Monthly Archives: April 2007

Holding Deposits – There’s No Such Thing!

Posted on April 30, 2007 by | 7 Comments
This was our very first posting on the Australian Real Estate Blog, almost a year ago. We reproduce it for two reasons. First, the problem has become worse. Second, a recent experience suggests that the holding deposit is being used to penalise purchasers, and creates an opportunity for theft. Holding Deposits – There’s No Such Thing! by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.BA client recently engaged me to act for her in submitting her offer and negotiation...

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Contamination – A Trap For The Unwary!

Posted on April 30, 2007 by | 0 Comments
Lawyers Conveyancing provides a comprehensive pre-purchase advice service for consumers. A major area of concern for consumers is soil contamination, involving more issues than you might expect! Contamination is a problem for vendors and purchasers alike. For vendors it may worry potential purchasers resulting in a lower sale price. Most estate agents don’t bother to fully investigate contamination issues, and we have seen purchasers win bargains where the estate agent has been unable to answer...

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REIV Cops A Lashing From APM

Posted on April 30, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B Real Estate Lawyer and Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria Lawyers Real Estate Australian Property Monitors (9APM) has hit out at the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), the peak body for real estate agents in Victoria, over what APM describes as “unethical and misleading” behaviour on the part of the REIV. According to APM: “The REIV for a long time have been desperately keen to be the one voice on the...

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Crikey – What A Sequel!

Posted on April 30, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B Real Estate Lawyer and Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria Lawyers Real Estate Our last posting dealt with a stoush between APM and the REIV regarding the accuracy of sale statistics. We had hoped that the matter would result in a positive outcome for consumers. However, according to Crikey.com.au it would appear that the outcome for the journalist concerned may not be too good. “Has Fairfax kicked out a fearless commentator for...

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Consumer Guide for Building and Renovating

Posted on April 30, 2007 by | 0 Comments
Being an owner-builder-vendor is no longer a simple matter doing your best and then selling. There are now strict rules and regulations governing owner-builders! Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) is offering free guides to help consumers to make good decisions before embarking on home renovation projects. According to CAV their free guides can help you make better decisions earlier on: “At any stage of your building or renovating project you can read this Guide for unbiased...

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More Free Cheese In the Mousetrap!

Posted on April 30, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B Real Estate Lawyer and Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria Lawyers Real Estate We have previously examined the way in which consumers are lured into the clutches of estate agents through FREE property valuations, but we haven’t seen such blatant promotion of valuations as a tool for the “conditioning” vendors before. Promotional material from MyHouseValue.com.au tells estate agents how to increase their “list to sell ratio” and increase their income without increasing...

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Reforms Will Interfere With Freedom Of Contract

Posted on April 30, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au Reforms Will Interfere With Freedom Of Contract (And Burden Agents And Sellers) Real estate or conveyancing reforms did not appear in any political promises during the recent Queensland State election campaign. There were none during the previous election in early 2004. Below is part of a letter I wrote at that time to the Premier, Peter Beattie, who remains my State’s election-winning leader. Following...

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"Estate Agent’s "Gazumping" Clause"

Posted on April 30, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B Real Estate Lawyer and Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria Lawyers Real Estate Consumers should take care if they find that a “gazumping” clause has been inserted into the real estate contract. Ian Reid is a Melbourne estate agent whose “Ian Reid Vendor Advocacy Australia” website boasts: “Ian Reid’s career in real estate spans almost 30 years…Over those years, many thousands of clients have come to rely, time and time again, on...

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A Fairly-Priced, Good Value Exercise In Wealth Creation – Like Hell!

Posted on April 30, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au Anthony and Kirsti McCurry of Grovedale, Victoria began their misadventure in Queensland property investment after responding to a attention-grabbing advertisement on Melbourne radio. They soon attended a seminar organised by a St. Kilda Road company, describing itself as “the wealth creation specialists”. The pitch before, during and long after the presentation was, naturally enough, “wealth creation security through property investment”. Before long Anthony &...

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Estate Agents & Home Loans – Conflict Of Interests?

Posted on April 30, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B Real Estate Lawyer and Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria Lawyers Real Estate Ask any estate agent who they work for, and they will readily identify the vendor as their client. Ask the same estate agent about any duty owed to the purchaser, and the response “caveat emptor” (buyer beware) is blurted out faster than the answer to an easy question on a TV quiz show. But ask the estate agent whose...

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