Are you looking to purchase a home or investment property in Wilston? How do you determine if this is the right suburb for you? As Wilston Buyers Agents, we have made it easy, by compiling information about Wilston that is important to know when considering this suburb for your home or investment purchase.
Located only a short distance from its inner-city neighbours, Wilston has both prestige and convenience as well as an infectious community spirit. Kedron Brook and Enoggera Creek border Wilston to the north and south, providing opportunities to access parks, playgrounds and sporting fields. Being a locally based Wilston Buyers Agent, Streamline Property Buyers understand that Wilston has a mix of pockets that appeal to different demographics including elevated aspects with full city views and areas with direct parkland access near the creek.
Wilston has a village feel and is complemented by a cafe and restaurant lifestyle strip that the locals flock to. Wilston is convenient to the north-south arterial roads in Brisbane, the tunnel entrance, and is also easily accessible and well serviced with excellent train and bus infrastructure.
Both trains and buses provide the main public transport options for Wilston, with only a 10 min journey to the Brisbane CBD by train, and 20 mins by bus. For timetables click here to access the Translink website. Riding a bike or e-scooter is also a popular way to travel being so close to the city.
Wilston has a very strong school catchment with several education options in Primary schools. Wilston State Schoolrecently celebrated its 100th year and has beautiful grounds with a mix of modern and heritage buildings on campus. St Columba’s Catholic Primary Schoolhas provided quality education for the Wilston and neighbouring communities for over 100 years as well.
Wilston also has easy access to prestigious secondary education options, and as local Wilston Buyers Agents, we know that a lot of families in the area choose to enroll their children into private schools or send them to the popular high achieving Kelvin Grove State College or Kedron State High school.
If you’re unsure about finding the school catchment zones in Brisbane read our blog for in-depth informationhere, because the suburb boundary does not always align with the school catchment boundary lines.
There are multiple locations within Wilston for cafes, restaurants, hair salons, and small retail stores. If you would like to know more about the best local venues in Wilston, head to the Must Do Brisbane’s website here or The Weekend Edition’s list of options here.
There is an abundance of popular, multi-use green spaces and parkland in Wilston. Finsbury Park, a local favourite, is nestled on the banks of nearby Enoggera Creek, boasting sporting facilities from hockey fields to soccer grounds. Wilston is also very close to Downey Park, home to Brisbane’s women’s sports, north of the river, including Netball, Hockey, and Softball.
These parks are popular with locals for weekend meet-ups, social gatherings, and group and personal exercise classes. Although the community feel is strong, they also welcome newcomers to the area.
Locals living in Wilston either commute to the Brisbane CBD or to various employment hubs in neighbouring suburbs. Being so close to the Royal Brisbane Hospital, Wilston also attracts a high number of medical professionals. Wilston is also approximately 14km to the Airport for those locals who need to travel interstate or overseas for work.
Typical Property Style
Wilston has a wide range of housing styles but is known for its renovated Queenslander style homes on large blocks. As local Wilston Buyers Agents, we know there are still limited opportunities to renovate the more original homes. There are also modern, newly built homes on smaller blocks of land that have been split into 400 – 500m2 lot sizes.
There are some smaller developments of townhouses being built to add to the existing apartments and townhouses in the area, but these are mainly located on busier roads.
Wilston is an area with households mainly made up of professional couples and families of high wealth, with a weekly family income at the last census of $2,793 (Queensland’s average is $1,661). According to SQM research, the percentage of owner-occupiers is 62.1%, and 42.96% for renters. The area is very popular for families with young children who often move into the Wilston area to raise their children.
Wilston’s Most Desirable Areas
There are many highly desirable pockets in Wilston to consider, including the elevated positions north of Abuklea Street and the Wilston Village which showcase quiet, tree-lined streets with city views.
Staying away from the main roads and the low-lying areas prone to flooding is the best way to buy well in Wilston, but due to the higher prices compromising on the road and railway noise can also be a way to get into the area. Even streets prone to flooding close to Enoggera Creek such as Cramond Street, Vardon Street, and Langley Ave are still highly desirable and achieve higher sales prices. Of course, getting local knowledge from a Wilston Buyers Agent is the best way to understand which areas are best for you.
Median Price Values
The median price for houses sold in Wilston throughout April 2022 was $1,710,000 (although the median calculated over the last 12 months is $1,340,000) and the median price value for units is $526,200 (although the median calculated over the last 12 months is $517,000). If you’re looking for a home on a large block that is not in need of renovation you would need to consider a budget within the late $1 million range.
The median price growth for Wilston over the last 3 years to April 2022 has been 77.4% for houses and 31.5% for units.
You can find out up to date news for the area and local interest stories at Wilston News here. The Wilston Community Facebook Group for asking questions can be accessed here.
Need a local Wilston Buyers Agent?
Hopefully, this information has been helpful in your quest to understand what buying your next property in Wilston may entail. You can listen to a more in-depth review of Wilston from a local’s perspective on the Brisbane Property Podcast in our interview with Wilston local of 21 years, Alistair McMillan here.
If you would like further help to purchase a property please reach out to your local Wilston Buyers Agents. Streamline Property Buyers can help.Enquire here.
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Streamline Property Buyers are the most qualified team of Brisbane Buyers Agents
Let’s face the facts … most of us only ever buy a very small number of properties in a lifetime.
But for us, it is our profession, so to help property buyers, we have compiled the following 7-steps to outline the process so you can have more confidence when buying a property.
1. Step 1 of the Buying Process – Get Finance Ready
We wanted to start this article at the very beginning – right when you first make the commitment to invest in your future and purchase your very own property.
When you first decide that buying a property is your next step, there are a number of things you will need to do to get on the front foot.
First, get out and about and do solid research into the current market and property values. This will assist in making realistic goals for you next property purchase. The market will change when the time to actually buy comes, so monitor the market right up until you are ready to put in offers. This will keep you educated so you don’t frequently miss out on properties that appeal to you.
Look for a mortgage broker that you trust so you can discuss your property goals with them. You may need to meet a few mortgage brokers until you find the right one for you. Some will be more focused on finding you the lowest interest rate. Others will create a longer term finance strategy. This will depend on you as an individual and what you are hoping to achieve in the future. All mortgage brokers will have their ideal clients so it is best to ask which type of property buyer that they specialise in.
You may find a mortgage broker that caters to the first home buyers’ market which may be great if you are feeling nervous about the process and need a bit of support. However if you are looking for a mortgage broker who has experience with investment strategies then that may work better for you if you are looking to invest. We always recommend talking to your mortgage broker about your long term plans, because even if you are buying a home, if you have plans to upgrade in the future, then some mortgage strategies might be better suited than others if the first property is to be retained and converted into an investment.
Make sure you are on board and comfortable with the broker you have selected.
The Mortgage Broker will be able to put a plan in place and will be able to help you with the following:
How much you can afford to borrow
Give you education on current interest rates
Educate you on the different set finance options and loan products (principal & Interest vs. Interest only, fixed & variable rates, offset and redraw facilities)
If there is a particular budget you have in mind they can let you know if that is achievable
Educate you on all fees involved when purchasing a property
Set a plan in place so you have a clear idea of what you can afford to buy
Mortgage brokers are also free for consumers to use. They get paid by the lenders they place the home loan with so you are not up for any costing with going with a broker.
Once you have your goals in place as well as a plan on how to achieve them you can move to the hardest step in the entire process…
You may find that your bank may do a bundle package to provide an attractive rate so it is important to look into all of your options and work out which one will work the best for you.
2. Step 2 of the Buying Process – Saving the Deposit
Saving the deposit for your property purchase can feel like the longest journey so it’s important to stay focused during this process. It is very easy to lose sight of what you want to achieve when the end goal seems so big.
Our top tips for saving the deposit are below:
Revise your budget to see how much can be saved each month and each pay date, ensuring you break down the savings goals into smaller more manageable goals helps keep you motivated and on track.
Now is the time to stop any unused memberships and look at ways you can reduce your spending. This may be gym memberships you don’t use or cutting down take away from three times per week to once per week. The important thing to remember here is not to go overboard, restricting your spending too much may end up being more harm than good, you still need to enjoy yourself during this process but make a conscious effort to manage your money a lot closer.
Pay yourself first. On each pay day it is important to revise your budget and move the amount you have allocated straight to a savings account, this way you don’t accidentally reach into that amount with your everyday spending, out of sight, out of mind. Treat your savings account like a bill that is due each month.
Have a designated saving account for your property purchase. This is important and there are a lot of options on how to do this so look into what would work best for you. Term Deposits can prevent you from spending money due to limits on withdrawals. Be disciplined and avoid potential spending sprees.
By following the above steps you will be well on your way to your first property purchase.
3. Step 3 of the Buying Process – Pre-Approval stage
Once you have your deposit saved you are ready to put things into action. The hardest part is complete and now it’s time for the next step in the buying process.
What is a pre-approval you may ask?
A pre-approval is an “in principal” commitment from the bank that you can borrow up to a certain amount of money for the purchase of a property. Banks will assess your financial details and credit history to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for a mortgage. Having a pre-approval in place gives you confidence when entering the searching phase. This is because you will know what your top budget is and you can confidently know where you stand when negotiating with agents.
Re-engage with your chosen mortgage broker at this stage. They will be able to assist you in this process and run you through the steps of getting that pre approval in place. The pre-approval phase is a valuable step in getting you closer to your new purchase.
Pre- approval is not formal approval so be careful when putting in your offer as you still may need a finance clause in the contract of sale in order to for banks to make a final assessment on your application. Your mortgage broker will be able to assist in how long the finance clause may need to be in place.
4. Step 4 of the Buying Process – The search begins
This is where the fun really begins. There is a lot of decision making during this phase so it can often feel quite stressful during this part of the process.
We have compiled three tips to remember when searching for a property to buy:
If it is meant to be… it will be. There may be instances where you may miss out because another buyer was willing to pay more than you, especially when the demand for property is high and there is a lot of competition. If you miss out simply, move on as your ideal property is still waiting for you. It is ok to feel disheartened … but do not let it consume you!
Going to multiple open homes every weekend can become overwhelming and exhausting. You may be feeling very excited for the first few weekends, however if the right property is not presenting itself, then this can get exhausting very quickly.
We recommend completing comprehensive research before inspecting. Do you like the area? Does it have the right floorplan for your needs & is the property still available?
Just because it is listed online, it should be available…right?
You would be surprised how many agents still show homes that are under contract or sold off market. This is the agent working for the seller in case the contract doesn’t work out, but it is also wasting your time so give the agent a call and ask them as many questions are you can.
Take photos and a measuring tape. In high demand markets there is not usually a second… or third opportunity to inspect and take measurements, or you may have forgotten what some parts of the house or site look like.
After you have walked through and made an assessment if you really like it then take another walk through to take pictures or videos of every corner of every room & measure the important spaces (eg. fridge space, washing machine space, bedrooms and living areas) to ensure your furniture fits.
If you are overwhelmed by this searching process or want to know about off market opportunities, then looking into how a buyer’s agent can help may be of benefit to you.
5. The Buying Process – Making an offer
Making an offer on a property is serious business.
There is so much to consider in such a short space of time and this process can become overwhelming, especially when the competition is high.
You need to understand how much to pay and how to present your offer to the seller or their agent. We have written an in depth Article on the Contract Process in Queensland that you can find HERE.
If you are fortunate enough to purchase property using cash, then your offer will be strong. However most people do have to go through the banks and obtain a loan to purchase a property. This means that there needs to be some conditions on the contract before the offer is made.
The items you need to consider when putting forward an offer are:
Initial and balance deposit amounts
Finance clause and how long to satisfy
Building and pest inspections and time frames
Any other special terms that are needed (due diligence, rent back, body corporate searches etc)
You may think that the highest bidder always wins … and this is likely is most cases, but not always. There are many instances where the highest offer has not been the accepted contract due to other offers having better terms in place.
Our best tip to you is to talk to the agent and figure out what is really important to the seller when it comes to selling their property. Once you have this information, you can use it to make your offer more appealing to the seller. For example, this may be a longer settlement because the seller has not yet found their next home and therefore needs more time to relocate.
Sometimes the agent may pre-populate the information for you on a contract to help guide your offer. However it is important to note that you can change these particulars to suit you or the seller more favourably.
Everything is negotiable ….
6. The Buying Process – Conditional and Unconditional Stage
Once you submit your offer and it is accepted, if the offer is subject to any conditions then you enter the conditional stage in the Buying Process. This is where you would organise a building and pest inspector and work with your mortgage broker and bank to satisfy any finance clause included in the contract. You will need to engage a solicitor that is based in the state you have purchased to communicate with the sellers solicitors and handle the conveyancing process.
It is very important for you to get a building and pest inspector to provide a report if the contract is conditional to a building and pest inspection. They will look into all the sections of a property that you cannot physically see from a standard property inspection and provide a report of their findings. You want to know that the property has no hidden defects or maintenance concerns, as there are huge costs associated with buying a property and mistakes can be costly.
If you do find something that you may need to fix, you can try and negotiate the cost of repair off the purchase price or get the seller to rectify it prior to settlement. It may be something structural that could put you out thousands of dollars without actually adding any value to the asset, so uncovering these issues at this time is critical. You also may have the option to withdraw from the contract if the results of the building and pest inspection are not to your satisfaction. These are all options available to you under a building and pest clause.
Once you have completed your inspections, obtained your final finance approval and satisfied any other conditions in the contract, your contract will become unconditional. This is time to celebrate! At this time the solicitors will prepare for the settlement to take place on a specific date.
7. The Buying Process – Settlement
This is the final stage of the buying process and one to be heavily celebrated! All that hard work has now paid off. Settlement day is when the seller will receive the payment of the agreed contract price and the buyer will legally take ownership of the property.
This is where key collection takes place, that picture in front of the sold sign can be taken and the moving in process begins.
I hope the seven steps have brought some ease to the buying process journey. If you need help with finding and securing your property please reach out at Streamline Property Buyers.
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Brisbane is a city built along the banks of the Brisbane River. It is known as the “River City” for a reason. But being a River City, it is also a city that is exposed to flood risk, and this is what this article is going to focus on to ensure you can assess the flood impacts in Brisbane before you buy a home or an investment property.
Brisbane has experienced many significant flood events over the past two centuries. Back in February 1893, the first big river flooding event occurred where water levels were recorded at 8.35 meters above the low tide level in the Brisbane CBD, the second highest flood event ever recorded at the City gauge. This event was termed the Great Flood and that month was then referred to as Black February. The flooding was caused by a huge rain event associated with a tropical cyclone. This caused the Brisbane River banks to burst and the water flooded into the surrounding areas. This flood resulted in 11 deaths and about 190 people were hospitalised.
Fast forward to January 1974 and our city experienced the largest flood to affect Brisbane in the twentieth century. Once again, this was caused by a cyclone where 642 millimeters of rain fell within the space of 36 hours and the river system simply could not cope.
At that time the water levels peaked at 6.6 meters at the City gauge, but because development was a lot more advanced than it was back in 1893, 8,500 homes were completely inundated with floodwaters on this occasion. Brisbane was an inland sea during this flood event and 14 people lost their lives as a result, mostly in the inner city suburbs.
Off the back of these flood events, the Wivenhoe Dam was constructed to provide flood mitigation control for the City. This is located about 80km by road from the Brisbane CBD. Residents in Brisbane became more optimistic that Brisbane would never flood again and development was fast tracked throughout the city. No one thought that a river flooding event would impact our lives, or our homes again.
Then in 2011, the flood that was never meant to happen happened. After days of rain, the Wivenhoe Dam was over its capacity and the flood gates had to be opened to release some of the water. Brisbane was in for a shock.
On 11 January 2011, the Brisbane River broke its banks and by 13 January 2011, the river was raging. This time 20,000 residential homes were affected by flood waters across 94 suburbs throughout the city. It was the flood that was never meant to happen, but it highlighted the fact that our River City may never be immune from future flood events.
Understanding how to assess the flood risk associated with a property is therefore important when you are looking to buy a property in Brisbane. So here are some steps you can follow that will help you to assess this risk.
Downloading a FloodWise Report to assess the flood impacts in Brisbane
The Brisbane City Council provides predictions for the potential for flood risk for most properties around the City. A FloodWise Property Report can be completed HERE. You will be required to enter the property address, click Search and then select the way you would like to view the report before downloading.
This search will provide one of four types of reports, depending on the site.
The first type of Report is issued when there is NO known FLOOD Impact across a site. You will see this note on Page 1 of the FloodWise Report if this applies to your property search:
Obviously, this is the best possible outcome as it means the property is not going to be impacted at all by any type of flooding event.
The second type of report provides a warning that the property has Flood and Planning Development Flags, but there will be no visible graphs. The alert on Page 1 of the FloodWise Report will look like this:
This usually means that the property is impacted by overland flow flooding. Brisbane City Council does not have publicly available information on the overland flow modeling. Whilst we can get an understanding of the overland flow pathways, we don’t have details and the onus is on a buyer to engage a hydraulics engineer to complete an assessment to ascertain what that impact actually is. For development, this becomes much more important compared with just buying a residential site.
The third type of report that might be produced happens when there is a known flood impact on a site, but the information is not complete enough to determine what the minimum habitable floor level must be for flood immunity. There will be a graph on the first page of the report that will look something like this:
This usually happens when a block of land is too large for the council to have complete clarity of what the flood impact is likely to be at every point on the site and therefore the minimum habitable floor level is not noted on the report. In this instance, the onus is again on the property buyer to confirm what the minimum habitable floor levels might need to be to achieve flood immunity across the site.
The fourth and final type of report is produced when there is a known flood impact on the site AND there is sufficient information in council’s database to also determine what the minimum habitable floor level must be for a dwelling property to achieve flood immunity on that site. The graph on this report looks something like this:
You can see in this example, there is a dotted line that shows the minimum habitable floor level. This is the most comprehensive report out of all of the possible options.
Now let’s look at how to interpret the rest of the information in these reports.
The Green line on the right-hand side of the graph represents the contours on the property, or the ground levels of the site, based on the Australian Height Datum in meters m(AHD). A level of 0.0 AHD is considered sea level.
The highest and lowest point on the site are noted on this report through the lowest and highest points on the Green line. Obviously, suburbs closer to the bay in Brisbane will be closer to zero, whereas more elevated suburbs will be much higher.
On the left-hand side of the report, you will see some bars on the chart. These bars represent the annual probability of a flood event occurring for that particular property. These bars also show the magnitude of the associated risk for any flood event. This is measured using the Annual Expedient Probability (AEP), in other words, the chances that a property will flood in any year.
Usually, the higher the probability (ie: the higher the AEP expressed as a percentage), the lower the flood level will be. The same holds true in that the lower the AEP, the higher the flood level will be.
Some reports, but not all, will also include a flood level as recorded during the Floods of January 2011. And finally, some reports, but not all, will include a Defined Flood Level (DFL) as well which is a measure used for Brisbane river flooding whereby the flood level of 3.7M AHD at the Brisbane City Gauge and a river flow of 6,800m3/s is the flow. This gets a bit complex, but for those who understand hydraulics, it may be useful.
If the bars on the left-hand side of the chart are higher than the points in the Green line on the right-hand side of the chart, then you can expect that during a flood event, water is likely to cover part or all of that land. You can then calculate the DIFFERENCE between those two levels to get an indication of the likely flood LEVEL for that property at its highest and lowest point.
When it comes to new approvals for dwellings, or renovations on properties, council are focused on the 1% AEP levels. For any non-habitable spaces within a home (eg: garages & laundries) council requires those floor levels to be 300mm ABOVE the 1% AEP level for a site.
For any Habitable spaces (eg bedrooms, living rooms dining rooms) these need to be at least 500mm ABOVE the 1% AEP level for a site.
For any existing dwellings that may not already achieve flood immunity, a calculation between the ground levels and the ACTUAL floor level can often determine what level of flood inundation could be expected in the event of a significant flood event on that site.
If a property ALSO falls within a Creek/Waterway Flooding overlay Category 1, 2 or 3 OR in a mapped overland flow path, you may also need to account for an undercroft area in the event you are looking to complete any future renovation works. This can get quite complex, and we recommend if this applies to seek help from professionals such as architects, certifiers, and town planners.
On Page 2 of the Property FloodWise Report a Technical summary will be provided. This information is predominately for builders and architects who are completing renovation or building works on a property. Basically, if you understand how to read the graphs on page 1, you will not need to understand this more detailed technical information.
Checking the FloodWise Report for a property is an important part of the due diligence process that should be completed prior to a property purchase so that you understand the flood impacts in Brisbane and how they may impact on a specific property. Understanding how to interpret the reports is also essential. Finally, applying the information from the report to the specific property, and understanding what it means in relation to the existing property on a site is invaluable. This ensures any future compliance requirements in relation to renovations or improvement works are understood upfront.
Property Buyers purchasing real estate from interstate often are not aware that the contract process in Queensland is different to other states. Often the process of buying a property can be daunting, especially if it is your first purchase.
Questions that are commonly asked include the following:
What is the process of making an offer on a house?
Can a real estate agent disclose offers to other buyers?
What is multiple offer?
When does a contract become unconditional?
What is the normal settlement period in Queensland?
This article will summarize the process of making an offer on a house in Queensland. It will also provide information on various other steps involved in the contract process in Queensland.
The purpose of this article is to help property buyers understand the process in more detail and the various steps involved.
Of course buying at auction has its own set process. In this instance you are buying unconditionally on auction day.
This summary will therefore provide guidance on the contract process in Queensland when buying a property listed for sale by private treaty, which is the most common form of sale in our region.
Step 1 of the Contract Process in Queensland – Making an Offer
So, you have found the perfect property to buy? What is the next step?
Assuming that you have already inspected the property and completed your due diligence process (if not I suggest you read 9 Property Due Diligence Checks before You Buy), the next step involves making an offer on a house, or what ever property it is you are looking to buy.
For many buyers, a phone call to the Sales Agent with a verbal offer of the amount and basic terms is often how an offer is presented. However, in this instance, the details of the offer are often not clearly understood.
For this reason, we always recommend when making an offer on a house, that the offer should be put in writing because then the Real Estate Agent has an obligation to present your offer to the Seller.
The best way to do this is to ask the Real Estate Agent for a copy of the Contract of Sale.
Some Sales Agents might hand out a “Letter of Offer” Form that can be completed. Whilst this is better than a verbal offer, we still recommend that you ask for a copy of the written contract and put your offer forward in contract form.
This enables you to get the contract reviewed by a Solicitor BEFORE YOU SIGN, and it also ensures that the offer is seriously considered by the Sellers. Additionally, it enables you to clearly define any terms or conditions of the offer.
Some common conditions in real estate contracts in Queensland include the following:
Subject to Finance
Subject to a Building & Pest Inspection
Subject to Body Corporate Searches
Subject to further Due Diligence (which can be anything at the buyer’s discretion)
Subject to a Rent Back (if the sellers have not purchased elsewhere)
There are many other conditions that buyers and sellers might need as special conditions as well, depending on the individual circumstances. You can review many other typical conditions in Queensland contracts in this Quick Guide. Remember all conditions can be negotiated throughout the contract process in Queensland too!
Here is a quick video explaining how to make your conditions more favorable to a seller:
When an offer is presented to a seller in Contract form, negotiations can occur in writing, on the contract itself.
What information needs to be included with your Offer?
The information that is necessary for a Contract to be completed accurately includes the following:
BUYER – The Name must be the full legal name in which the property will be purchased. Make sure the spelling is accurate and include all middle names. It can be costly to change the name on a contract once a contract is complete, so this is a necessary first step. Also, if the buyer is a company or a trust, ensure it is registered and is a legal entity on the date of the contract.
BUYER’S SOLICITOR – Details of the conveyancing firm that will be completing the conveyancing for the purchase. Don’t assume you can do this yourself. Experts are there for a reason!
PURCHASE PRICE – The amount you will be offering to purchase the property for. This will depend on the property value, the current market conditions, the level of competition and many other factors. Of course this is the part that many buyers get wrong. Often buyers either overpay, or they miss out because someone else was prepared to pay more. Getting expert advice from a professional Buyers Agent often saves a lot of money and stress!
DEPOSIT – This is usually broken down into two parts. Both of these are also negotiable, but in Queensland the total deposit can not be greater than 10% of the purchase price. The deposit funds are usually held in a Sale’s Agent’s trust account until settlement.
Initial Deposit – The amount payable once a contract is accepted
Balance Deposit – The amount payable once a contract becomes unconditional
FINANCE – Whether the contract will be conditional to obtaining final finance approval and if it is then details of the number of days required for this approval must be completed
BUILDING & PEST INSPECTION – Whether the contract will be conditional to a building and pest inspection and if it is then details of the number of days required for this purpose
POOL SAFETY INSPECTION – If the property has a pool, then a pool safety certificate is required or a pool safety inspection can be arranged. Check with your Solicitor regarding the details outlined on the contract in this instance so you understand what is required.
SPECIAL CONDITIONS – any other special clauses that you wish to insert (best to get legal advice about this)
SETTLEMENT PERIOD – the number of days between acceptance of a contract and settlement. This is sometimes specified as a date, or alternatively a number of days from the Contract date. In Queensland, the most common settlement period is 30 days, although like most other terms, this is also negotiable.
If all of these particulars are provided on a contract that is signed by the buyer and presented to a seller, it is very easy for a seller to see the entire offer, and not just consider the purchase price. Often the conditions that accompany an offer can influence a seller’s decision to accept a particular offer or not.
In some instances, there may be high competition for a property and the contract process in Queensland can often result in a Multiple Offer situation. There are specific regulations around how this works. See the video below for some hints and tips for buyers in this situation.
It is best to present your offer in Contract form so that the Seller has the opportunity to sign immediately when your offer is presented to them, which creates a legally binding contract, or alternatively, the Seller may choose to put forward a written counter offer back to you to consider further.
This is a powerful way to enter negotiations as each party can see very clearly what the particulars are in relation to the purchase.
Once an offer is presented to a seller, there are three possible outcomes.
The seller accepts the offer and the contract is signed and completed.
The seller rejects the offer and the negotiations come to an end.
The seller makes a counter-offer for the consideration of the buyer.
The counter offer process will continue between the parties until an agreement is reached, or until negotiations come to an end. It is not until an agreement is reached between the parties that the contract is dated and a copy is send to the solicitors acting for both parties.
Step 2 of the Contract Process in Queensland – Offer Accepted
Once your offer is accepted by the sellers, then the Real Estate Agent will date the contract and it then becomes legally binding.
This is the time to celebrate milestone number one!!!!
This is also the time when the initial deposit will become due and payable. You should receive instructions from the Real Estate Agent in relation to where the deposit money needs to be transferred to.
What is the Cooling Off Period when you buy a Property in Queensland?
This commences when the buyer receives a copy of the contract singed by both parties.
If you wish to cancel the contract during the cooling-off period, then the seller may deduct a penalty of up to 0.25% of the purchase price from the deposit paid.
What happens during the Contract process in Queensland whilst a Contract is still Conditional?
If a contract is entered into and it is conditional to finance, building and pest inspections or any other special conditions, then certain steps must be taken by the buyer straight away.
Time frames will be prescribed in the contract to meet the requirements of the conditions (often within 14 days but this can sometimes be longer or shorter because it is as negotiated between the parties).
You will need to book a building and pest inspector (and pool inspection if relevant) to complete the inspection on your behalf. Access is coordinated with the Real Estate Agent.
Your bank or mortgage broker will also coordinate the necessary steps to obtain final approval on finance if the contract is conditional to this. Sometimes this includes a valuation of the property, which again is coordinated with the Real Estate Agent.
Regular communication with your solicitor or conveyancer during this period is critical to ensure you are complying with your obligations under the contract.
Once you are satisfied with the outcome of any conditions under the contract, your solicitor will notify the seller’s solicitor that you are satisfied with the conditions and at this time your contract will become unconditional.
When does a Contract become Unconditional?
A Queensland residential contract becomes unconditional when the buyer gives notice through their Solicitor that they have satisfied all of the conditions prescribed in the contract.
The balance deposit outlined in the contract will become payable when your contract becomes unconditional.
During this period final searches will be conducted to make necessary arrangements for settlement. The bank will liaise directly with the conveyancer to arrange transfer of funds and to ensure settlement can be booked on time. The applicable paperwork is also submitted to the relevant government bodies to ensure settlement can occur on a specified date.
It is always important to conduct a pre-settlement inspection on the morning that settlement is due to take place to ensure that the property is empty and in the same condition as when you initially inspected it. If there are any problems with the condition of the property it is important to discover this BEFORE settlement – not after.
Here is a short video explaining this process:
Step 3 of the Contract Process in Queensland – Settlement
The property settlement is the final stage of a property purchase.
At this time the seller receives payment of the agreed contract price, and the buyer takes legal possession of the property. Settlement is attended by representatives from the bank and the solicitors.
Keys can be collected from the Real Estate Agent once Settlement has been completed. This is because the property ownership has officially transferred at that time.
There are many stages in the contract process in Queensland and this article has outlined them in detail. Purchasing a property can be complex. Of course, some contracts may be a lot more complex with special conditions and therefore legal advice is recommended in these circumstances.
Buyers should seek the assistance of a professional Buyers Agent or Solicitor to navigate through this process. Of course, We are here to help and guide Clients through this experience.
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Property buyers rely on a number of different tools to assess the value of a property. This article will explore Automatic Valuation Reports (correctly known as Automated Valuation Model (AVM) Reports), and how they relate to the actual market value of properties throughout Brisbane.
An automatic valuation report is an algorithm-based computer-generated report, which provides an estimate of the market value of real estate at a specific point in time. The specified value of a property that this report produces uses a combination of mathematical and statistical modeling, along with databases of existing properties and transactions, and then calculates real estate values.
Automatic valuation reports are widely employed in the real estate sector. Some are provided directly to the public on free platforms such as onthehouse.com.au and propertyvalue.com.au. Others are available on subscription only such as CoreLogic. Additionally, mortgage providers, such as banks and other financial institutions, regularly use AVMs for residential portfolio valuations.
Because of their rapid rise in popularity and the availability of Automatic Valuation Reports to consumers, the debate has become apparent about their merits and their accuracy.
But do they accurately reflect the true market value of properties, and can consumers rely on AVMs to come to a determination on what to offer when purchasing residential property in Brisbane?
There are pros and cons associated with Automatic Valuation Reports that are important to outline.
AVMs are systematic and fast which means an estimate can be provided instantly once an address is entered. In our busy world, this can be a huge advantage for many people looking for quick information.
AVMs are cheap and therefore they save cost, especially when they need to be generated in large quantities.
AVMs are computer-generated, thus eliminating human error and removing bias and subjectivity from the equation.
AVMs rely on high-quality data and often that data is low in volume or not representative.
AVMs do not and can not factor in the actual condition of a property. Instead, they just assume an “average” state and that all properties are of the same state. Clearly, this is not true when we can buy fully renovated homes as well as unrenovated original homes when selecting real estate.
AVMs are less accurate in areas where the composition of housing varies substantially. They are more effective when the property stock is very generic in the same location.
In new estates where there is little or no known data upon which the AVM can rely, the lack of historical records can result in grossly inaccurate results.
AVMs can only work when the data provided is correct and up-to-date. Therefore AVMs are unreliable in a fast-changing real estate market.
So whilst there are some pros, the cons still outweigh the benefits of relying on AVMs – especially in a fast-moving market. In fact a 2017 conference paper “Automated Valuation Models (AVMs): a brave new world?” concluded that statistically-based valuations may be widely off-the-mark and need to be augmented by professional judgment.” READ HERE
Therefore whilst their use is growing, AVMs have not and should not override human valuation estimates. Instead, a thorough assessment of a property’s value requires not only experience where judgment is called on but also local knowledge of the specific market conditions where individual properties may be dissimilar in a variety of ways.
Our team consistently finds that AVMs underestimate the actual market value of properties in Brisbane – especially in a fast-moving market where growth is strong month-to-month. Instead, a comprehensive analysis of comparable sales, with consideration given to land size, zoning, property impacts, property size, and the property condition is much more accurate.
Despite the fact that AVMs are becoming more mainstream and easier to access, there will always be a need for local knowledge and expertise, as well as a physical inspection and on-site evaluation of the property in question.
In this blog we explain why you should use a Buyers Agent at auction, and how can they help give you an advantage.
The number of properties being sold by auction in Brisbane is starting to increase. We have traditionally been a market dominated by private treaty sales, however with more recent market trends, we are quickly becoming a city where auctions are more prevalent. This article will explain how a Buyer’s Agent can help when you need to participate in an auction to secure your perfect home or investment. So, why use a Buyers Agent at auction?
When a property is listed for sale by auction, the main goal of the sales agent and the auctioneer as a team on the day is to draw out the maximum possible purchase price for the vendor. The auctioneer does this by asking for minimum bid increments from the bidders and creating a sense of urgency, whilst the sales agent does this by talking to bidders, often standing side by side with them, encouraging bidders to put forward a bid in an attempt to increase the current bid amount. If an auction stalls, tough negotiations can pursue, and inexperienced negotiators often falter under this type of pressure. The environment at an auction is often one of high pressure, which can create anxiety and stress in any bidder who is not familiar and confident with the auction bidding process.
Why use a Buyers Agent at auction? Engaging a confident, experienced and professional Buyer’s Agent to bid on your behalf and to represent you on auction day, takes the pressure away from you as the buyer. Instead of getting caught up in the high-pressure tactics, as a buyer, you can relax a little knowing that your emotions will not get in the way of the important decisions that you need to make.
We often see tell-tale signs that inexperienced bidders give away, especially when they are approaching the top of their budget. Body language, facial expressions and delays in bidding can all indicate signs to a professional bidder that others are at or approaching, their maximum bid limit. Here are some of the reasons why engaging a Buyer’s Agent to represent you makes sense.
1. Why use a Buyers Agent at auction? – Eliminate the Emotion
When you buy at auction, there is no cooling-off period, so you need to ensure you are making informed decisions that are not fueled by emotion. Spending a “little bit more” might put you in a financially stretched position, or feeling emotionally attached may cause you to bid more than you actually need to.
Professional Buyer’s Agents will remain calm, non-emotive and focused on getting the best possible result for you. Acting under your prior written instructions, there is no need for emotions to sway your decision on the day. Instead, the decisions are made before auction day, when you are feeling calmer and level-headed.
2. Why use a Buyers Agent at auction? – Be better prepared
Understanding the market and what you may need to pay to secure a property is important when setting auction bidding limits. An area specialist Buyer’s Agent, who is in the market daily, is an expert at researching and understanding property prices. A professional can provide informed pricing guidance, therefore enabling you to be more prepared on auction day, or even suggest an alternative strategy such as placing an offer prior to the auction, when there may be an opportunity to do so and it is warranted.
Additionally, when bidding at auction it is important to understand the paperwork that is involved, both prior to bidding and immediately following an auction win. A licensed Buyer’s Agent can guide you through this process to ensure you are informed and confident.
3. Why use a Buyers Agent at auction? – Be objective during the auction
Buyer’s Agents do not feel intimidated at an auction like many other buyers who are less familiar with the auction bidding process. They will bring all of the tricks of the trade to intimidate other less experienced bidders, which will work to the advantage of their Clients. Having a qualified bidder to represent you instills confidence and in the event that an auction enters negotiations prior to selling, you know that you also have an expert negotiator on your side who will have emotional detachment in this daunting process.
There are many advantages of how a Buyer’s Agent can add value when engaged to bid at an auction on your behalf. If you are buying in Brisbane, and you need an expert auction bidder and negotiator on your side, reach out to the team at Streamline Property Buyers. We would love to help!
Have you ever considered using a Buyers Agent in Brisbane? Do you know how a Buyers Agent can help? This article explains some of the benefits of using a buyers agent in Brisbane to assist you with your next home or investment property purchase.
The process of buying and selling property in Australia is somewhat different to many other countries around the world. In America, for example, most people buying property are represented by a Buyers Agent and most people selling property are represented by a Sales Agent. In Australia, the role of a Buyer’s Agent is just emerging.
With the projections for the Brisbane property market looking so bright, now may be a great time to use the services of a Buyers Agent in Brisbane to find the perfect property, but you may be wondering, what is a Buyer’s Agent? Let’s explore this further.
What is a Buyers Agent in Brisbane?
A Buyers Agent (also sometimes referred to as a Buyers Advocate) is a fully licensed real estate professional that specializes in searching for, evaluating and negotiating the purchase of a property on behalf of the buyer. A Buyer’s Agent works “exclusively” for the buyer and acts in their best interests. A Buyer’s Agent does not SELL real estate.
What does a Buyers Agent in Brisbane actually do?
Working with a Buyers Agent in Brisbane will ultimately make the whole process of buying a home or investment property stress-free.
Buyer’s Agents help property buyers to:
Save time – all property searching, inspecting and property due-diligence can be done for you
Eliminate frustration – no time on your weekends wasted looking at properties that do not match your requirements
Stress Less – having professional representation during the property buying process guarantees you a less stressful process
Improve Options – buyers get access to all properties that are available for sale both, on and off-market when working with a buyers agent due to their extensive agent network and strong agent relationships
Get a better deal – having a strong sense of understanding property values is important when it comes time to negotiate and to determine the property price
Improve confidence – know you will not overpay because you are being represented
A quality Buyers Agent in Brisbane will also uncover everything about a property that you may not even think to check.
There are so many layers that can be uncovered that may impact on what you can and cannot do with a property, and also whether a property will be covered by certain insurances or not.
Of course, getting a building and pest inspection these days is mostly standard practice, once a contract for the sale of a property is entered into.
But what about the things you cannot see? The things that are underground, the development that is approved for an area or even the land zoning or overlays that effect a particular property?
Using a Buyers Agent in Brisbane may be worthwhile if:
You don’t know the local Brisbane market very well
You are time poor and don’t have time to search for and inspect lots of properties
You keep missing out on properties that you like because other buyers act faster than you
You are uncertain about what to pay
You are frustrated as a result of dealing with Sales Agents
You feel overwhelmed with the entire process or certain parts of the process
You don’t know where to buy
You are having trouble finding properties to buy
You have found a property but you are not confident to bid at auction
You would simply prefer to be professionally represented.
This short video explains some of the advantages of working with a Buyers Agent in Brisbane.
Also, if you do not already know how to check flood maps, for example, in areas that are affected by river flooding, creek flooding, or overland flow a buyers agent will be able to perform all of this due diligence for you.
All of these types of flood issues will impact on a property, and may also have an effect on the premiums payable on an insurance policy for a property. It may also limit opportunities for manufacturing additional equity in a property through renovation or development.
This is information that, as a property buyer, you would want to be aware of given the size of the investment that is made when you purchase a property. You just don’t want to make a mistake.
There are many more areas that form part of a comprehensive property due diligence search, especially in some areas around our City. By engaging a Buyers Agent in Brisbane, who is able to outline all areas that you need to be aware of, and who can undertake all of the due diligence searches on your behalf, you are ensuring that you are entering into a contract for a property purchase fully understanding everything about a property – both what you can and cannot see during an inspection.
The video below explains some of the pitfalls when relying on on-line property listings. Property buyers can waste a lot of time inspecting properties that do not look like they did in the listing images.
This article has explained some of the benefits of working with a Buyers Agent in Brisbane. It is not for everyone, but for those who are looking to be professionally represented, there are huge advantages for property buyers.
Please feel free to reach out if you need assistance with your property search. At Streamline Property Buyers we will ensure you don’t make any costly mistakes.
When is the property market frenzy in Brisbane going to stop? The residential market in Brisbane has been in a rapid period of growth for months. Prices are escalating every week and with buyers who have been missing out, we are seeing that they are becoming even more eager to secure a property with every week that passes by. Buyers are even taking big risks just so that their offers are competitive. We are seeing buyers dropping out the finance clause and even eliminating the condition that allows them the security of a post-purchase building and pest inspection. This leads to the question … how long is this property market frenzy in Brisbane likely to continue and when might it start to slow down?
In a strong seller’s market, like Brisbane is right now, there are more buyers than sellers and this has the effect of pushing prices up. It comes down to supply (properties) and demand (buyers) and the depth of the imbalance is what has the greatest impact on the rate of price growth.
Supply is tight right in Brisbane right now because sales volumes have increased 38.5% over the twelve months to May 2021 according to Corelogic data, whilst total listing volumes are -23.8%lowerin Brisbane compared to the equivalent period of 2020. This means there are FEWER properties available to buy through the major real estate portals of realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. The number of properties for sale is a LOT LESS so supply is LOW.
But what about DEMAND in the Property Market Frenzy in Brisbane?
Well, the demand for property can be measured in a number of different ways. We can look at how many people are physically inspecting properties on a weekend. This is a sign of “real-time” demand that helps us to understand how many people might be interested in a particular property when it is listed for sale and open for inspection.
We can then also get a good understanding of demand based on how many offers are put forward for a single property that is available for sale. This helps us to understand the buyer depth in a particular location.
Then we can review the number of people registering to bid at auctions across Brisbane. Obviously, everyone who registers to bid is a serious buyer, subject to the price point of course. The property market frenzy is causing stress when people are missing out at auctions and beginning their search again.
Brisbane Auction crowd – Property Market Frenzy
Auction clearance rates can also be an indicator that helps us to understand the market demand. When the auction clearance rate is high, we know that there have been a lot more cases where the seller’s expectations have been met because there have been enough buyers to push the price up to allow the property to reach the reserve price.
Demand can also be demonstrated through other information such as lending data. The number of finance commitments throughout Australia hit record highs in April 2021.
Lending data also tells us where the demand might be coming from in terms of who is driving the demand in certain locations. For example, we know that first home buyers have started to pull back from loan commitments, an indication that there are fewer first home buyers actively looking to buy compared to 3 months ago. But we have now started to see an uptick in the number of investors who are seeking funds for a property purchase so this indicates that the demand is being driven by a change in the composition of buyers. Owner Occupiers are still the group driving the majority of the demand in Brisbane, based on lending data from ABS and APRA and our own observations.
Things that contribute to the demand for Brisbane Property include both macro and micro level indicators.
At a macro level, all markets across Australia are being fueled by low interest rates. The RBA has clearly stated that interest rates will remain low until inflation reaches a target band of between 2-3% and minutes from a number of their monthly meetings suggest that rates are unlikely to see any change until 2024 at the earliest. This makes money cheap and makes property purchases more affordable for many buyers across Australia.
Also, the National Economy has recovered at a much faster rate than anyone expected following the worst of COVID-19. We have seen unemployment tighten and consumer confidence rebound to very high levels. These factors contribute towards people having the confidence to make big purchasing decisions such as the purchase of a home or an investment property.
At a micro level, Brisbane is a little different to other national capital cities around Australia. We have a unique set of circumstances that make our demand metrics EVEN higher than other locations around the country.
First, the South-East Queensland region has seen record levels of interstate migration off the back of COVID-19. Whilst other large cities are declining in their population, Brisbane is GROWING and this is contributing to the additional DEMAND for Brisbane Property.
Brisbane Property Market Frenzy
A growing population puts pressure on the availability of rental properties as well. After hitting a peak in 2016, the pipeline for new dwellings in inner Brisbane has been declining and we now have a situation where the new supply pipeline is years away. In the meantime, new residents to Brisbane have to find somewhere to live and this is putting pressure on the rental market.
Vacancy rates at a city wide level are at 1.3% in Brisbane Property. At a suburb level, we are seeing vacancy rates as low at 0.4% – sometimes even less. When there are very few properties available to rent, we see rental price growth happen very rapidly as well. Supply and demand works in the rental market just as much as it does in the sales market.
More people moving to Brisbane means more buyers also competing for the same limited amount of stock. Population growth is increasing the demand for properties in Brisbane, and this is unique to our city right now.
To understand WHEN this property market frenzy in Brisbane might slow down we need to understand WHY this is happening.
First, we can’t see the population shift slowing down any time soon. People are recognizing that Brisbane provides a more affordable option than other major east-coast cities of Australia and also provides a more relaxed lifestyle. Our Covid-19 response has also been superior to other cities overall, so many are seeing Brisbane as a safe haven for their families in this ever-changing environment.
Second, whilst interest rates are low buyers will continue to take advantage of cheap finance to upgrade their home or invest into a market that shows good prospects for both capital growth and yield requirements.
Also with an improving economy buyers will continue to have the confidence to invest in large assets such as Brisbane property, finding it a safe place to put their money.
Unless we see a large volume of sellers come to the market all at once, which is extremely unlikely, the high demand will continue to outstrip the available supply and prices will continue to rise into the foreseeable future. We do expect this frenzy to continue for some time yet. For how long? No one can accurately predict this. But when we start to see a slow down on the ground, when we start to see fewer offers on properties available for sale, or when we start to see fewer registered bidders at auction, we might change our opinion on the strength of the market growth. But for now, hold on and make the most of the ride. Brisbane has been waiting for this to happen for many years. Now is definitely the time for Brisbane to shine on the national property growth charts!
Get in touch if you would like to know how we can help you understand Brisbane Property.
Buying a property can be daunting especially in a competitive market like Brisbane is right now, and with the rising popularity of the Multiple Offer Process. When a property market is so hot that there are more buyers than sellers, we often find that more than one person wants to buy the property. When two or more property buyers put forward an offer to purchase a property, the purchase becomes a Multiple Offer Process.
Buying with the multiple offers process can be stressful. It is a highly competitive environment, but there are certain things that can be done to improve your prospects for success. Of course, understanding the process is the most important first step, so let’s take a look at how this works in Brisbane.
There are certain obligations that a real estate agent should comply with in this situation and there are also best practice guidelines set out by the REIQ.
Section 22 of the Property Occupations Regulation 2014 (Qld) states that an agent must act in accordance with their seller client’s instructions unless it is contrary to the conduct provisions of the Property Occupations Regulation or otherwise unlawful to do so.
Of course, the Australian Consumer Law prohibits conduct, in trade or commerce, which is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive. Agents must, therefore, exercise a degree of caution to ensure that any representations which they make in the course of marketing a property, are accurate and not likely to mislead or deceive.
Under a multiple offer process, Agents have an obligation to:
Immediately inform their seller clients of all offers made,
Act in accordance with instructions from their seller clients, and
To obtain the maximum sale price for the property.
However, in obtaining the maximum sale price for the property, agents must treat all buyers honestly and fairly and not engage in misleading or deceptive conduct and/or unconscionable conduct.
Conduct that may be considered misleading or deceptive and/or unconscionable can include, but is not limited to:
An agent playing potential buyers off against each other in an attempt to draw out further offers and drive up the sale price; and
An agent advising a buyer of the existence of a higher offer in circumstances where a higher offer does not exist has lapsed or has previously been rejected by the seller.
Agents also have obligations to the buyers in this situation to:
To advise every buyer that they have received more than one offer on the property
To give each buyer the opportunity to revise their offer, if they wish to do so
To let all buyers know that once their offer has been submitted, that they may not have the opportunity to negotiate further – their offer must be their “Best and Final.”
Real Estate Agents in Brisbane who adhere to ethical and professional standards outlined by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), would distribute an “Acknowledgement of Multiple Offers” form to all buyers when there is more than one offer on the table at one time. This is signed by the buyer and returned to the Agent with the offer.
All offers are meant to be private and not able to be disclosed to competing parties. It is effectively a “silent auction” process – but with one chance only to secure the property. The process is often confusing and stressful for a buyer who may not understand what they need to do to make their offer stand out.
In many instances, a Seller is looking for the best price. This is the objective of most sales campaigns when a vendor is selling their property. But in some cases, the terms that accompany an offer can make a big difference also.
Here are some things a buyer can do to make an offer stand out under a Multiple Offer situation in Brisbane:
Increase the size of the deposit – this gives the seller and their agent the confidence that the finance will be approved.
Align the settlement date with the Seller’s ideal timeframe – understanding the seller’s motivations can often work to a buyer’s advantage.
Be finance ready – a shorter time frame for a finance clause, or an offer without a finance clause will be more attractive for a seller.
Shorten the timeframe for the Building and Pest Inspection – pre-book a building and pest inspector so the timeframe can be shorter.
Stretch that little bit more – most buyers put forward round numbers when making an offer. Buyers who add an extra few hundred dollars to the end of the offer amount can sometimes be successful because of the extra stretch.
Write a personal letter – We have seen this done successfully in Brisbane. Buyer’s who try to find an emotional connection with the seller can sometimes pull on the heartstrings of a seller and convince them to choose their offer.
Consider waiving the right to a “Cooling Off” period – if your buyer is certain about the purchase this is also possible.
Be flexible with other conditions – understanding the seller’s circumstances will help to align any additional special conditions in their favour. For example, rent-back clauses can be useful when the seller has not yet bought elsewhere – so get to know the motivation behind the sale!
The Multiple Offer Process can be overwhelming for many buyers, but understanding the process often helps to provide more confidence. Being able to position an offer favourably, even outside of price, can often be the difference between buying and missing out.
We explain the importance of finance pre approval when buying property in Brisbane. The property market in Brisbane is extremely competitive right now and you need to ensure you have a finance pre approval when buying a property.
The high volume of buyers searching for a property
now outweighing the number of properties that are available for sale. When there is a
supply shortage (ie: low listing volumes) in conjunction with high demand (ie: a large
vole of buyers), then ensuring an offer is competitive becomes incredibly important.
Brisbane is a market whereby the majority of residential property sales occur by private treaty. This
means a property is listed for sale on the major real estate portals, and once buyers have seen the
property, they can submit an offer to the seller to be considered. When there are multiple buyers
who are interested in the property, multiple offers may be submitted by a specific cut off time for
the seller’s consideration.
The objective of a seller is always to get the highest price, but they are also looking for certainty of the sale. When offers are submitted through a private treaty sales process, many of the offers will be subject to certain conditions, such as a building and pest clause or a finance clause.
A finance clause can be inserted into a contract of sale to enable a buyer to obtain a final approval
from their lender before the purchase becomes an unconditional sale. This usually involves the bank
sending a valuer to the property that has been purchased to ensure that the bank also values the
property at the purchase price. If the bank valuation comes in at the purchase price, then the
paperwork is finalised and the final approval can be issued. When a bank valuation comes in under
the purchase price, a buyer can cover the shortfall, contest the valuation, or withdraw from the sale
contract and get the deposit refunded.
To ensure that the post contract phase to obtain a final approval is fast, quite often a pre approval when buying property is
required. This means that the bank has assessed the majority of the documentation associated with
obtaining a loan for a property purchase and has provided guidance to a buyer in relation to the
amount that they can comfortably afford to pay for a property purchase.
Where we sometimes see things breaking down is when buyers don’t have a finance pre approval when buying property.
In the majority of circumstances, having a pre approval when buying property in place provides more certainty to buyers, which
in turn provides more certainty to sellers and their agents, as long as this is disclosed when making
Results from a recent study by Aussie Home Loans confirmed that 52% of property buyers do not know where to begin to obtain a finance pre approval when buying property and 54% said they had missed out on a property because they did not have a finance pre approval in place. These are very alarming statistics.
Sales Agents will often be asking buyers if they have a finance pre approval in place to ascertain the risk of
that buyer not following through with the purchase. When a contract is entered into, and a buyer is
not finance ready, then often requests for an extension of the finance clause can cause a purchase to
fall over. In a market where buyers who may have been the under bidders are waiting to hear if a
contract has crashed, there is a real risk to buyers who may not have a pre-approval in place if the
timeframe required to obtain a final approval pushes out.
The same survey by Aussie also revealed that 91% of buyers “feel stuck” which is holding them
back from making a property purchase. Reasons for this included current market conditions, competition from other buyers or not being able to find the right property.
Of course progress is within reach if buyers do their homework and get organised in advance. When
a buyer can beat the competition due to having better terms in relation to an offer, it often puts
them in a more favourable position in a highly competitive market. If two offers are made at a
similar price, then the offer with the more favourable conditions is likely to be the one that a seller
Remember, sellers want certainty, and so do their agents. Having a finance pre approval when buying property ensures that when the right property comes along, a buyer is ready to make the move. It also ensures that the offer is more competitive than others whose terms may be less favourable when there are multiple offers that a seller can choose to accept.
Property Markets cycle through periods when there are more buyers than sellers, and then when the market cools, the cycle changes and there are often more sellers than buyers. These market cycles depend on the supply of dwellings (measured through listing volumes and new homes being built), and the corresponding demand for properties (the number of buyers who are ready to purchase). Regardless of market conditions, the type of property that you need to target should never change. The focus needs to be long-term and buyers need to avoid getting caught in the fear of missing out (FOMO) that often creeps into their mindset in tough market conditions.
We see it often. When there are more buyers than sellers, people get frantic. The market moves quickly and prices often escalate at a pace that is unbelievably fast. Properties are listed, and within days they are under contract. Buyers are making quick decisions about spending huge sums of money on an asset that they will hold well into the future.
But with the frantic speed, we also see some people start to take unnecessary risks. Some of these are outlined below.
Making Cash Offers
Buyers often make offers that are no longer conditional to obtaining a final approval on finance. Whilst this can provide a competitive advantage in a seller’s market, it also exposes the buyer to a certain level of risk.
We see buyers offer to purchase properties at amounts well over the seller’s expectations. The buyer then takes on the risk that the property valuation does not come in at the purchase price. When this happens, it means the valuer can not see evidence of other sales that support the purchase price. Remember, a valuer is engaged to protect the interests of the bank. They provide the bank with the reassurance that the property will achieve the same purchase price if the property needs to be sold in the very near future.
When there is no finance clause to allow a buyer to withdraw from a contract, in the event that a property valuation does not come in at the purchase price, the buyer will have to put forward more cash or equity to cover the shortfall. When buyers do not have the capacity to cover any shortfall, then it puts the buyers in a very difficult situation. Failure to obtain the funds to settle on a property, where there is a legally binding contract in place, exposes a buyer to contract breaches, which is a dire situation to find yourself in.
Watch our video on Risks associated with making an unconditional offer
Overlooking a Building and Pest Inspection
Quite often in Brisbane, buyers will make their offer subject to a satisfactory building and pest report being obtained once a contract has been entered into. When there is a lot of competition from buyers for a property, we sometimes see buyers eliminate this condition from their offer to ensure that their offer is “cleaner” and more competitive.
The obvious risk associated with this, is that there may be major defects with the building that can not possibly be detected during a standard open house inspection. It is rarely possible to inspect the ceiling space, investigate moisture readings in walls or crawl into under-floor cavities during a standard inspection. A lot of defects or pest issues are not visible to the naked eye, so further investigation provides a level of security that the asset you are buying is not going to come with hidden surprises.
Accepting Compromises just to get into the Market
We also see buyers start to make compromises on things that they would not accept under normal market conditions. Buyers become fearful about how fast a market might be growing in value, and therefore just to get into a market they consider properties that might have impacts that will affect the asset long term.
But the focus for some buyers shifts away from the long-term outcomes. Remember property is an asset class that generally delivers superior results the longer it is owned. Making compromises just to get into the market makes little sense if it will impact the long term performance.
Taking Short Cuts
Taking the time to complete the necessary thorough due diligence is critical. In a fast moving market, it is easy to overlook the importance of thoroughly investigating a property before making an offer. When a property is only listed for a couple of days before it is under offer, every buyer should ensure that they understand all of the potential impacts on a property BEFORE they consider it a suitable purchase. By skimping on the due diligence, buyers can often be blindsided by issues that were evident if in fact, they took the time to investigate further.
Property markets always cycle through periods of boom and bust. It is inevitable that property buyers will ride the emotional journey and react in various ways that may be dependent on market conditions. FOMO is a real problem that many buyers do experience. It can really cloud judgment and cause people to make irrational decisions.
If you are feeling FOMO when looking to buy, perhaps getting professional assistance will ensure that your decisions will be focused on the long term outcomes. Buyers should NEVER take unnecessary risks or purchase a property that is not an ideal match for their circumstances. Remember, property is a long term asset and the transactional costs are high if you make a mistake. You want to get it right up front
Whether you’re visiting Brisbane for the first time with children or moving here, it’s great to have ideas on what to do around the city. To help your time in Brisbane be as enjoyable as possible, we have put together a list of child friendly activities.
So, what to do in Brisbane with Kids?
1. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is in a beautiful riverside location in Fig Tree Pocket with a range of native Australian animals. It will be hot in summer so we recommend going earlier in the morning if visiting at this time of year. Another benefit of going early is that the kangaroos won’t be having their midday sleep so the kids will have plenty of opportunities to feed them.
2. South Bank Parklands
South Bank Parklands is across the river from the CBD and provides lots of fun and free activities for kids in Brisbane. There’s swimming lagoons and Kodak beach with views to the city, a water park for the younger ones, playgrounds, cafes and restaurants.
If you are visiting in the Summer you’ll be seeking out plenty of water play opportunities! There are a few other waterparks around Brisbane – read this Brisbane Kids article for more information.
3. QAGOMA, Queensland Museum and the State Library
If you need a break from being outside these are all great options for having a cool and dry place to visit in the middle of the day.
Close by is also the Queensland Museumwith the dinosaur garden and lots of interesting and educational displays.
The State Library also provides cool relief with it’s children’s cornertucked away from the rest of the library so that the kids don’t need to be quiet. There is plenty of room to play, climb, build, explore, discover, listen to stories, and find their favourite books.
4. Roma Street Parklands
Roma Street Parklands is a lovely inner city location which has a Children’s Garden and a Parkland Explorer Train which kids love. Unfortunately due to the pandemic the train service is currently suspended. The parklands usually have outdoor movies in the summer months and a beautiful Christmas fairy garden but all of that is up in the air too. Keep an eye out on the Brisbane City Council website for updates on events in the parklands here and for the Parklands Explorer Train here.
There are excellent playgrounds for the kids and plenty of green space to lay a picnic blanket and enjoy relaxing in the beautiful gardens.
5. City Cat tour of the City
Whilst you’re close to the CBD you could also explore along the Brisbane River. There are multiple stops for the city cat along the river to visit New Farm Parkwhich has an excellent playground and the Brisbane Powerhouse which has art exhibitions and various live shows.
Howard Smith Wharves along the river has a wonderful view of the Story Bridge and city as well as cafes and restaurants. There’s green space where you can lay a picnic rug and order food from Felon’s Brewing Co. so that the kids don’t have to sit still in a chair. Click here for a list of the restaurants – the Gelateria comes highly recommended!
Kangaroo Point Cliffs is a great place for a walk or picnic and to watch the rock climbers and abseilers. If you like to be a part of the action, Riverlife provides many guided outdoor activities and hire of equipment.
6. Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre and Enoggera Reservoir
The Discovery Centre does have a small admission fee and you do need to book online to make sure you get in – especially in the holidays. If you’re booking into the weekend show that includes your admission to the centre:
The Wildlife Discovery Show is a Ranger-led presentation every Saturday and Sunday at 11.00am and 1.30pm. Your ticket purchase also includes same-day admission into our Wildlife Centre.
The Enoggera Reservoir provides an opportunity for a natural swimming experience complete with turtle spotting. There is a section designated for swimmers and outside of that non-motorised watercraft can be used. Walkabout Creek Adventures provides hire of equipment to enjoy on the water or on land. Please note that the area near the swimming location is quite rocky and you will need a picnic blanket to enjoy sitting there.
7. Moreton Bay Beaches
If you have transport and are interested in exploring a bit further afield then head north east to Sandgate Beach and surrounds where it’s fun for the kids to have a paddle and walk on the mudflats at low tide. There’s plenty to explore in this area so have a look here for more ideas – Visit Brisbane.
It gets very busy here with line ups for fish & chips so try to have an early lunch or picnic.
We hope this helps you to plan what to do in Brisbane with kids. Enjoy!!!
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