Frequently Asked Questions

What is my property worth? What price will I get for it?

There’s no one answer to this question, as every property’s different and market conditions will also affect the price your property sells for. However, here are some important facts to help you get the best price for your property.

Firstly, everybody does their research on the internet these days. Buyers are well-informed and they’ll know what your property is worth — we call this “market value”.  Research shows that if you set the asking price too high above market value buyers aren’t interested. They simply don’t believe it’s worth the price. Your property can end up on market longer and then people start wondering what’s wrong with it. They start focusing on the negatives and rumours can start.

When a property’s new to market, there’s a flurry of initial buyer activity and lots of interest at inspections. This makes sense, as buyers are mainly on the lookout for new listings. It’s critical you have the right asking price during this initial selling period, because this is when you’re most likely to see competition between buyers which helps you get a higher sale price.

If the asking price is too high at the start you can NEVER regain the level of buyer interest that occurs when the property is new to market, so you’ll miss out on serious offers.

So how will we help you get the best sale price for your property?

With Southern Gateway Real Estate you’ll get honest advice on pricing your home at fair market value.

You’ll get lots of interested buyers from our high-quality marketing campaign customised to your property and our experienced sales team can emotionally connect a number of buyers to your home and create competition between them… so you get a premium sale price.

What information do I need to tell the agent?

There is no such thing as ‘buyer beware’. The agent needs to be informed about all information that you know about the property. If you know that something does not work e.g a bathroom exhaust fan, or an improvement to the property that does not have council approval then you need to ensure your agent knows as soon as possible.

The agent will have an obligation to relay all relevant information onto prospective buyers prior to them entering into a contract.

The agent will include relevant information in the contract so that there can be no misunderstandings e.g. the dishwasher is not included in the sale of the property. This safeguards you to ensure you won’t have any surprises and repairs needed before settlement of your property.

What types of identification do I need to sell my property?

70 points – Birth Certificate or extract, Citizenship certificate, Current Passport (or not exceeding expiry by 2 years)

40 points – License or Permit issued under law of Commonwealth, a State or Territory, current tertiary student ID

35 points – Rates or utility bills with name and address, Land titles office record,

25 points – reference to latest telephone directory as referenced by Telstra, marriage certificate, credit card statement, council rates, telephone account, medicare card

Generally, the most commonly used forms of ID are current Passport, Drivers License, Credit card, Medicare card, water rates and council rates. A 100 point total is required to satisfy security processes and audit procedures at Southern Gateway Real Estate.

How would you market my property?

At Southern Gateway Real Estate we understand that a high quality, customised marketing campaign helps your property to stand out. This means more interested buyers which helps create competition, so you’ll get the best sale price in the shortest time. Your property will be marketed through both our online and offline methods.

Nowadays most buyers do their research on the internet. It’s a convenient tool that can be used anytime, anywhere. Buyers want plenty of good photos and detailed information about your property immediately available…so that’s what we give them!

We’ll use lots of high quality professional photos to visually attract buyers — they can start to imagine themselves and their furniture in your property. Words don’t cost online so we’ll use lots of detailed text to sell the great features of your property.

Take a look at the ads on our website and you’ll see for yourself. And your property will be advertised to the same high quality on, and so it’ll stand out there as well!

In addition to the internet, we’ll advertise your property in all the other places buyers are looking:

  • A monthly email alert goes out to our extensive buyer database
  • Social Media marketing throughout the marketing campaign
  • And a signboard and “Just Listed” letterbox drop make sure buyers in your local area hear about your property too

A marketing campaign from Southern Gateway Real Estate will generate lots of interested buyers at your inspections, which increases competition so you get a great sale price.

When do we pay the marketing (VPA) for the sale of our property?

All marketing funds must be paid upfront when listing your property for sale. You will receive a tax invoice with our welcome letter from our office with the full amount to be paid and the due date for your payment.

The money paid at the time of listing will be transferred to our Trust Account and only used as needed. The majority of marketing charges are incurred in the first week of listing the property and whatever funds are not used by settlement will be refunded to you.

How long will it take to sell my property?

This’ll depend on market conditions and also the demand for your type of property at the time you’re selling. However, there are two important factors you can control that affect how quickly your property will sell:

Firstly you need to price your home correctly at fair market value. Buyers won’t come if you start your campaign with an unrealistic price, so your property will take longer to sell.

Secondly, select a good agent with a high quality marketing campaign to maximise the level of buyer interest and competition for your home. This will mean you start getting serious offers quickly.

The first 3 to 4 weeks that your home is on the market is when you’ll get the maximum amount of buyer interest. If it’s priced right, this is usually when you get the best offers.

After that interest usually drops quite dramatically. When a home takes more than a few months to sell, people think there’s something wrong with it and rumours can start. If the price is wrong, even the best home can sit there unsold for ages.

At Southern Gateway Real Estate we specialise in residential property sales, so we’re experts in accurately pricing properties in your local area. And we’re proud of our high quality marketing, it sets us apart from the competition.

What are the laws on RCDs and smoke alarms?

Since August 2009, sellers of residential properties have been required by state law to have at least two RCDs installed in the property. These safety devices must be fitted at the meter box (main switchboard) or distribution board for the residence by the settlement date.

The same law applies to owners with rental properties. Any residential property being leased must have RCDs fitted prior to the time the property is leased.

These devices can save people from electrocution. RCDs can also protect against fires which can start from small leakages of current from wires with damaged or perished insulation. Any licensed electrician can supply and fit the RCDs on the switchboard to a property.

There can be an exemption where the buyer will be demolishing the property. In such cases the seller should obtain a notice of intended demolition from the buyer prior to settlement. The notice will state the new owner’s intention to demolish the premises within six months after the settlement.

REIWA has prepared form 099 RCD Exemption in the Case of Demolition that can be used for this purpose.

The Electricity Regulations 1947 set out the Penalty for not installing RCDs:

(a)    in the case of an individual — a fine of $15 000;
(b)    in the case of a body corporate — a fine of $100 000.

For more information about RCDs visit the Energy Safety website.

In addition to this RCDs requirement, there is also a requirement to have hard-wired smoke alarms, no more than ten years old, in all residential properties being sold or made available for lease. The common battery operated smoke alarms will no longer be sufficient.

In situations where a hard–wired alarm cannot be fitted (such as flats or units with concrete ceilings that won’t facilitate new wiring), then long-life lithium battery operated smoke alarms must be installed.

In early 2018 the regulations were changed to provide an exemption to the requirement in cases where the buyer intends to demolish the built structures within six months of becoming the registered proprietor.

To comply with the exemption the buyer needs to make a declaration. REIWA has prepared a form 097 Smoke Alarm Exemption that can be used for this purpose.

For more information about smoke alarms, visit the Department of Fire and Emergency Services website.


What are the top budget-friendly upgrades that can add value to a property?

  1. A fresh coat of paint – this would have to be the item that adds the most value for its cost. A fresh coat of paint can lift the mood of a room, covers any blemishes, updates the colour scheme, and is very forgiving – even painting amateurs can achieve a good outcome!
  2. Street appeal – buyers often judge a book by its cover when it comes to choosing a home. Street appeal draws buyers to stop the car and view the house, rather than drive right on to the next house on the list.

This can include:

  • Removing the scruffy shrubs and trees to reveal more of the house can have a big impact, along with basic landscaping, such as adding mulch and easy-care plants to garden beds.
  • Cleaning the entrance area by clearing the path, removing cobwebs and updating the entrance mat.
  • Updating the front door or door handle, or painting the door a strong colour can give a great first impression before anyone even walks inside.
  • Cleaning or re-spraying roof tiles, painting or rendering dated brick-face will also lift the street appeal.
  1. Kitchen and bathroom fixtures – kitchen and bathroom renovations can add the most value, but they can be very costly. If you’re on a budget, simply upgrading the kitchen and bathroom fixtures can leave a lasting impression on potential buyers.

Upgrades may include:

  • Cupboard handles
  • Tapware upgrades – a good looking kitchen tap or shower-head can suggest good plumbing
  • New kitchen appliances – such as a stainless steel oven, stove or dishwasher
  • Replacing the exhaust hood or light fittings
  1. Home staging – while it’s not technically an upgrade, staging your property for a home open can have a big impact on a buyer’s first impressions. Hire or purchase some budget-friendly furniture and decorative pieces to fit out the property and update the décor.


How do you run inspections — open house versus private inspections?

At Southern Gateway Real Estate we offer both private inspections and open houses to provide maximum flexibility to buyers. We want as many people as possible see your property so you get the serious offers coming in.

We’re extremely thorough during inspections because we know every person who walks through your door could be the one to make that great offer. We’ll record all buyer details so we can follow up everyone. And we’ll make sure buyers take away an electronic brochure which highlights all the great features of your property, so yours is the one they remember.

Our agent will always be present during inspections and we’re extremely conscious of all security aspects, like closing windows and ensuring your property is locked up afterwards so you don’t need to worry.

At Southern Gateway Real Estate we understand the importance of communicating with you regularly so you always know what’s going on. We’ll contact you to organize inspections at a time that suits you. Then we’ll report back to you the results of the inspection and next steps.

So if you want an agent who’ll maximize every sales opportunity that comes through your door, and who will take care to lock it afterwards, complete the enquiry form at the bottom of the page or call us on 08 9439 3622.

What is difference for Strata, Survey Strata and Green title? How does this effect the seller and buyer?

A Strata Title is most often used in the case of home units or a block of flats, although this is increasing in the case of commercial office property.

The land in a Strata Title comprises the strata below and above the surface of the land as well as fixtures. The fact that land includes airspace above the surface is the concept which underlies the modern Strata Title.

A strata plan of subdivision also divides the airspace above the surface, i.e. it divides vertically as well as horizontally.

The strata plan of subdivision is a plan of the home unit building.

Common property is owned by a body corporate created by the legislation and comprising all of the lot owners.

Survey strata plans are different to the conventional strata plan as the buildings are not defined on the survey strata plan. This plan is basically for the land only and any buildings (and or facilities) incorporated upon it are for common use unless otherwise stated on the title deed.

Green Title is where sole ownership of the land and house are separate to the adjoining properties. Any alteration to the property (interior and exterior) require no approval from other owners in the adjoining titles within the strata.

Both sellers and buyers should be made aware of the type of strata involved as various fees may be associated such as a strata levy or additional insurance. Investors or home owners should note that to alter any strata type would require approval from adjoining strata titles and possibly a strata management committee. A strata management committee (or strata corporation/ body corporate) is required by law to be formed when there are 5 or more properties on the title.

What should I be asking if I am looking to buy a tenanted property

If you are looking to buy an investment property which is already tenanted, below is some important information you should review prior to making an offer. While there are advantages to buying a property that already has a tenant, it is important to do your homework so that you are not buying someone else’s problem.

You should ensure the below is available:

Lease – This should be included with the Contract of Sale. If not ask for it. With the lease you can confirm how long the people have been in the property and what was the starting rent. It would also be important to confirm that the current tenants match the names on the lease.

Condition Report – This document describes how the current tenant should return the property when they leave. Ideally it will be very detailed and not hand written with a description against each item. If there is no description it makes it difficult to hold the tenant to account when they leave. If it is hand written make sure it is legible, as it may be difficult to read again and it makes it hard to hold the tenant to accountable.

Rental Ledger – This will show how the rent has changed over time and will also show if the tenant pays their rent on time. Sometimes ledgers can be hard to read so feel free to contact us to interpret them for you if needed.

Last Rent Increase Notification – And what the previous rent was. This is important. Often rents are put up just before the property goes on the market. Thus the tenant may actually be looking for a new property because the rent is too high.

If you need any assistance to understand any of the above documents or on how to approach the selling agent with these requests, please contact our office on 08 9439 3622

Can I still obtain the first home owners grant if I buy a tenanted house, and it is still tenanted after settlement?

As long as you have the full intention of moving in after the tenant has vacated and it is within 12 months of settlement then yes, you are still eligible for the First Home Owners Grant.

There will be many more questions that you may have relating to buying or selling real estate and the best advice we can give is to give us a call and have a chat about your needs. We have experienced sales staff ready to take your call any day of the week so call on 08 9439 3622 or email us at