section 32

What everyone should know about buying a house at auction (part 2)

by Chris Lang on July 27, 2012
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During the auction

Here are the terms you must know to understand what’s going on during the auction.

Reserve price – the vendor has set a minimal price that he would be willing to sell for. The auctioneer doesn’t reveal this price so nobody knows what it is.

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New law: home buyers who get legal advice don’t lose cooling off period

by Chris Lang on February 21, 2012
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From March 1, 2012 home buyers in Victoria have 3 days to change their mind and withdraw from the sale, even if they obtained independent legal advice before signing the contract. Before this change to the Sale of Land Act came into effect, there were 6 cases in which home buyers weren’t entitled to cooling […]

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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 and, 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, 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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Section 32 – what the heck is it? (part 3)

by Chris Lang on November 2, 2008
Section 32 - what the heck is it? (part 3)

Building permit

All the building permits for the house issued 7 years back from the date of contract should be listed here. Also if the house was built by owner builder in the same period of time – a relevant permit should be attached. Why is that of interest to you? Because, for example, if you see a new pergola or a carport

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Section 32 – what the heck is it? (part 2)

by Chris Lang on October 31, 2008
Section 32 - what the heck is it? (part 2)

All the taxes, rates, body corporate fees and charges of that sort that normally are payable on that property should be listed here. Unfortunately the law allows the vendor to just say “not exceeding …” and give you the highest amount (say, $1800) – without giving you the exact number. Personally, I find that annoying. This section should also list all the sums the vendor still owes and the interest payable on them.

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Section 32 – what the heck is it? (part 1)

by Chris Lang on October 29, 2008
Section 32 - what the heck is it? (part 1)

Short version: One boring, awfully long, barely readable document that you get with the house contract. You can’t sign the contract if you haven’t received Section 32.for the house.

Long version: The real name of this document is Section 32 Vendor’s Statement – but we all call it just Section 32. You better read it and pay attention to the details, because it is the most accurate description of your future home you will ever get.

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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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Making an offer on a house: Contract Note explained

by Chris Lang on September 16, 2008
Making an offer on a house: Contract Note explained

To make an offer on a house in most cases people use a document called the Contract note (in Victoria). It looks pretty simple and only has 2 pages but defines every aspect of your purchase – which is why you would want to understand it completely.

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