MS Charity Fun Run

It is now two and a half weeks until I compete in the MS 8km Charity Fun Run in Sydney. The course includes some serious hills around Milsons Point with a grand sprinting finish next to the iconic face at Luna Park.

Multiple Sclerosis is the most common disease of the central nervous system and affects over 18,000 Australians.

This is the second time I have participated in this event raising money for MS research and it’s also the second time I have wished I did a lot more training!

If you would like to sponsor me and donate to this wonderful organisation please follow the link.

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Mixed Auction Results

Last weeks local auction results involved several last minute withdrawal of properties and wrong signage and generally caused a bit of confusion. At this stage it seems that 3 properties were withdrawn from their auction campaign and are now being advertised for sale. For the other 6 properties scheduled for auction last week, 3 sold under the hammer, 2 sold prior and 1 was passed in with a vendor bid. Overall our local result was good with a 55% clearance rate compared with the Home Price Guide Sydneywide figure of 60%.

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Lender Withdraws Unconditional Approval

We commenced a Sydney investment project based on the client’s wish to buy two apartments. As per our practice, we sought and received the finance pre-approval based on the client’s current interstate investment properties being 100% owned.

After 2.5 months of researching and inspecting, our offers on two separate properties on behalf of our client were accepted based on a 0.25% deposit. Both contracts were signed with a 5 day cooling-off period. The outcome of the due-diligence was positive including the lender’s valuation. Un-conditional finance was issued.

Three days into the cooling-off period, the lender emailed the client requesting a copy of the title deeds of the interstate properties. On receiving the facsimile of the deeds, the lender then asked for the originals. The client was in possession of only the photocopies of the deeds (never bothered to ask for the originals when the loans were paid off). The client contacted the interstate lender and requested the originals to be air-expressed next day to Sydney. The lender could not comply because they could not find the originals and advised they will have to arrange for duplicate originals to be issued by the relevant government department.

Consequently, the Sydney lender withdrew the un-conditional approval and the acquisition of the two Sydney properties fell through.

The morale of this experience is two-fold:

1. Ensure you are in possession of the original title of your property.
2. Unconditional finance approval is neither un-conditional nor a guarantee.


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Sneak Peak

We have been very busy this week, new listings for Beach and Bay Realty include 12/1-5 Searl Rd, Cronulla – a modern 2 bedroom apartment, 5/16-18 Girrilang Rd, Cronulla – a 3 bedroom beachside townhouse and 3/6-10 Ruby Rd, Gymea – an enormous 3 bedroom townhouse.

Both Searl Rd & Girrilang Rd are on our sales website for you to view, Ruby Rd’s photos were taken yesterday so will be on the web early next week but inspections available from tomorrow.

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Avoid Disappointment

Anyone involved in a real estate transaction at the moment would know that finance approval is taking much longer than even a month ago. One of the reasons for the change is due to the recent tightening of the banks criteria for loan approval. Financial institutions have imposed tougher checks with buyers having to show savings and requiring 10% deposits. In addition, the banks have been inundated with first home buyer applications and having laid off staff since the credit crunch, this has exacerbated the delays.

Agents, solicitors and conveyancers are now adapting to these new circumstances by agreeing to 10 day “cool off” periods as opposed to 5 day “cool off” periods which has always been standard conveyancing policy. Where formal loan approvals previously took days, they now take weeks.

Since the budget last night has extended the first home buyer grants till 30th September, it might alleviate this finance approval back log.

For those selling and buying at auction where there is no cool off period available, the time frame for finance is even more critical. Agents have expanded auction campaigns from 4 weeks to 5 or even 6 weeks.

So if you are looking to buy a property in the near future and you need finance, see your broker or bank first, before you fall in love with the property and are devastated when you miss out.

The weekend auction clearance rate in our local real estate market was only 33% compared with the 73.5% Sydney wide Home Price Guide result.

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April 2009 was an eventful month for most agents in the area, despite the month being full of public holidays including the Easter weekend early in the month and Anzac day falling on a Saturday. Even so Beach & Bay has been busy with sales from Lilli Pilli to Cronulla, from first home buyer properties to luxury homes. Some of our sales this month include 14 Holly St, Caringbah South, 8 Warrington Ave, Caringbah (sold in 1 week), 22 Rawson Pde, Caringbah South, 9 Seaview St, Cronulla, 10/65 Ewos Pde, Cronulla and 10 Lilli Pilli Pt Rd, Lilli Pilli (sold 2 weeks prior to auction).

We would all like to congratulate our vendors and purchasers on their sales and purchases and wish everyone a stress-free move!

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Buyers Agents and Power of Attorney

I recently had an unpleasant experience with a vendor’s solicitor while I represented my overseas based client in buying a property in Sydney.  It was resolved when the references shown here were presented as evidence that our client’s documentation was correct and in full compliance with the current regulations.

Buyers Agents and Power of Attorney

Buyer’s agents sometimes use a power of attorney to bid on a client’s behalf at an auction. Here’s a guide to help sort out the process.

A power of attorney is a formal document by which the buyer gives their buyers agent  the power to represent them and act on their behalf in the purchase of a property. State laws might defer.  Refer to NSW Public Trustee for example

A buyer who cannot be physically present at the auction (due for example to being overseas) and might wish to give a power of attorney to their buyer’s agent who can actually be there. Alternatively, the buyer might choose not to be physically present at an auction to avoid being recognised. Here are some examples:

  • the buyer might have previously negotiated to buy the property but the deal fell through;
  • the buyer might be a developer who had already bought five houses in a row and wishes to buy the sixth;
  • the property might be one half of a duplex and the buyer owns the other half;

In the above circumstances and many others, the buyer might choose to give a buyer’s agent a power of attorney to attend the auction on their behalf and bid for the property.

If the buyer’s agent has a power of attorney, they don’t have to declare who they are representing when registering at the auction, in accordance with Clause 15(4) of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Regulation 2003

Note that this exemption only applies if the buyer’s agent has a power of attorney and not just a letter of authority – and there is a difference.

At first glance a power of attorney and a letter of authority can appear to be similar concepts. Like a power of attorney, a letter of authority enables someone to bid on another’s behalf. For example, a buyer might give their agent a letter of authority to bid on their behalf because they lack confidence at auctions – perhaps they’re afraid they won’t be able to keep their cool and will accidentally bid past what they can afford – and so wish for their agent to bid instead.

The Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 No 66 provides in section 69(1)(b) that a letter of authority must include the prospective buyer’s name, address and identifying number of their proof of identity. This letter of authority must be produced when registering prior to the auction.

Fred Haggar – Buyers Agent

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