Frequently Asked Questions
Q. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
A. Our ideal aim to have a property sold is within 30 days – assuming the price has been set based on the current market evidence and climate.
Q. WHAT ‘S THE PROCESS INVOLVED?
A. The property is marketed for sale at a fixed price or an indicative range. When an offer to purchases is written up with a buyer, we present this offer to you for discussion and negotiation. If the offer is accepted, we instruct your Conveyancer to prepare the Transfer of Land document and to adjust rates and taxes. Settlement takes place in due course and possession takes place once settlement has been effected.
Q. DO YOU HAVE RECENT TESTIMONIALS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE BUSINESS WITH YOU?
A. There are some in this document and even more at our offices. Just ask to see them.
Q. WHAT ARE THE TYPES OFSELLING AUTHORITIES?
A. There are two types of authorities to sell , they are:
1. Exclusive Plus Authority
This Authority allows Bourkes to market and promote your property exclusively. We will conjunct (or co-operate) with other reputable agents to sell your home. If they have a buyer, we simply share the commission. We circulate information to other REIWA agents to advise them we will co-operate with them in selling your property.
So an Exclusive Authority is a ‘misnomer’ as we won’t be the only agent selling your property. Other agents will ring us and ask if they can show their buyers through your home.
We will co-ordinate viewings with you and/or your tenant (if it’s rented). We will accompany the agent through the viewing. The Authority can be for any period you nominate but generally it is for 90 or 120 days.
2. Auction Authority
In a market of high demand and low supply, the Auction method is an excellent way to maximize price and so this within a 30 day period. Deceased estates, land releases and mortgagee sales use this method as there can be no dispute that the highest price was obtained on the day.
The process is that we appraise your property and suggest a reserve price, ie a price below which you shouldn’t sell. On the day, the highest bidder (at or in excess of the reserve price) will pay to the Auctioneer 5 – 10% deposit and the balance of the funds within 30 days. The promotion costs would be $3,000 to $4,000 – this however, can be made up by one extra bid alone.
Q. SHOULD I LEAVE WHEN YOU SHOW SOMEONE THROUGH MY HOME AND AT HOME OPENS?
A. Yes please. Buyers prefer to discuss your property without being overheard. With you present, it inhibits discussion and makes the sales process harder.
Q. DO I NEED TO PUT VALUABLES AWAY BEFORE A HOME OPEN?
A. Yes , purely for safety sake. We have never had item go missing in years of property sales but it is still
Q. WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE WHAT MY SALES REP IS DOING?
A. He | she will always take recommendations and suggestions from you. If you wish to discuss any issue directly with the Principal, please feel free to do so. Alan’s mobile number is 0419 474 240.
Q. CAN I WITHDRAW FROM THE AGREEMENT PRIOR TO IT EXPIRING?
A. You can change your mind and not sell your home, though two things are relevant.
1) You are then liable for advertising expended during the listing period and
2) you can’t give it to another agent during this time.
Q. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE GET AN OFFER?
A. Your listing representative will discuss the maximum amount the buyer can pay, we try and achieve this be negotiation.
Q. DO I HAVE TO SELL IF YOU PRESENT ME WITH AN OFFER?
A. No. We will charge no commission unless you are happy with the offer and property settlement goes through.
Q. HOW DO I DEAL WITH OFFERS INVOLVING SELLING ANOTHER PROPERTY?
A. We suggest we continue to market your property and we insert a “2 Business Day Clause” on the Offer. This allows the buyer the first right of refusal. If a second Offer comes in that doesn’t involve a subject sale, the original buyers then have 2 working days to go unconditional and settle within 30 days.
Q. HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO ACCEPT | COUNTER AN OFFER?
A. There is no legal limit but we recommend 24 hours.
Negotiating a Sale
Q. What is an Offer?
A. An offer to purchase a residential property made by a buyer is called an ‘Offer and Acceptance’ contract. It must be in writing and only becomes legally binding once it has been fully executed by all parties (the Seller and the Buyer). The contract may include:
- The name and address of the Buyers(s)
- A Deposit – payable by the Buyer upon Acceptance and held in Trust
- A Purchase Price
- Settlement Date – the date on which the property transfers from Seller to Buyer and the balance of the Purchase Price is paid in full
- Finance Clause – if the Offer is subject to Finance Approval from a Lender of the Buyers choice
- Special Conditions – Termite Inspection / Structural Inspection / Sellers Warranty
Negotiating a Price
Once you have received an Offer on your property, your Sales Representative will make recommendations to you. At this stage, you have three options:
- Accept the Offer
- Make a ‘counter offer’ to the Buyer
- Reject the Offer
Whatever your decision, this must be in writing and communicated to the Buyer.
Q. What are the standard conditions of an Offer?
A. Some of the more common conditions and Special Conditions on an Offer include (but are not limited to):
- Subject to Finance – whereby the Buyer makes an application for Finance from a nominated Lender within a specified time frame
- Subject to a Structural Inspection – to ascertain whether the property has any ‘structural defects’ (at the buyer’s expense)
- Subject to a Termite Inspection – to ascertain whether the property is free from termite activity (at the buyer’s expense)
How frequently can the rent be increased?
Rents cannot be raised more than six monthly.
With a fixed-term lease, if the owner is going to increase the rent during the term of the lease it must be in the contract as a condition of the lease.
It can either refer to an increase of a dollar amount, such as $10, or alternatively it can stipulate a method of increase, such as the Consumer Price Index. Only one method per rent review is permitted. The owner must provide a 60 day notice period of the new rental price.
If a tenant is on a periodic lease, the owner must give a 60 day notice period of the new rental price provided that the rent had not been increased in the previous six months.
If sending the notice by post, it is advisable for owners to add six days on top of the mandated 60 day notice period to allow for postage delivery.
Can a tenant withhold rent?
No. If the owner does not honour his or her obligations under the lease agreement the tenant is not legally able to withhold rent.
If a tenant withholds rent, they may be issued with a Notice of Breach of Agreement.
How often can a real estate agent carry out routine inspections?
Not more than four times each year. Inspections must be held between 8am and 6pm. Tenants must be advised if the inspection is before midday or after midday.
How much notice must a real estate agent/owner give for inspecting the property?
Not less than seven days or more than 14 days.
The property I am renting is for sale. How much notice should the owner/agent give me for prospective buyers to inspect the property?
The Residential Tenancies Act states that the owner or agent may enter the property for the purpose of showing the premises to prospective purchasers, at any reasonable hour and on a reasonable number of occasions, after giving tenant reasonable notice.
This can be in writing or by mutual agreement, such as a phone conversation or a person to person chat.
In other words, this is not expressly defined but common sense and courtesy must prevail.
Are you Top Property Managers?
We are proud to have been awarded the 2019 REIWA Medium Agency of the Year Award, 2019 − RateMyAgent Agency of the Year for Como and South Perth, 2017 REIWA Medium Agency of the Year Award, 2013 REIWA Top Large Agency of the Year together with our Principal, Alan Bourke winning the prestigious 2015 “Kevin Sullivan Award” for services to the Real Estate industry.
When do I get my Rent?
We receipt the Tenants rent throughout the Month and pay all funds to owners on the last day of each month. From these funds we will pay whatever disbursements you have instructed us to pay eg Shire Rates / Strata Levies etc
What are Property Inspections?
These are inspections, by the Property Managers, of a property detailing its presentation once a tenant has moved in.
Property Managers inspect 6 weeks after occupancy and then 3 monthly thereafter. If a Tenant has been residing there long term, inspection times can be extended to save money.
What is a Letting Fee?
This is a fee to the Agent to attract a suitable tenant to Let/occupy your investment. This fee covers Home Opens, Private Viewings, completing the Reference and Credit checks on them to verify they are suitable Tenants (this is equivalent to 2 weeks rent plus GST)
How do I evict a Tenant?
If you need to move back into your property and there is a Monthly or Periodical Tenancy in place you can give the Tenant a 60 day Notice to Vacate. They in turn might find a home quicker and advise you in writing they will vacate in 21 days. Otherwise you have to wait 60 days.
If a Tenant has a fixed lease then you can’t evict them unless they are not paying the rent or they are damaging the property. In that case you need to serve written notice to remedy this breach of the Tenancy Agreement. If they fail to do so you must seek an order through the Magistrates Court Residential to gain vacant possession.
What if a tenant trashes my property?
This is a major concern for any investor, though in reality a very rare occurrence. If this were to happen we take the tenant to the Magistrates Court. Their bond of 4 weeks rent is used to make good. If there is extra costs this is paid by the Tenant via Court Order. If it can’t be collected by the Tenant, it is paid by your Landlord Protection Insurance. This is why we recommend Landlord Protection Insurance.
What happens if the tenant does not pay the agreed rent?
A basic obligation of a tenant is to pay rent. If rent is not paid by an agreed date, the tenant is in breach of the lease and the owner or property manager can seek to end the tenancy.
The tenancy may be ended through two alternatives.
Firstly, not less than one day after the rent should have been paid, the owner may issue a Breach Notice or Non Payment of Rent Form. This notice requires the tenant to pay all outstanding rent within 14 days.
If after 14 days the rent remains unpaid, the owner may issue a Notice of Termination for Non Payment of Rent. This notice seeks to terminate the tenancy agreement and requires the tenant to leave the property within seven days.
Secondly, not less than one day after the rent should have been paid, the owner may issue a Notice of Termination for Non-Payment of Rent. The notice warns the tenant that unless the outstanding rent is paid within the next seven days, the owner or property manager may apply to the court for an order to terminate the tenancy agreement.
If sending the notice by post, it is advisable for owners to add six on top of the mandated 14 and seven day periods to allow for postage delivery. Tenants can reasonably expect this courtesy also.
What if I have a squatter?
There are no Squatters Rights in WA. If the Tenant refuses to pay the rent then there are Court remedies (see above)
If the person in the property has no lease then it becomes a Police matter, ie breaking & entering without consent & they are removed.
What if I want to Sell when there is a tenant in there?
If the Tenant has a lease or even a Periodical lease then a sale doesn’t cancel a lease. The sale must be made subject to the tenancy, ie the buyer inherits the tenant.
If there is a Monthly/Periodic tenancy then there are two notice periods to a tenant to vacate.
60 days – to terminate without a reason
30 days – if an offer has been accepted on the home
(Consult your Property Advisor on these matters)
What if the Tenant doesn’t look after the property?
The tenant can be breached for presentation/cleanliness and if they don’t comply then a Court Order through the Magistrates Court can see them evicted. An application to the Magistrates court will solve the following problems:
- More Tenants in the house than on the lease
- Killing the lawn
- Damaging the property etc