Selling

Getting the best price

We pride ourselves on our negotiation abilities; it is an integral role to fulfil for our clients.  These skills can result in tens of thousands of extra dollars for our vendors.

Rather than remain passive in the process of relaying offers between buyer and seller, we add value. And while we always treat buyers with respect, honesty and confidentiality, at the same time we always extract the maximum available price for our vendors.

Even at auction, the strategies and methods we use are designed to yield the best possible results for our vendors; regardless of whether we sell "under the hammer" or in a post-auction negotiation.  These are pivotal points of differentiation between us and other agencies.

We would love the opportunity to discuss our various strategies with you when you are ready to talk to us.

Fees

When you select a real estate agency to act for you in the sale of possibly your most valuable asset, it’s important not to select them on the basis of their fee.

Certainly consider it, but as you will know, often there is a good reason that things that are cheap or below market price – they are probably inferior or of low quality.

In Victoria, an agent's commission is negotiable and agencies must tell you that.  Accordingly, the fee can be at any level that you and the agency agree upon.

So where does that leave you?

Generally, there are three ways to remunerate your agent:

  1. A flat dollar fee – Regardless of the sale price, you pay the agency a pre-determined dollar fee.

  2. A flat percentage fee – No matter how high or low the sale price is, the percentage rate payable to the agency remains constant at the pre-determined percentage, for example, 2.2% of the sale price.

  3. A cocktail, an incentive program, or a “kicker”.  This is when you pay a flat dollar fee or a flat percentage fee up to a price threshold and then pay a higher percentage rate on the portion of price above the threshold. For example, 1.8% of the sale price up to $500,000 and then 10% of the sale price in excess of $500,000.  Many vendors feel that this motivates the agency to work a little harder to achieve the best price as it incentivises them further.

 Whether you prefer one of these three methods or a blend, we can help you achieve your desired result. Let's talk.

Process Summary

When you list your property for sale, the agency has already started the marketing program.  If they are professional, they will already have provided you with comparable sales data and other relevant details pertinent to your property ... the adventure has begun.

As soon as you give the go-ahead a lot happens that you may not be aware of.  The photographer is booked and the shoot is supervised by the agent.  Photographs are selected and are sent off for colour correction, cropping etc.  Advertising is booked, advertising copy is written and all the above is put in front of you for your editorial pen and approval.

Then the ads are placed in the relevant newspaper/s, the signboard and brochures are ordered, and the websites are posted. Proofs, amendments and corrections are exchanged during this 7–10 day period.

Meanwhile, our client base is contacted heralding the availability of your property, open house inspections are organised, and we write to your lawyer and ask them to prepare contracts and vendor statements in readiness for the sale.

Now all is ready to commence the campaign. Open houses begin, private inspections are carried out and the business end begins. During this period, regular reporting to you is the order of the day. This is the most important part of the process.  You should know all buyers, all comments and be fully informed to make sound decisions about offers and negotiations.  

Whether it is a private sale or auction, a conclusion will be reached and with us, it will be an exciting and rewarding one.

Post sale, we send contracts to your lawyer and the purchaser’s lawyer and facilitate communications that move us towards settlement of your sale.  If it is a larger settlement, we will also endeavour to have the deposit proceeds released to you before settlement.

The purchaser generally has a pre-settlement inspection, which we organise and attend.  In the unlikely event there is an issue, we deal with that involving you and your lawyer.

We can also assist with finalisation and connection of services for you and the purchaser.

After settlement has occurred, we hand over the keys and ensure that you and the purchaser have all needs attended to during that period.

As you can see, the above summary demonstrates that a lot goes on to ensure that your sale is smooth, successful and stress-free.


Current Legislation

SALE OF LAND REGULATIONS 2005

SCHEDULE 1

GENERAL RULES FOR THE CONDUCT OF PUBLIC AUCTIONS OF LAND

1. The auctioneer may make one or more bids on behalf of the vendor of the land at any time during the auction.

2. The auctioneer may refuse any bid.

3. The auctioneer may determine the amount by which the bidding is to be advanced.

4. The auctioneer may withdraw the property from sale at any time.

5. The auctioneer may refer a bid to the vendor at any time before the conclusion of the auction.

6. In the event of a dispute concerning a bid, the auctioneer may re-submit the property for sale at the last undisputed bid or start the bidding again.

7. The auctioneer must not accept any bid or offer for a property that is made after the property has been knocked down to the successful bidder, unless the vendor or successful bidder at the auction refuses to sign the contract of sale following the auction.

8. If a reserve price has been set for the property and the property is passed in below that reserve price, the vendor will first negotiate with the highest bidder for the purchase of the property.

 

SCHEDULE 5 

INFORMATION CONCERNING THE CONDUCT OF PUBLIC AUCTIONS OF LAND

MEANING OF VENDOR

The vendor is the person who is selling the property that is being auctioned. There may be more than one vendor. Where there are two or more vendors, they are selling the property as co-owners.

 

BIDDING BY CO-OWNERS

Where there are two or more vendors of the property, one or some or all of them may bid to purchase the property from their co-owners. The vendor or vendors intending to bid to purchase the property can make these bids themselves, or through a representative, but not through the auctioneer.

 

VENDOR BIDS

The law of Victoria allows vendors to choose to have bids made for them by the auctioneer. If this is the case, it will be stated as the first rule applying to the auction. However, these bids cannot be made for a co-owner intending to bid to purchase the property from their co-owner or co-owners.

 

The auctioneer can only make a vendor bid if:

  • the auctioneer declares before bidding starts that he or she can make bids on behalf of a vendor, and states how these bids will be made; and

  • the auctioneer states when making the bid that it is a bid for the vendors. The usual way for an auctioneer to indicate that he or she is making a vendor bid is to say “vendor bid” in making the bid.

 

WHAT RULES AND CONDITIONS APPLY TO THE AUCTION?

Different rules apply to an auction depending upon whether there are any co-owners intending to bid to purchase the property from their co-owners, and whether vendor bids can be made. The auctioneer must display the rules that apply at the auction.

It is possible that a vendor may choose to have additional conditions apply at the auction. This is only allowed if those additional conditions do not conflict with the rules that apply to the auction or any other legal requirement. The additional conditions are usually contained in the contract of sale.

COPIES OF THE RULES

The law requires that a copy of the rules and conditions that are to apply to a public auction of land be made available for public inspection a reasonable time before the auction starts and in any case not less than 30 minutes before the auction starts.

QUESTIONS

A person at a public auction of land may ask the auctioneer in good faith a reasonable number of questions about the property being sold, the contract of sale, the rules under which the auction is being conducted and the conduct of auction.

 

FORBIDDEN ACTIVITIES AT AUCTIONS

The law forbids:

 

  • any person bidding for a vendor other than: 

    • the auctioneer (who can only make bids for a vendor who does not intend to purchase the property from their co-owner or co-owners); or

    • a representative of a vendor who is a co-owner of the property wishing to purchase the property from their co-owner or co-owners.

  • the auctioneer taking any other bid that he or she knows was made on behalf of the vendor, unless it is made by a vendor (or their representative) who is a co-owner wishing to purchase the property;

  • the auctioneer acknowledging a bid if no bid was made;

  • any person asking another person to bid on behalf of the vendor, other than a vendor who is a co-owner engaging a representative to bid for them;

  • any person falsely claiming or falsely acknowledging that he or she made a bid;

  • an intending bidder (or a person acting on behalf of an intending bidder) harassing or interfering with other bidders at a public auction of land.

 

Substantial penalties apply to any person who does any of the things in this list.

WHO MADE THE BID?

At any time during a public auction of land, a person at the auction may ask the auctioneer to indicate who made a bid. Once such a request has been made, the auctioneer is obliged by law to comply with such a request before taking another bid.

 

IT IS AN OFFENCE TO DISRUPT AN AUCTION

The law forbids an intending bidder or a person acting on behalf of an intending bidder from doing anything with the intention of preventing or causing a major disruption to, or causing the cancellation of, a public auction of land.

 

THE COOLING-OFF PERIOD DOES NOT APPLY TO PUBLIC AUCTIONS OF LAND

If you purchase a property that has been offered for sale by public auction either at the auction or within three clear business days before or after the auction, there is no cooling-off period.

 

WHAT LAW APPLIES

The information in this document is only intended as a brief summary of the law that applies to public auctions of land in Victoria. Most of the laws referred to in this document can be found in the Sale of Land Act 1962 or the Sale of Land Regulations 2004. Copies of those laws can be found at the following web site: www.dms.dpc.vic.gov.au  in the section Victorian Law Today.