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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BUSY MONTH FOR BEACH & BAY

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

Property Search 4 U

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Classroom In Ghana Complete!

Late last year I left my receptionist position at Beach & Bay Realty for Ghana – West Africa for 3 months where I worked as a volunteer with Antipodeans Abroad at a primary school, teaching English to Year 5 students.

Initially realising that there were no toilet facilities at the school (in fact there was no running water supply nearby), I wanted to build some drop toilets for the students. However, when I approached the principal she asked for help building a classroom (as two grades were cramped into one room).

I sent a few emails back home and was overjoyed when I received positive feedback and pledges of support.

Beach & Bay Realty generously donated a large sum of money (usually allocated for our annual Sutherland Shire Christmas card competition) and I also received some donations from Beach & Bay Realty clients which was absolutely fantastic!

Along with this another volunteer friend from the Sutherland Shire received donations from the company Elgas Australia where her father worked.

The whole process was a learning experience and overcoming the language barriers and coordinating the workers was certainly a challenge!

Construction work in Ghana isn’t too concerned with Occupational Health & Safety and it was quite confronting watching scaffolding made from off cut wood and bamboo go up, having carpenters without shoes and transporting huge cement blocks on their head!

The classroom that was built was the first in the school to be reinforced with iron pillars, have windows and double doors and to be fully secured with locks.

Big thanks to all who showed interest. The teachers and students were so excited during the building process and are very grateful that people on the other side of the world cared about their little school.

My relationship with Ghana and this particular primary school has not ended since arriving back to Sydney and I hope to continue to support them in the future.

If you are interested in getting involved please do not hesitate to send an email to info@beachandbay.com.au.

Also if you would like further information about Ghana – please view this great blog. http://gisforghana.blogspot.com/

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Smart Vendor, Smart Art

The presentation of a property can leave a lasting impression on prospective buyers and can help maximise a homes selling value. The more presentable and appealing to the eye a property is, the more chance a vendor will have in selling that property for their desired price.

One low cost option which can create a dramatic and striking effect is adding artwork to walls. For instance, blank walls that give a room a sterile, dark or empty look can be transformed using art work with colour, texture and metallic themes.

One business which knows all about changing the visual appreciation of a room by introducing colour with affordable art on canvas is Smart Art Cronulla. Their artwork can be bought or leased for the required duration of a property’s marketing campaign. To save time (and for best results) the owners John Edmonds and Almis Mestrovic will visit the property and assess the size, colour and style of artwork that will offer the best impact for each required room, and create that “Wow” factor that we all look for.

There are many other ways to enhance the appeal of a home, from removing clutter, steam cleaning carpets, paintings walls where necessary, ensuring there are no odours and giving each room a bright, modern feel.

The small added costs a vendor may have to pay to improve the look of their property could well be the saving of potentially having to drop their original asking price because of lack of interest from buyers. This saving could be anywhere from say, $10K.

Smart Art Cronulla have a showroom that displays a range of over 600 pieces of art and is located at – Unit 11, 59-63 Captain Cook Drive, Caringbah (Entrance from Willarong Rd), you can also visit their website to view their gallery at www.smartartcronulla.com.au.

Contact Details: 02 9544 2273

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Local Auction Results

The week started well with a “sold prior” result and then on Saturday 3 more properties sold under the hammer. Unfortunately there were also 2 properties passed in with a vendor bid and 2 properties withdrawn from auction on Saturday.

The auction clearance rate was 50% for last week compared with the Sydneywide result of 68% as published by the Home Price Guide in the Sun Herald for 29th March 2009.

Please note, the Sun Heralds results were not exactly accurate on the weekend.

When a property is passed in with a vendor bid it must be noted as a vendor bid.

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OVER 12 MONTHS OF LOCAL REAL ESTATE SALES DATA

Our interactive website including the Sutherland Shire’s first real estate blog has now been running for over 12 months.

Our main aim last year was to provide free and useful information on sales in our local real estate market of Cronulla, Woolooware, Caringbah, Caringbah South, Burraneer, Lilli Pilli, Dolans Bay and Port Hacking(officially no longer a suburb) and in particular the auction results in these suburbs.

The information now found in the auction results section is extensive and very informative and for buyers, sellers, agents and anyone interested in real estate in this area, our website is fast becoming the first point of reference.

We hope you all continue to use the website and this year we will be adding new features and we look forward to your input.

We are getting great feedback from local agents (yes our competitors) who are happy to provide us with information of their results because we are listing all agents auctions and in return they have free access to the data on the site.

Just to remind you we would like to encourage input from the public as well, whether you are a neighbour, vendor, auctioneer, buyer or friend and you attend an auction in Cronulla, Burraneer, Caringbah, Caringbah South, Woolooware, Lilli Pilli and Dolans Bay please ring us or email at info@beachandbay.com.au or log on direct to the website and let us know the result. You can tell us as little or as much as you like. Mainly we are interested in knowing if it sold or passed in at auction and what price, or if you were driving past the property the day before and noticed a sold sticker we would love to have that information so we can save people the trip on auction day!

I should mention the blog as well since it was the first real estate blog in the Sutherland Shire. If you look at my blogs this time last year the headings gives a clear indication of how things have changed in only 12 months. For example, March 13th, 2008 my blog heading reads “Enough of the Rate Rises!”. The Reserve Bank didn’t read my blog obviously. Wow how things have changed. One thing I did learn from writing the blogs is that not many people comment, I was a bit disheartened at first but what I have learned since is that you are reading my blogs, and more and more of you each month so I don’t mind that you are shy!

Anyway, thank you for your participation, I hope you continue to visit us at www.beachandbay.com.au and www.beachandbay.com.au/blog and www.beachandbay.com.au/auction

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Sunday Papers – Lack of Local Sale Results

Agents are getting fed up with the Sunday papers as they keep publishing old sale prices, so more than ever our auction tracking system is viewed as a primary source of auction results data. (Just to remind everyone we cover the suburbs of Cronulla, Burraneer, Woolooware, Caringbah, Caringbah South, Dolans Bay and Lilli Pilli). For example, even though I sold 134 Ewos Pde, Cronulla 2 weeks prior to the auction the sale wasn’t published when it happened, nor was it published on the weekend of its scheduled auction (21st March, 2009). It seems the papers can’t keep up with the results and the internet has a lot to do with this.

For the first time statistics are coming out that show vendors and buyers are finding their agents and properties online! Several factors have worked in favour of the internet and have helped the internet overtake the use of newspapers for advertising, not in the least being the global financial crisis (GFC)! The need for people to reduce their spending in all areas has greatly boosted internet usage and not just in real estate. The internets cost effectiveness combined with its ease of use and flexibility make it the ideal medium for buying and selling real estate, so much so it is hard to imagine a time when we didn’t use it.

With regard to recent sales, here are some private treaty sales achieved by our office in the last few weeks which you might not have seen in the papers!

1 Gardenia St, Cronulla $2mil
3 Gardenia St, Cronulla $1.9mil
8 Bonnie Doon Place, Burraneer $1,020,000      (land sale)
3 Leumeah St, Cronulla $1.45mil

PS   Last week’s local auction clearance rate was 55% (10 out of 18 properties sold) compared with Home Price Guide’s 74.6% Sydneywide result.

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AUCTION UNIQUENESS IN SOUTH CRONULLA

March is one of the most popular times of the year to sell real estate, the weather in Sydney is still warm and there are no public holidays or long weekends to interrupt a marketing campaign compared with April which normally has the Easter long weekend and Anzac Day holidays. So this week there are 18 properties scheduled for auction (up from 9 for last week). Two of these have already sold prior. One of these was Beach & Bay’s sale of 134 Ewos Pde in South Cronulla which sold prior to its 21st March auction for $730,000. This unique property is the perfect example of why some properties should be marketed with an auction campaign – the property had an unusually small land size of 297m2 approx with a 3 bedroom brick house on it, located in a prime position on the corner of Ewos Pde and Rostrevor, only 100m to The Esplanade and surrounded by multi million dollar homes! How do you put an asking price on this? You don’t, one of the main criteria for a good auction is the uniqueness level of the property! And this property had it in bucket loads!


 

Last week’s local auction clearance rate was 55% or 5 out of 9 properties being sold, compared with the Sydneywide clearance rate (from Home Price Guide) of 71%. It seems Michael Clarke and Lara Bingle are not ready to leave the Shire just yet with their property being one of the 2 being withdrawn from auction last week.

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