building inspection

What to expect in a building inspection report

by Greg on June 9, 2017
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Buying a home is one of the most expensive ventures that you will probably engage in. It is often a lifetime investment that takes sweat and blood to achieve. So before you purchase what looks like your dream home it is very important that you have a professional home inspection performed. This will help you […]

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What everyone should know about buying a house at auction (part 1)

by Chris Lang on July 25, 2012
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Even now, when the real estate market is slowing down, at least 50% of the houses are sold at auctions. This means that any home buyer should know exactly what to do at auction, what are the rules, understand and speak the language of auctions. Before I knew all the things you are about to learn, auctions scared the daylight out of me. Especially because of the huge amounts of money involved – every silly mistake can cost you a lot.

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7 things you can do to help the agent sell your house, part 2

by Chris Lang on May 14, 2009
7 things you can do to help the agent sell your house, part 2

Real Estate ladySelling your house is a labor intensive process and as such needs to be shortened as much as possible. In my previous post I wrote about 3 things you can do to help your real estate agent sell your house faster and here are 4 more things that can help speed up the selling.

4. Clean spotless.

Funny as it sounds, you can have a great house, expensive furniture, a lovely garden and nobody will remember any of that – if it was messy, people will remember the mess. If your home looks tidy, cared for, loved – that picture will stick in the minds of your buyers. It needs to be shiny, sparkling, and spotless.

5. Don’t be at home when people are coming to inspection.

Think back when you were looking to buy a house and remember that inspection when you came and the vendors were home. Remember how awkward it felt to be going through someone’s house while they are there? Inspection is the only time people can get a feeling of “what it would be like to live in this house” – which is a bit hard to achieve when they are not alone. They won’t feel free to look around, to open doors and look into the rooms, they will have this one urge to get a quick look and run away – the opposite of what you want.

6. Don’t limit inspections to weekends.

If you can – and think about how you can before you say “I can’t” – offer inspections on working days, not just weekends. It will maximize your chances of finding the right buyer because a lot of investors have the freedom of inspecting during the week. Or on contrary some buyers are working weekends and can’t make it to your inspection in Saturday. Speak to your agent and let him or her know what days other than Saturday / Sunday you are available to let people come to inspection.

7. Offer your building and pest reports.

If you have a clean and recent pest inspection or building inspection report – let the agent know, so that he could offer them to prospective buyers. It will save those people over $600 and will make them more inclined to buy your place rather than another one they don’t know anything about. It will also make you look good and create a certain degree of trust between you, which can make the sale easier.

Do you have anything to add to this list? What worked for you when you sold the house? What did the tricks? Leave a comment on this post, let us all learn from your experience.

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7 things you can do to help the agent sell your house, part 1

by Chris Lang on May 11, 2009
7 things you can do to help the agent sell your house, part 1

Real estate agent caricatureDoesn’t it sound ridiculous that you need to help a person you’ve hired for the big bucks to do their job? I know you shouldn’t have to, and in an ideal world you wouldn’t have to.

However, the reality is that there are different agents, some are better, some are worse and it’s difficult to predict what kind of job will your agent do selling your house before you’ve seen them do it. Which is why you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to speed up the process.

I would even say that in selling a house there are two parts of the deal. Agent’s part is to advertise and promote your house to prospective clients, to negotiate with the interested buyers and create a competition on your house to get you the best possible price. Your part is to get people to like your house, to expose it to the maximal number of potential buyers and to let them make an offer as soon as they are ready.

And here is how you can achieve that:

1. Have Section 32 ready before you put the house on the market.

The reason is that a buyer can’t submit a written offer before they’ve seen your Section 32 (read more about it here). So once a person has inspected your house, liked it, wants to buy it, the only thing that can stop them is the absence of Section 32 (and it really annoys the buyers if they have to wait a week to get it).

2. Write your own ad.

Think about it – who knows your house better than you do? Who can name all the advantages better than you? Who knows better all the handy amenities, all the nice things about your house and your neighborhood? You can write your own ad that will appear on the internet sites (such as domain.com and realestate.com.au), in newspapers, in brochures, leaflets and the like. Or if you feel too insecure to do it – give your agent ideas for the ad, list all the good things and the features of your house, they will only thank you and put them to some good use. Agents are amazingly cooperative in anything that means less work for them :)

3. Choose your own photos.

Yes, you can do it. The agents are not the only one with good taste in photography. Actually, judging by pictures from realestate.com.au, some agents have a pretty crappy taste in photography or simply don’t care. If you insist and put it in the contract before you sign it, they will let you choose the pictures of your house that you like. Or, more importantly, you will have the right to throw away picture that you don’t like. In an ideal world, paying to a professional photographer would mean getting the perfect pictures, but since we’ve already established that it’s not always the case, you need some control over the way your house is presented in the papers and on the internet.

Hang on, I’ve got 4 more things to tell you. Subscribe and they will be in your email the minute I publish my next post.

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How to productively inspect many properties in one day

by Chris Lang on January 2, 2009
How to productively inspect many properties in one day

We all are busy and house-hinting makes our lives even busier. To speed up the house-buying process we have no choice but to inspect several properties in one day. Having done that more than once, I can tell you with confidence: without a schedule you will miss half of the inspections and without making notes you won’t remember anything.

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How to buy a house – Part 5

by Chris Lang on October 11, 2008
How to buy a house - Part 5

Once you’ve made your offer, it will be either accepted or rejected and it usually takes a couple of days to get the answer. If the offer is rejected you can try and submit a better offer on that house and see what happens. If the offer is accepted – congratulations, you’ve made some serious progress.

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How to buy a house – Part 4

by Chris Lang on October 7, 2008
How to buy a house - Part 4

So once you’ve searched the property listings and chosen houses that look suitable to you, it’s time for action – start calling the estate agents to find out the details about those houses, go and inspect them. Don’t worry about having too many on your list – some will get filtered away by inspection, some might be under contract, some vendors won’t like your offer. It’s important to not “lock on” just one house because once you get emotional – you will be in a weaker negotiating position.

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What “Under offer” and “Under contract” means

by Chris Lang on September 20, 2008
What "Under offer" and "Under contract" means

The process of buying a house, like any other process, has several stages. Terms “Under offer” or “Under contract” are essentially the same, they indicate the status of the house through the selling process – note that they only apply to a private sale and never to an auction.

When a house is “Under offer” or “Under contract”

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Pre-purchase inspection: things that go wrong and how to get it right

by Chris Lang on July 10, 2008
Pre-purchase inspection: things that go wrong and how to get it right

I recently had two building and pest inspections done by two different companies. The price was almost the same – but the difference in quality of service was amazing.

The first company responded to my booking promptly and arranged for the inspection to be carried out on the next day. I was promised that in case they find termites I will get a call immediately. Of course I was hoping that they wouldn’t because I really had my heart set on that property, but guess what – they did. Their inspector called me and let me know that there were signed of infestation and that the report will have the details.

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What building inspection reports DON’T cover

by Chris Lang on February 23, 2008
What building inspection reports DON'T cover

Getting building inspection reports is a very important stage in the process of buying a house. Sometimes people decide to skip those reports for many reasons such as time pressure, the high cost, couldn’t be bothered, etc. They are really playing with fire, because if later on it turns out that house has a problem – it’s their problem.

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Home owner’s expenses

by Chris Lang on December 19, 2007
Home owner's expenses

Many of us don’t know, forget or do not think about the expenses that come with owning a house, yet they can add up. I decided to list most of them (everything I could think of) as a reminder of what’s involved in owning a house.

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