Author Archives for Peter Mericka

About Peter Mericka

Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B is a Melbourne based property lawyer and real estate consumer advocate, whose law firm Lawyers Conveyancing has been leading the real estate and conveyancing industry in online conveyancing services for the past two decades.

Gold Coast real estate agent Alex Far has been permanently disqualified from the industry

October 22, 2016 10:35 am Published by Leave your thoughts A PROMINENT northern Gold Coast real estate agent once praised by late former mayor Ron Clarke as “restoring his faith” in the industry, has been permanently disqualified. Alex Far, the former sales director of Runaway Bay’s Sovereign Realty in Runaway Bay, has been barred from holding a real estate licence following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading Mr Far appeared before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Tuesday after a complaint was lodged...


Gold Coast agents giving out money, food and coffee to attract sellers and buyers

October 17, 2016 10:55 am Published by Leave your thoughts COMPETITION in the cut-throat real estate market is so intense one Gold Coast agent is giving out $1000 incentives for referrals. Andre Sharples, of Professionals John Henderson Real Estate, has given away $10,000 this year — and hopes to give out more. “It gets me business as I’ve got people out there promoting me to get their $1000,” Mr Sharples said. “Listings are very tight and it’s another way to promote yourself. “It doesn’t affect...


Reserve Bank of Australia says apartment boom risks start showing

October 17, 2016 10:47 am Published by Leave your thoughts The risks of oversupply the Brisbane and Melbourne apartment markets are “coming to the fore”, the Reserve Bank of Australia warns. The RBA said the financial system was in good shape overall, particularly with home price growth slower than a year ago, tighter lending standards and slower credit growth to households. However, the central bank said the risks from apartment oversupply in some markets were now starting to show. “These risks appear greatest in inner-city Brisbane and...


Verification of Identity – Why It Matters

August 22, 2016 2:58 pm Published by Leave your thoughts A woman whose house and identity was stolen by overseas scammers has been forced to sue the government to retrieve her money. International fraudsters, who are still at large, pocketed $430,000 when they sold the four-bedroom Canberra house in 2014 in a sophisticated scam spanning several months and countries, including South Africa, Australia and Indonesia. Fresh details of the crime were aired in the ACT Supreme Court last week, as court documents reveal the thieves...


Changes to Victorian residential building legislation

July 12, 2016 12:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts The Building Legislation Amendment (Consumer Protection) Act 2016(the Act) which was passed by the Victorian Government on 19 April 2016 imposes sweeping reforms in respect to a number of significant areas affecting residential construction in Victoria. By reason of a Proclamation published in the Victoria Government Gazette No. S 194 dated 21 June 2016, certain sections of the Act are to commence and ‘become live’ on 4 July this year. While the purpose of the...


Misleading Conduct By A Real Estate Agent

July 12, 2016 11:33 am Published by 3 Comments A couple who spent nearly $1 million on a Hawthorne property are suing the real estate agents and vendor, claiming that the property was advertised falsely and alleging misleading conduct by the real estate agent. Malcolm and Samantha Stevenson have taken agency Bekdon Richards and vendor Tony Burchill to court, claiming losses and damages of over $178,000 after purchasing a two bedroom Victorian-style home in February 2014. In a statement of claim lodged last month...


Watch Out If Selling Property Worth $2 Million Or More!

July 12, 2016 6:55 am Published by Leave your thoughts Vendors selling their multimillion-dollar homes this weekend could face a nasty shock at settlement time – the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars because of poor legal advice. This is because many may be unaware of new 10 per cent withholding tax rule, which came into force on July 1, and which applies to all property worth $2 million or more, including residential property. To avoid being hit by the stiff penalty, all vendors selling at this price point must...


“Has Anyone Been Murdered In This House?”

July 12, 2016 5:53 am Published by Leave your thoughts It’s hard to get a good price for a home with a bad history. Overseas, they are called ‘Stigma Homes’, where something terrible has happened in the past, usually a murder. Stigma homes – or ‘Murder Homes’ as they seem to be called in Australia – can be hard to sell – as at least one irate home-owner in Melbourne is discovering. Every time likely buyers punch the address of Judy’s home into a search...


SELLERS – BEWARE THE HOG AGENTS THE MYTH OF CHOOSING A “BIG AGENCY”

July 12, 2016 5:47 am Published by 4 Comments “You can’t sell a secret.” This is a line given by thousands of agents to thousands of home-sellers in order to persuade sellers to splash out more and more money advertising their homes. The theory goes that the more places you advertise your home, the more buyers you reach. Of course, anyone who knows anything about basic marketing knows that such reasoning is nonsense because most buyers look in several places during their search for...


The tax implications of subdividing your backyard

April 16, 2015 10:01 pm Published by 2 Comments Subdividing your PPOR (principal place of residence) is a strategy we often get asked about. If you’re thinking about going down this path, there’s a lot to consider before making your decision. By Pat Mannix and Rebecca Mackie There are many different strategies with different outcomes, depending on whether you’re planning to sell the part with the house, or the vacant land, or build and move in, build and rent out or build and sell...