rent while you search for your new home.
Purchase first and then sell your property and the need to rent could be negated – although there could also be additional pressure to accept a price that you may not have otherwise due to pressure to settle on the property you are purchasing.
It is standard practise for buyers to do a ‘final inspection’ prior to settlement. This is to ensure that all is in order with the property to allow settlement to be effected – negating any nasty surprises.
If you’re not in town to personally do the pre-settlement inspection, you can always have a friend or the agent do same on your behalf.
If you purchase a property that has a tenant in place who is under lease, then the property is sold with the tenant until the end of their lease. If you wish them to vacate at the end of their lease, you are required to give them 30 days notice. Should the tenant be on a continuing lease, you need to give them 30 days notice to vacate.
Once your offer is accepted, a sales advice will be issued to your solicitor and the vendors’ solicitor. Up until the date of exchange, it is at the owners’ discretion whether they accept offers from other buyers. Once exchange has been effected, you are secure in the knowledge that the property is yours and the vendor cannot accept other offers.
If there are several purchasers vying for the same property, it is at the owners’ discretion as to which offer they will accept. This isn’t necessarily the highest offer – offers can be more attractive to an owner if the purchaser doesn’t require finance approval or is looking for a quick settlement.
A verbal offer to the agent is acceptable in NSW. Although you can present your offer along with any special conditions in writing to the agent.
The sold sign will appear on the property signboard, windowcard and on the internet once exchange has been effected.
A settlement date is often agreed upon between the parties at exchange – it is usually 4-6 weeks after exchange.
Prior to exchange, it is at the owners’ discretion whether they accept offers from other buyers. Once exchange has been effected, no other offers can be accepted.
Prior to exchange, you can withdraw your offer on a home without penalty. Once exchange has been effected, a 0.25% of the purchase price penalty is payable to the vendor.
The deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) is payable usually into the agent’s sales trust account prior to exchange – no interest accrues on a sales trust account.
The standard deposit is 10% although if both parties agree the deposit may be 5%. Deposit monies are usually paid in the agent’s sales trust – no interest accrues on a sales trust account.
Unless there is a special clause in the contract, prior to exchange you will recoup your full deposit. Once exchange has been effected, there is a payment to the vendor of 0.25% of the purchase price.
Stamp duty is payable upon settlement of the sale.
To calculate the amount of stamp duty payable, go to Office of State Revenue
First home buyers are exempt from stamp duty on properties up to $650,000 and are eligible for concessions up to $800,000. Insurance duty has also been abolished on lenders mortgage insurance as at 1 July 2017.
When purchasing house and land packages, stamp duty is only payable on the land component.
This simply means that you set an asking price on your property and negotiate a price with a buyer once an offer is received.
An auction is usually run over a 4 week campaign culminating in an auction day where buyers compete against each other for your property. All bidders must be registered in order to bid. The owner sets a reserve price on auction day and once bids exceed this amount the house will be sold (and exchanged with no cooling off period) on auction day. If reserve is not reached, the owner has the right to negotiate with the highest bidder in order to reach an agreed price to sell under auction conditions. If no sale is effected on auction day, a price is set on the property and it reverts to private treaty. On the back of the auction campaign, property’s often sell within 2-4 weeks post auction.
Generally this is due to the price being too high so buyers don’t see value in your property, the property is not being marketed correctly or your agent isn’t doing their job!
When you are thinking of selling it’s a good idea to check out what’s currently on the market that is similar to your home (the buyers are so it’s good knowledge to have). Your agent will use their market knowledge along with the following factors to determine the value of your property: recent comparable sales, current competition, location, condition of the property and the current market conditions.
Your agent will advise you of their selling fee when you sign up to sell your property and this fee will be based on a percentage of the eventual sale price.
If the offer is in the realm of where you and the agent think the value of your property lies, then yes. Some of the hottest buyers will be the ones who inspect your property in the first few weeks of marketing – they have generally been looking for a long time, have their finance sorted, know property values having seen many other properties and are keen to secure their new home (often as they have missed out previously)! Statistics show that the longer your property is on the market, the lower your eventual sale price will be.
Almost 50% of buyers in the Yamba market originate from within Yamba. The other 50% are generally from Queensland, Victoria, Sydney and west of the tablelands.
Many buyers are visual and a lot of pre-inspection research is done online prior to buyers deciding which properties they’ll physically inspect so it’s important to capture their attention with great photos.
While not essential, many buyers love this form of marketing – it allows them to get a better feel of the whether the layout will work for their particular living needs.
While it’s not essential it is a great marketing tool. Often buyers will be your neighbours (looking to downsize or upsize) or their friends or family – ‘I love where you live – let me know if anything comes up for sale around here’. So while some vendors may think that it’s not their neighbours’ business, their neighbours are often a great source of marketing.
It’s not often that homes are presentation ready for sale so it’s important to do a good tidy up and declutter of your home inside and out prior to selling –  buyers need to be able to visualise themselves in your home and if there is too much ‘stuff’ everywhere this will impede their physical and emotional view.
The internet has greatly changed the way that buyers search for property. Rather than jumping in the car and doing the rounds of agents and open homes in their desired area, buyers are more likely to do their research from the comfort of their home – no matter where in the world that may be.
Often vendors are reluctant to announce to the world that they are intending to sell their home. While the process of listing is similar - your agent will still require a signed agency agreement and listing contract - agents will often have a database full of buyers looking to buy and your property may be just what they’re looking for. No signs, internet, window displays or signboards.
Agents come with different levels of expertise, strengths and weaknesses – be sure to check on their experience, ask to see former clients’ testimonials, check on their website to see their sale history, and, importantly, make sure that you feel comfortable with them. Selling your home isn’t a solo venture so you need to have a good repoire with the agent that you choose – you need to trust them.