Property investors head to Brisbane | Suburb due diligence | How to build a 170+ property portfolio? | How to reduce Your investment's risk? | Is there a bubble in Australian property?

Property investors head to Brisbane | Suburb due diligence | How to build a 170+ property portfolio? | How to reduce Your investment's risk? | Is there a bubble in Australian property?

Queensland is emerging the hot state and I am not reefing to the temperature. More than half of all respondents to an Australian Property Investor Survey indicated the Sunshine State was where their next investment would be. We talk to the report’s author who says “The Brisbane market has moved from recovery to growth but has not yet entered a ‘boom’ market, so there is plenty of opportunity.” We will tell you where those opportunities exist.
This week we look at the trend leading buyers to invest outside of the city limits due mainly to the emergence of major transport systems and roads. We also look at why so many investors struggle to get past one investment property.
Following on from that trend, as with any asset class, real estate comes with its own set of cautionary tales about the potential hazards and pitfalls. Many things can go wrong and the risk is amplified if you leap in without first seeking professional advice and devising a sound strategy and investment plan. But does that mean you should avoid property investment entirely? Of course not, says Michael Yardney and he details why.
Young property investor Nathan Birch became interested in property at 13 and started investing at 18.  He can now say he has over 170 properties in his portfolio. Hear his amazing story.
We talk agency agreements with solicitor Garth Brown and some of the conditions on those agreements you should be aware of before you sign with an agent to sell your property.
Bryce Yardney shares his experience on how to choose a location for property development. After you have done your initial investigation, what you should be looking for in an area. He also tells us where he sees many aspiring developers go wrong.


Bryce Yardney

Kevin:  My special guest this time is Bryce Yardney. We’re talking to Bryce about development, and in this chat, I’m going to be talking to him about the suburb due diligence that you need to do.
By way of introduction, Bryce is a property development specialist, having successfully completed many development projects. Initially working as a project manager at Metropole since completing his Bachelor of Project Management in 2011, he now also acts as a buyer’s agent for clients, sourcing and evaluating properties with development potential.
Bryce, thank you and welcome to the show.
Bryce:  Thanks, Kevin.
Kevin:  We’ll look firstly at suburb due diligence, and I think we’ll follow that up in a later chat when we look at property due diligence. What do you look for when you’re assessing locations in where you’re going to undertake a development?
Bryce:  Let’s assume that people have done their homework on where they want to invest, and I’ll start talking a bit about development. What we look for in areas we do our development in are areas that are gentrifying, where older houses are past their use-by date, ready to be knocked down and be developed into new homes and new developments. You always want a mix of both in there. You don’t want too much development and you don’t want too many single homes, either.
Areas that are gentrifying – wealthier younger families are moving in, older people are starting to move out. It’s the younger wealthier families who are going to underpin the market there, as well. That’s one of the key things we look for, as well.
We look for councils that are constantly putting back into their infrastructure, their schools, their railways – the things that are going to add value to the area. On councils, you have to make sure that the council you’re dealing with is a development-friendly council, and there are many out there that just aren’t development friendly at the moment.
Kevin:  How can you tell that they are development-friendly? Apart from asking, of course.
Bryce:  There are really two things. One is you can do your homework and have a look on their website, have a chat to them over their phone, and find out their policies. And it’s not just the policies that you can find out on the Web; unfortunately, you also have to know their under-the-counter policies, as well.
Kevin:  What are under-the-counter policies?
Bryce:  They’re the ones that they’re not going to tell you over the phone, they’re not going to tell you on the Internet. They’re the ones that you’re only going to unfortunately know by having gone through the process three, four, or five times – been there, done that. They’re the ones that they enforce with general terms that aren’t really objective; they’re more subjective things.
Kevin:  Can you give me an example?
Bryce:  I’ll give you a good example of one that we’re dealing with a lot at the moment. They’re using the term “visual bulk.” What does visual bulk mean? There’s no measurement of a side boundary that you have to be set back from to make your development not visually bulky. All they’re saying is perhaps you’re standing in your neighbor’s private open space, your neighbor’s backyard, and you look up and see this visually bulky development.
What does that mean? Who knows? It’s really a case-by-case thing, and councils are using this term “visual bulk” to cut back on developments and say, “No, the development is too visually bulky.” If you ask them to quantify that and say, “Okay, so what do we have to be set back on our rear boundary, on our side boundaries?” there’s no answer to it. It’s one of those under the counter things that they use to get what they want.
Kevin:  It’s a bit case-by-case, is it? Does it help if they know the architect you’re using?
Bryce:  Absolutely. Having gone through it a couple of times and having the experience with them, knowing the consultants and team behind the development helps. Absolutely. Unfortunately, sometimes it is still a case-by-case thing, but you can increase your odds, I guess.
Kevin:  Just to round this chat out, Bryce, what are some of the biggest mistakes you see budding developers make when they’re looking for a suburb with development potential?
Bryce:  Two things. The first one is that people always look for that hot spot, they look for the next big thing, rather than areas that have always done well and probably will always do well. They make that mistake of jumping onto the hot spot.
The second one comes back to what we were talking about earlier, about having the wrong team behind you. Consultants in terms of development costs are a relatively small percentage. People try to save money on these things instead of looking for value. So having that right team around you and maybe spending a few extra dollars on that will really make a difference in your returns at the end of the development.
Kevin:  A really good summation there on how to find a suburb to do a development in. Next time you come back, we’ll have a look at the property due diligence you need to do once you’ve decided on the suburb.
Bryce Yardney has been my guest. Bryce, thanks for your time.
Bryce:  Thanks, Kevin.

Nathan Birch

Kevin:  My next guest is Nathan Birch. We spoken to Nathan on the show before. Nathan started his fascination with property at the age of 13. We’re not going to give away your age now. It’s irrelevant, really. Nathan is very skilled at being a property investor.
Property had something to do with your background, do you think, Nathan?
Nathan:  Actually, at the age of 13, I got excited by investing in property. Coming from a blue-collar working family, I wanted to be rich and thought property was the way. I got excited at the young age of 13 and wasn’t able to sign a contract until I was 18. Giving away my age, I just turned 30, and my property portfolio is very strong at 170+ properties.
Kevin:  That’s an amazing number of properties. I think the latest stats I saw were around about $30 million worth. The thing that amazes me is we hear a lot of people who have a lot of property but in your case, I think, you’ve driven for it to be neutral or positively geared. Is that correct?
Nathan:  That is very important to me, yes. Managing the cash flow is something that is close to my heart, because building a sizable property portfolio isn’t really possible if you cash flow position. It could sink or make you.
Kevin:  Some people would say at age 30, you’re more than capable of taking on mortgages because you’ve been working for quite some time, but it’s commendable that you haven’t done that. How hard is it in this environment to find property that is either neutral or positively geared?
Nathan:  I think it’s the same problems I’ve experienced for last decade – be it finding the right properties that is going to fit into the portfolio to make you successful, that side of things. A lot of the properties that I bought in the early days weren’t positive cash flow. They were just neutral cash flow. But what happens over time, investing in capital cities and whatnot, the actual rents will rise and turn into a positive state.
The Sydney property market at the moment isn’t really the best market. We can’t find highly cash-flowed properties. However, the two states that I do find it is very possible are Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and Adelaide. Those are the spots that I’m looking at and purchasing in actively in the current market.
Kevin:  Talking about cash flow, obviously in this low interest rate environment, it’s very tempting for people to go out and borrow as much as they possibly can. Do you think that’s a bit of a mistake?
Nathan:  It’s something that just depends. If we’re looking at the Sydney market, which is at the highest point it’s ever been, if you’re pushing yourself and having a very high LVR, I think that it could be a bit fraught with danger.
However, if you’re looking at markets like Brisbane, southeast Queensland, and Gold Coast, those markets have been depressed since the GFC – so for about seven or eight years, the markets have been very, very depressed. I’m picking up properties there all the time that are still $50,000 less than what they were selling for seven or eight years ago.
Looking at the cash flow positions on them, they are positive cash flow. You can pick up properties for $200, $250 or even for $300, $350, $360 per week. From that perspective, if you built a portfolio of ten of them, the boom is on its way to that region, and obviously, the pricing is going to go up. It’s not like it’s on its way down.
Kevin:  Where do you sit on the debate about interest-only and principal-and-interest repayments?
Nathan:  Good question, Kevin. From a perspective of interest-only and principal-and-interest, I think a lot of people get caught up in the fact that you want to pay down the property as quick as possible. Paying off the property as quick as possible is one way of looking at it.
I’ve always looked at investing as there are different phases that you go through. One of the phases is obviously educating yourself on what you’re trying to do as a property investor. The next one is accumulation, and the third one is consolidation.
For me, personally, looking at accumulating properties, you need to keep yourself as lean and as thin as possible from a cash flow perspective. In that instance, I think in the early years, it’s best to be interest-only.
The reason being is if you want to have five properties in your portfolio – or ten properties or whatever – if you’re paying an extra $50 per week out of your pocket to pay the property down, that could be $50 per week going toward your next deal. I’d rather be paging through a property cycle, an extra property, an extra ten properties, or an extra 20 properties through a market cycle, not just trying to pay it down and have no debt.
Debt is a part of good investment strategy – but minimizing debt, as well. I’m not a big fan of 90% and 95% loans. I’m a big advocate for 20% deposits. That is something I’ve done in my personal property investing journey but also bearing in mind that paying down the property is just a numbers thing.
The view in the future is you should always be paying down debt. What I mean by that is I look back on my properties that I bought ten or 12 years ago that I might owe $530,000 on and they’re worth $450,000 or $500,000. If I only owe $100,000 on each, that’s only 20% LVR that I have in the current market. I would rather have ten of those sort of results than five of those results if I had being pay down those mortgages.
The reality of it is that five or ten years on, what is the difference between owing $100,000 or $80,000. I’d rather be making that $400,000 spread on the other side.
Kevin:  That’s all good leverage. Nathan, we’re out of time, mate, but thank you very much for your time. Nathan Birch has been my guest, and the website is
Nathan, thanks again for your time.
Nathan:  My pleasure, Kevin. Thanks for having me on the show.

Michael Yardney

Kevin:  Like with anything in life, everything comes with risk. So, too, does property investing.
I’m going to talk to Michael Yardney now. He wrote an article recently that was featured on our site about how you can reduce some of those risk factors involved in property investment.
Good day, Michael. How are you?
Michael:  Hello, Kevin.
Kevin:  Michael, of course, is from Metropole Properties and is always a regular on our show.
Take us through the things that you find that can actually reduce our risk exposure.
Michael:  I think this is a good topic because it’s one of the things that holds people back. They’re worried about all the things their mates tell them can go wrong, and so therefore they don’t go ahead. That’s not a reason not to invest. I think it’s important to know what the potential risks are and be prepared for them.
Kevin:  What’s the first one?
Michael:  One of the big ones that people are scared of is vacancy. They’re worried that the property is going to be vacant for a long period of time and they’re not going to have rent coming in and they’re not going to be able to pay the mortgage.
Even today, current vacancy rates are a little higher than normal, and that means rents aren’t moving up much, but if you price your property correctly – and if you have the right sort of property – then vacancies shouldn’t be more than a couple of weeks.
I guess the way you minimize this is buying the right sort of property in areas where there’s a wide range, a reasonable demographic, of potential tenants. That’s why I avoid mining towns, regional areas, and holiday locations, because that’s where you tend to get the large fluctuations when there’s sometimes lots of people and sometimes hardly anyone wanting to rent your property.
Kevin:  Also with commercial property, I would think?
Michael:  Much the same, too. You want to be in the main roads where there’s always going to be lots of people walking past to help pay the rent for the tenant of your property.
Another way of minimizing the vacancies is having a good property manager who is up to date, proactive, has all the latest software, and can get your property let quickly.
The last way, of course, is to make your property appealing. Increase its appeal by always keeping it spick and span, up to date, looking nice and appealing.
Kevin:  Talking there about property managers, getting the right kind of tenant and not a horror tenant is pretty important, too.
Michael:  I guess we’ve seen those shows on A Current Affair where they chase the bad tenants down the street because they trashed this little old lady’s property. Unfortunately, there are some tenants who let you down, but having a good property manager select tenants is important.
The other thing is having insurance to protect yourself against this is another way of making sure that you’re not going to be caught out by the horror tenant.
Kevin:  Some people are also very concerned about some of the things that might occur that we don’t expect to happen – like being unemployed, for instance.
Michael:  That’s one of the issues that scares people. “If I take on this big financial commitment by buying an investment property, what can go wrong?” That’s the reason I always talk about having a financial buffer in place. Apart from protecting the property, you also have to protect yourself and your finances by having a bit of a line of credit or an offset account where you have some money for those little surprises.
Also, having adequate insurance – for not just the property, but also yourself. It may seem like a bit of an expense today, but if things go wrong, having that insurance is going to get you out of hot water.
Kevin:  Talking about that buffer, Michael, what about chasing interest rates?
Michael:  I guess what’s happening is that people are committing themselves to investments now in a low-interest-rate environment, but this too shall pass and the way of the economic world is that interest rates will go up again. One way of protecting yourself is having a buffer, as you correctly said. Another way is to consider locking in a portion or all of your interest rates at the moment, and that will give you a level of security.
What we’re really doing is running through the concerns people have about getting involved in property, and as I’m trying to show, there are ways of minimizing them.
Another big one is unexpected maintenance issues, because things do go wrong even in new properties. You have to set aside a budget. One of the mistakes investors make is not leaving aside a bit of money each year for the hot water service that blows, or something else that goes wrong, and every five or seven years, you might have to paint the property, and every ten years, you may have to put new carpets in. So, be prepared for it, budget for it, have that buffer, and you won’t get caught out.
Kevin:  What about the highs and lows of the market, Michael?
Michael:  That’s another thing that scares investors. At the moment, everybody is on a bit of a high and the property markets are doing well, but wealth creation is a long-term strategy, and therefore investors shouldn’t be scared by the ups and downs of the market. They should be prepared by buying only investment grade properties, those that are going to be stable.
So again, buying in the big capital cities where there are multiple pillars of the economy and wages underpinning their property values growth. That’s going to ensure that they’ll be able ride through the ups and downs, as opposed to buying in mining towns, regional towns, or other areas where when property values plummet, it gets pretty scary, Kevin.
Kevin:  Just before I let you go, have you got time for a couple of quick questions?
Michael:  Of course.
Kevin:  Okay. One is from Brad, who says, “How do you claim the LMI and interest on line of credit that you set up to buy an off-the-plan property?”
Michael:  First of all, I’d be saying to Brad to be really careful about buying off-the-plan properties at this stage of the cycle, but that’s a totally different question.
Kevin:  Is this an accounting question, Michael?
Michael:  Yes it is, but you don’t actually have to pay lender’s mortgage insurance until you take your loan, which doesn’t actually happen until you’ve settled your property. Therefore, if you’re putting a deposit down to buy an off-the-plan property that will settle in two or three years’ time, it becomes part of the loan when you settle, when you start getting income in, so it’s just a normal tax deduction.
Kevin:  Wonderful. Another quick one from Katrina: “Can you please address the effect of granny flats on principal places of residence and resale – particularly when you own and then go overseas and want to use the six years CGT exemption to sell when you have the flat in the backyard?”
Michael:  Quick disclaimer, Kevin: I’m not an accountant, so I can’t give the CGT advice. But the answer is that a granny flat on your principal place of residence will devalue it. It’s going to make it less appealing to a wide range of tenants – not everybody wants somebody in their backyard – and it will make it less appealing to purchasers in the future.
The next comment that she asks is, “Has this now changed the nature of my home to make it now no longer my principal place of residence, and may I have to pay some capital gains tax?” I guess, in truth, it has changed the nature of it. How does that impact the capital gains tax? I’m sorry, Katrina; I think you’re going to have to ask your accountant. That’s a very specialized question.
Kevin:  It’s a very good question, too, and it’s one that I think a lot of people probably haven’t even thought of, Michael.
Michael:  That’s right, but when you change the nature of your property, it’s no longer your principal place of residence. If, for example, you use it for business, for your home office, or for other things, that portion that isn’t your principal place of residence usually does not get the capital gains tax exemption. You have to pay some extra capital gains tax, and it could well be the case with your granny flat.
Kevin:  Good talking to you. Michael Yardney from Metropole Property Strategists. Thanks, Michael.
Michael: My pleasure, Kevin.

Simon Cohen

Kevin:  A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of talking to Simon Cohen from Cohen Handler Buyer’s Agents out of Sydney. Simon Cohen returns once again.
Simon, I want to talk to you about a couple of other things this time – one, about whether or not you see a bubble. Is there a bubble in Australian property?
Simon:  I don’t know if “bubble” is the right word. I think definitely the market is exceptionally hot, and it’s a great time for people to buy with historically low interest rates. I do think prices have changed, not for a certain period of time, but I think they’ve changed for good. What may have been $650,000 is now $750,000, and we have certainly seen that median house price move to around $1 million, which is the highest it’s ever been.
I’m not sure there is a bubble. It’s certainly a hot market, it’s a heated market, and there are definitely more buyers than stock. Will it burst? I’m personally not that confident it will.
Kevin:  I don’t think you can say that the entire Australian market is one market. If you look at Sydney, it could be argued that maybe that’s slightly over-inflated at this point in time and there might be a correction coming. But if you look at other markets around Australia – like Brisbane – Queensland continues to perform at a steady level. I think it would be hard to argue that there is a bubble.
Simon:  Agreed. Really, it depends who you ask, right? Some people think Brisbane is always a little bit behind and will catch up. Some people think it’s had an over-supply of property and won’t. But I absolutely agree with you. Every market is different and most people only talk about Sydney and Melbourne, which are the two hottest markets out there.
Kevin:  Another thing I wanted to talk to you about – because I know you’re in touch with a lot of investors – is why most property investors only ever get to one investment property and then find it difficult to get past that.
Simon:  I think most people save and save and save for their deposit, buy that investment property, and then really don’t know what to do with it. To me, it’s a huge enigma. The beautiful thing about property is you can buy it and after three months, you can have it revalued, and if you buy well, you don’t need any more cash. You use the equity in the first property to keep growing your portfolio. We see heaps of our clientele, year on year, continue to do that.
I think most people maybe don’t have the right advice, or they don’t know how to structure it, or they think just having one is enough. But the point of having the first one, which is the hardest one, is that you can get many more down the track.
Kevin:  I’ve spoken to a lot of commentators in this show, and it seems apparent to me that the reason a lot of people stop is because they probably don’t have a strategy. They know they want to get into property investment. They get their first one and think, “Good, I’ve made it now and I’ll sit,” but they don’t have a strategy to move on.
Simon:  Exactly. The hardest one is the first one. It should be smooth sailing from there.
Kevin:  Simon, on another topic, just while I’ve got you there, when you’re looking around for your buyer clients, tell me about investment moving out west because of the emergence or the need – I guess – for major transport systems to be developed as populations grow out.
Simon:  Absolutely. One of the offices we have is out west. A year ago, we were looking at an area like Parramatta, which is the fastest-growing CBD in Sydney, incredible infrastructure. The smartest thing you can do as an investor is look for areas that even if the market slows down, they have reasons why they’ll continue to grow – as you say, transport, offices moving out there, and things like that. It’s far more affordable. The yields are a lot higher.
Living in the east, in the north, and around the city has become so expensive that areas further out west where there is incredible transport and infrastructure make absolute sense for people to live in, and so they make really great investment opportunities for clients.
Kevin:  It’s always great talking to you, mate. Thank you so much again for your time. Simon Cohen from Cohen Handler has been my guest.
Mate, we’ll catch up with you again soon.
Simon:  Always a pleasure. Thank you.

Nick Lockhart

Kevin:  There is an interesting study that was released during the week by MRD Partners that revealed that more than half of all respondents to their Australian property investor survey indicated that the Sunshine Coast was going to be where their next investment would be. Joining me is the author of that study and managing director of MRD Partners. I’m talking to Nick Lockhart.
Nick, thank you. Did that really surprise you?
Nick:  It did, actually. What surprised me was that over half of the respondents said they intended to buy an investment property in the next 12 months. The fact that over 50% said Queensland was their preferred market didn’t surprise me.
Kevin:  If Queensland did so well, how did the other states fare, Nick?
Nick:  New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia were about a quarter of that of Queensland. South Australia was one-sixth. There was 32 times more popularity for Queensland than Tasmania, and the Northern Territory lost by 48 to 1.
Kevin:  There has been a lot of speculation over the last 18 months about southeast Queensland in particular as being a place to invest. The Queensland market doesn’t have those big peaks and troughs that we see in the other states. Do you think that’s what it’s all about, Nick?
Nick:  I think it’s long overdue for an upturn. It’s the only capital city that hasn’t had a decent upswing since the GFC. All other markets seemed to bounce back pretty quickly. In 2010, it looked as though the Queensland market was going to bounce back, but then, of course, in January 2011, we had the floods, and I think that put a damper on things.
It really is long overdue, and the price difference between a median house in Brisbane versus Melbourne and Sydney is just ridiculous. It is so great that it’s just become a target for people.
Kevin:  Would you say the results of this survey are indicating that there could be a boom on the way for Queensland?
Nick:  I get nervous using the “boom” word. We’re certainly seeing recovery here, and I think we’re moving into the beginning of what I would call a growth phase. Boom is what follows. With low inflation, with things the way they are, with the Chinese now directing their attention to Queensland, it is very, very possible we’ll move into a boom. There are a lot of factors at play at the moment, a lot of changes to lending rules, a lot of focus on the investment market. The government may make some changes to dampen the demand.
Kevin:  We are seeing a lot of downturn in WA. Is that being reflected in consumer confidence? Is that what you’re hearing?
Nick:  WA is a funny market in the sense that it’s very parochial, though the respondents to my survey who said that WA was their preferred market to invest in were made up of 83% of West Australians. With the downturn in mining and there are a lot of people moving back out of that state, people who have come from the East Coast who have gone over there, I think there is a lack of confidence. Western Australia is very heavily dependent upon the mining industry.
Kevin:  What would be your advice for investors? What should they be focused on in this market?
Nick:  My personal take is that we should look for emerging markets.
Kevin:  What do you mean by an emerging market?
Nick:  A market that is coming off the bottom, off a slump. I’ve just been in Sydney catching up with clients and the pace of the market moving down there is just ridiculous. It is a seller’s market. Ironically, it’s a seller’s market because there are so many buyers around. Buyers should be looking for buyer’s markets, and obviously, southeast Queensland, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Sunshine Coast are definitely buyer’s markets at the moment.
Kevin:  Of those people you surveyed, do they have a preference for houses or units?
Nick:  There is definitely a preference for land. Almost 63% of respondents said that they preferred house and land as opposed to townhouses, which was just under 16%, and apartments were pretty similar at 14%.
Kevin:  I was pleased, too, to see the results of the survey dispelled one of those myths that we hear about all the time, and that is that property investors are rich.
Nick:  Absolutely. It was interesting asking that question. Almost 62% of people identified themselves as being middle-income households. Then there were 32% who identified themselves as being low-income households. Those who said they were high-income households made up less than 6.5%.
Kevin:  A very interesting study. Nick, I appreciate your time in sharing that with us today. I’ve been talking to Nick Lockhart from MRD Partners.
Nick, thanks for your time.
Nick:  Thanks, Kevin. You have a great day.

Garth Brown

Kevin:  There’s a critical document that you have to sign with an agent when you come to sell your property, and that’s called the agency agreement. There are very different agreements in different states, admittedly, but by and large, you can either sell by private treaty, you can sell it by auction, or you can sell it under a sole or an exclusive agency. I want to get a bit of a feel for some of the complications within each of these agreements.
Joining me now is Garth Brown from Brown and Brown Conveyancers. Garth, thanks again for your time.
Garth:  Hi, Kevin. Thank you.
Kevin:  While it varies from state to state, there are some uniform areas and some areas where sellers should be concerned before they sign one of these agreements. Can you take us through a few of those, Garth?
Garth:  Yes. One of them is an interesting one. It’s known as a continuing agency, which is part of the clauses of some of these agency agreements. What it says is once you sign with an agent and if someone comes to that agency through an open home or makes an enquiry and is interested in buying the property but doesn’t go ahead and purchase, and you then decide to change agencies and use another agent and that same person comes through another agency and ends up buying your property, this could open you up to what’s known as a double commission claim from both agents.
That’s something to be very well aware of, because if the first agent has introduced them to the property, then they change agents and come through another agency, this is where this continuing agency can catch you. The way to negate this situation is to go through the agency agreement and actually strike out that continuing agency clause.
Kevin:  When you move from one agent to another, Garth, how important is it to make sure that the agreement with the previous agent has been fully terminated?
Garth:  It’s very important. It has to be done in writing, otherwise it can open you right up to this continuing agency clause where two agents can claim double commission.
Kevin:  No seller wants to get involved in that situation, where two agents are fighting over the commission. At the end of the day, it’s the agent who can prove that they are the effective cause of sale. Just by having an inspection doesn’t necessarily make you the agent of the effective cause. But you don’t want to get caught up in that, Garth. It can be an awful mess.
Garth:  That’s right. You want to protect yourself, you want to mitigate risk, and you don’t want to get in trouble later on with paying an extra commission that you don’t need to.
Kevin:  There’s an easy way around this, Garth, and that is before you sign any document, make sure you check with your solicitor, or your conveyancer, in this case.
Garth:  Definitely. We’ve had quite a few who had no idea what they were signing into, but they sent it through to us and we were able to adjust the agreement, and they were fine to understand what their rights and obligations were.
Kevin:  Garth, once again thanks for your time. I appreciate it.
Garth Brown from Brown and Brown Conveyancers. Thanks, mate.
Garth:  Thank you, Kevin. I appreciate it.

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