- What should I know as a First Home Buyer?
- Property Definitions
- Should I Buy before I Sell?
Are you trying to decide whether to buy or sell your property first? It can be a stressful decision, as almost every homeowner will need to switch up their living situation at some point. To help you make the best choice for your individual needs, here are a few things to consider:
- Your risk tolerance level - if you're comfortable with more risk, buying first might fit into your plan better in a rising market and with the ability to negotiate a long settlement. If taking on less risk is more important, then selling before buying may provide more comfort due to lower financial uncertainty.
- The motivations behind your move - if it's family-related (like being closer to aging parents or grandchildren), it might be smart to find an appropriate property in that area and purchase it before putting yours up for sale; this is because demand could mean waiting months for another house.
- Analyse the current market trends - when looking at time-on-market statistics, take note of how quickly properties are getting sold; in a hot market with increasing prices, there should be higher confidence that yours will also get off the shelf relatively soon upon putting it on the market!
- What is a Statement of Information (SOI)?
Agents must prepare a Statement of Information (commonly known as an SOI), in an approved form, for each residential property they are engaged to sell, regardless of whether the property is advertised for sale.
The Statement of Information must be:
- displayed at all open for inspections
- included with online advertising
- given to a prospective buyer within 2 business days of a request
- updated if there is a change in the indicative selling price.
The Statement of Information must include:
- an indicative selling price for the property. This may be a single price or a price range of up to 10 per cent. It must not be less than:
- the agent’s estimated selling price
- the seller's asking price
- a price in a written offer that has already been rejected by the seller.
- details of the 3 most comparable properties, including the address, date of sale, and sale price. Or, if the agent did not take into account 3 comparable properties when setting the estimated selling price - a statement outlining that they reasonably believe there are fewer than 3 comparable sales within the prescribed period. See comparable properties.
- the median house or unit price for the suburb. This may be for a period of between 3 and 12 months, and must not be more than 6 months old.
An agent selling vacant land with approval or plans to build a house or unit must complete the Statement of Information in the normal way and, if the land has approval for a house, use the suburb median price for a house; if it has approval for a unit, they must use the unit median price.
- What is the Difference between a Conveyancer and a Solicitor?
Solicitors are legal professionals who can provide the same service as conveyancers. In fact, in this role they are conveyancers.
Both solicitors and conveyancers can prepare the legal paperwork and offer advice relating to your property purchase.
The main difference is solicitors are qualified lawyers with extensive knowledge of property-related laws, so they are more equipped to deal with complex or out-of-the-ordinary sales. Because of their expertise, a solicitor will often cost more, but the extra you pay could be money well spent if things get complicated and you need broader legal advice.
- What is a Section 32 Vendor Statement?
The Section 32 document is a legal document the seller (vendor) provides to an intending purchaser.
A section 32 Vendor statement refers to the legal document given by the seller to the potential buyer. Essentially, this document contains all the information about the property required by law that the seller must provide to the buyer. It must include all the information that may affect the state of the property, especially where such information may affect the decision of the buyer.
The name of the document comes from the legislation that governs the Vendor statement, section 32 of the Sale of Land Act of Victoria. The Vendor Statement should be distinct from the Contract of sale, which is a separate document.
Given its legal nature, it is recommended that a solicitor or conveyancer prepare (for the seller) and review (for the buyer) the section 32 Vendor statement prior to signing the Contract of Sale.
- How much is Stamp Duty in Victoria, and how is it calculated?
- What is Dutiable Value?
The dutiable value of a property is either the price you paid for it or its market value, whichever is greater. It means anyone gifted a property, acquired it through a trust or bought it at a significant discount will still have to pay stamp duty.
- What is Stamp Duty?
Stamp duty, or land transfer duty as it’s known in Victoria, is a tax the state government charges when you buy or are given a property. The stamp duty you pay depends on the ‘dutiable value’ of your property and whether you are eligible for any discounts.
- What is a Bond?
Depending on how much rent you pay, your residential rental provider (landlord) or agent can ask that you pay a bond. The maximum bond is 1 month’s rent (unless the rent is more than $900 per week). In some cases, the rental provider may ask the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to increase this limit. If you pay a bond, it must be lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) within 10 business days of receiving the bond. The RTBA will then send you a receipt.
- What’s a Condition Report?
Complete and return when collecting the keys to your new home, your property manager will provide a detailed condition report outlining the condition of the property. It is your responsibility to go through this condition report thoroughly and make any notes in the tenant section and return this to our office within three business days. By taking the time and completing your part of this process, you will avoid discrepancies and disagreements at the end of the tenancy allowing us to finalise your tenancy quickly. Please note, a condition report is not a request for maintenance. Maintenance will need to be reported separately. If you do not return the condition report to our office within three business days, we will place the office copy on file, and this will be used at the end of the tenancy to finalise your tenancy.
- What is Urgent Maintenance?
Urgent repairs can be phoned through to us, we can action them quickly, avoid further damage, and ensure you are safe and secure in your home.
You are not required to report urgent repairs to us in writing, however we encourage a paper trail for our files, and as such request an email with photographs or videos outlining the issue. Under the residential tenancies act, the following items are considered urgent and require action within 24 hours:
- Burst water service
- Blocked or broken toilet system
- Serious roof leak
- Gas leak
- Dangerous electrical faults
- Flooding or serious flood damage
- Serious storm or fire damage
- Failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided by the landlord or agent for water (tap or hot), cooking, heating or laundering.
- Failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply.
- Any fault or damage in the premises that makes it unsafe or insecure
- Any appliance, fitting or fixture that is causing a substantial amount of water to be wasted.
- A serious fault in a lift or staircase. Should any of the above occur outside of office hours, please refer to the After Hours Emergency Contact list included as part of this kit.
- In using the tradespeople we include as part of this kit, you will avoid paying any invoices on the spot, as the tradesperson will forward the invoice to the office for the appropriate payment.
- If you are reporting a water or gas leak, it is imperative to turn the water or gas off at the mains until the tradesperson arrives.
- Leaking toilets can be slowed down by turning the tap on the wall near the toilet off.
- What’s Renters’ Insurance?
Protect yourself and your belongings Your owner will have their own building insurance, however as this will not cover your personal belongings or furnishings inside the house, we strongly recommend you take out a contents insurance policy to cover these items. Your Residential Rental Provider is not liable for any belongings should they be damaged or stolen whilst at the property
- What’s a Lease Renewal?
Towards the end of the tenancy, your Property Manager will be in contact to discuss your intentions for when the lease ends. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, you are not required to sign a further fixed term lease agreement, however if the owner agrees, it will lock you in for a set period of time where no rent increases or notices to vacate can be issued providing the security to feel settled in your home