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.

Open For Inspection – Invitation For Theft

April 29, 2007 11:56 pm Published by Leave your thoughts Reports of burglary and theft associated with property inspections conducted by real estate agents indicate that thieves are relying on estate agents to provide easy access homeowners’ valuables. Thieves no longer have to rely on jemmy bars to gain access to homes. Estate agents are providing easy access to valuables for clever thieves who “shop on the internet” for theft opportunities. According the Sydney Morning Herald: “The topic of theft – and specifically thieves using...


Contracts – Find The Devil In The Detail

April 29, 2007 11:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts Purchasers should take care before signing a contract to purchase real estate, particularly at auctions. Special conditions can be used to pass a vendor’s risk to an unsuspecting purchaser. We have shown that estate agents often insert nasty special conditions into contracts, but they’re not the only ones. Lawyers and conveyancers do it too. A purchaser, intending to purchase at auction, asked for pre-auction legal advice on a contract prepared by Davis Lawyers of Melbourne....


Early Release of Deposit

April 28, 2007 2:01 pm Published by 4 Comments by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B Real Estate Lawyer and Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria Lawyers Real Estate Enzo Raimondo, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (R.E.I.V.) regularly provides consumers with his understanding of the law affecting the sale of real estate. Unfortunately, Enzo’s explanation of these laws is often quite limited, and his offering in the Domain section of The Age Saturday 28 April 2007, is a case in point. In his article Enzo...


The Gospel According To Nigel

April 28, 2007 1:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au   A New South Wales client of mine was interested in investing in New Zealand property through a buyers’ advocate. He sought my advice on the appointment form of a company he had come across. I had some immediate doubts, and warned my client off. Next day Nigel, the company’s director, audaciously phoned me to ask what my concerns were. I in turn asked...


Why Queensland Estate Agents Don’t Give Discounts

April 28, 2007 1:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au Will the apparent upturn in Queensland housing prices mean discounted real estate commission rates? Will agents charge sellers less as homes are reportedly sold within days, if not hours, of going on the market? The answer is no – to both questions. Residential agents’ commission rates, unlike property prices, have never been affected by the so-called “market”. Agents will not offer discounts to sellers...


Winning Auction Bidders Beware

April 28, 2007 1:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts (NOT APPLICABLE IN VICTORIA OR A.C.T.) by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au   Peter Mericka was correct when he stated in Auctions Exposed As Non-Binding that, as every agent, auctioneer, solicitor and conveyancer knows, a contract for the sale of real estate must be in writing and signed before it can be enforced. More particularly such a contract will be enforceable at law even if it is only “evidenced” in...


Auctions Exposed As Non-Binding!

April 28, 2007 1:42 pm Published by Leave your thoughts by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B Real Estate Lawyer and Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria Lawyers Real Estate When is an auction not an auction? When it’s a real estate auction. This was demonstrated recently when the highest bidder for a $2.7 million property refused to buy it. According to Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun newspaper: “…the sale failed to go ahead, despite the winning bidder making several bids to buy the property in front of a crowd...


Bidding Wars Between Would-Be Tenants

April 28, 2007 1:39 pm Published by Leave your thoughts by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au  Queensland’s Courier Mail newspaper has reported that tenancy advocacy groups are warning that bidding wars between desparate tenants are causing havoc in the Queensland rental market. This fiercely competitive market, the groups claim, has been hit hard by low vacancy rates and high property prices. Queensland Shelter’s Adrian Pisarski told The Courier’s housing reporter, Amanda Horswill, that a shortage of properties was forcing would-be...


Enlightenment On Illegal Structures

April 28, 2007 1:36 pm Published by Leave your thoughts by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au  At last a penny has dropped in Queensland on the perennial issue of illegal structures. One enlightened local government authority has produced a brochure to alert residential sellers and buyers alike to the problems of illegal garages, carports, roofed pergolas and patios, decks, garage conversions, downstairs toilets, spas and pools – all too often added without requisite council approvals or inspections, but invariably not...