Monday, July 17, 2017

The Future is Now: How Technology is Making Property Transactions More Convenient

As the digital age continues to transform how we live, technology is progressively becoming integrated into everyday life. These days, hardly anyone can get by without a smartphone, the Internet and a home computer – and with such mod cons at our reach, it’s becoming more commonplace for transactions and business deals to take place online, too.

The property industry has not be immune from this advancement – in fact, it has enthusiastically kept up with the evolution of digitisation.

In the United States, the industry belief is that we’re headed towards seamless transactions: Rick Sharga, CMO of California real estate firm Ten-X, confirms: “The notion that people will be able to buy and sell properties wherever they are, whenever they want, using whatever computing device they feel like, is where the industry is going.”

Whether such a fast-paced state of play will be adopted in Australia remains to be seen!

That said, we are already seeing evidence of several ways in which technology is simplifying property transactions, for both buyers and sellers:

  1. Real-estate apps

    Apps continue to make life easy for agents and vendors, compiling complicated services into handy, user-friendly packages. For instance, Australian depreciation experts Washington Brown have developed the Property Calculator app for iOS, which helps investors to calculate expected depreciation tax benefits. The BMT Tax app serves the same purpose for Android users. Buyers can also determine the best properties and suburbs to invest in through the Suburb Investor app, which utilises data from CoreLogic to provide information on value. And of course, a good browser app never hurts to get you access to the top real estate websites.

  2. Social media

    One of the best places to list – and find – homes for sale these days is increasingly through social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Word spreads easily because postings can reach your friends, and their friends – and you never quite know who’s following along. Social media also enables a seller to show off photos and videos of the property on the market, and to even provide real-time updates on any work being done to enhance the property further.

  3. Virtual reality

    Interested buyers are now able to view houses through their screens instead of having to personally visit the property. Video tours are one of the most popular ways to market real estate, especially those that utilise 3-D software, as they enable you to experience a home halfway across Australia. Photo editing software is getting more sophisticated, allowing virtual staging – where you can add decor and furnishings to listings photos – in order to give buyers a premium idea of how the house will look once lived in.

Behind the scenes, technology is enabling faster processing of paperwork and correspondence, which may soon translate to faster conveyancing and improved finance processing times, leading to quicker settlements.

However, whilst there are now a number of ways that the real estate industry is evolving and improving, nothing quite beats the personalised touch of one-on-one service. Whilst these apps and advances help to facilitate long-distance (and even global) interactions, buyers and sellers ultimately do business at a personal level, through phone calls, text messages and e-mail. At Think Conveyancing, we leverage the best of technology to make our operations as efficient as possible, while also keeping our focus on our customers. For an obligation-free chat about your situation and how we may be able to assist you, contact our friendly team at Think Conveyancing on 1300 932 738, or request a free quote online.

The Future is Now: How Technology is Making Property Transactions More Convenient

As the digital age continues to transform how we live, technology is progressively becoming integrated into everyday life. These days, hardly anyone can get by without a smartphone, the Internet and a home computer – and with such mod cons at our reach, it’s becoming more commonplace for transactions and business deals to take place online, too.

The property industry has not be immune from this advancement – in fact, it has enthusiastically kept up with the evolution of digitisation.

In the United States, the industry belief is that we’re headed towards seamless transactions: Rick Sharga, CMO of California real estate firm Ten-X, confirms: “The notion that people will be able to buy and sell properties wherever they are, whenever they want, using whatever computing device they feel like, is where the industry is going.”

Whether such a fast-paced state of play will be adopted in Australia remains to be seen!

That said, we are already seeing evidence of several ways in which technology is simplifying property transactions, for both buyers and sellers:

  1. Real-estate apps

    Apps continue to make life easy for agents and vendors, compiling complicated services into handy, user-friendly packages. For instance, Australian depreciation experts Washington Brown have developed the Property Calculator app for iOS, which helps investors to calculate expected depreciation tax benefits. The BMT Tax app serves the same purpose for Android users. Buyers can also determine the best properties and suburbs to invest in through the Suburb Investor app, which utilises data from CoreLogic to provide information on value. And of course, a good browser app never hurts to get you access to the top real estate websites.

  2. Social media

    One of the best places to list – and find – homes for sale these days is increasingly through social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Word spreads easily because postings can reach your friends, and their friends – and you never quite know who’s following along. Social media also enables a seller to show off photos and videos of the property on the market, and to even provide real-time updates on any work being done to enhance the property further.

  3. Virtual reality

    Interested buyers are now able to view houses through their screens instead of having to personally visit the property. Video tours are one of the most popular ways to market real estate, especially those that utilise 3-D software, as they enable you to experience a home halfway across Australia. Photo editing software is getting more sophisticated, allowing virtual staging – where you can add decor and furnishings to listings photos – in order to give buyers a premium idea of how the house will look once lived in.

Behind the scenes, technology is enabling faster processing of paperwork and correspondence, which may soon translate to faster conveyancing and improved finance processing times, leading to quicker settlements.

However, whilst there are now a number of ways that the real estate industry is evolving and improving, nothing quite beats the personalised touch of one-on-one service. Whilst these apps and advances help to facilitate long-distance (and even global) interactions, buyers and sellers ultimately do business at a personal level, through phone calls, text messages and e-mail. At Think Conveyancing, we leverage the best of technology to make our operations as efficient as possible, while also keeping our focus on our customers. For an obligation-free chat about your situation and how we may be able to assist you, contact our friendly team at Think Conveyancing on 1300 932 738, or request a free quote online.


The Future is Now: How Technology is Making Property Transactions More Convenient posted first on http://thinkconveyancing1.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

New First Home Buyer Benefits – The First Home Super Saver Scheme

It was announced in the 2017/18 Federal Budget that eligible first home purchasers will be able to use the advantages of super to save for their home deposit.

The First Home Super Saver Scheme

The Government is allowing first home buyers to make voluntary contributions into super in order to save for a home.

First Home Buyers will be allowed to contribute up to $15,000 per financial year and $30,000 (over two years) in total from 1 July 2017.

From 1 July 2018 First Home Buyers will be able to apply to withdraw any voluntary contributions that they have made to their super for a deposit on their first home. The maximum amount that can be released from super is $30,000.00 of personal contributions, plus an associated deemed earnings amount.

There are many benefits, one of which is that by making these contributions by salary sacrifice, it may allow people to generate savings using super’s concessional tax rates.
Any withdrawals from a super fund will be subject to approval from the Australian Tax Office and will be taxed at the relevant marginal tax rate, less a 30% tax offset.

Time to get saving for your first home!

Speak to your Super Fund or read more here

https://www.ato.gov.au/General/New-legislation/In-detail/Super/First-home-super-saving-scheme/

Monday, July 10, 2017

Looking into the Crystal Ball: The Future of Property Conveyancing

When a homebuyer finds “the one”, they usually want to rush through the process of buying so they can move in as soon as possible! However where buying and selling property is concerned, conveyancing is a vital aspect in ensuring that the transaction runs smoothly, and all legal loopholes are covered for both purchaser and vendor.

Given its vibrant housing market, Australia has a robust conveyancing industry with conveyancers found in every state. As with all industries, conveyancing is undergoing advancements and changes to suit the needs of an ever more digital-savvy population.

Here are some trends we’ve observed that tell us where the art of property conveyancing is heading:

  1. Save the trees!

    With environmental issues increasingly top of mind, preserving our forests via the introduction of paperless processes. Given that property conveyance requires so much paperwork, it’s only natural that it is becoming increasingly popular. Conveyancing is a very paper-heavy process, but it is slowly making the move into digitisation.

    Indeed, the NSW government has made motions to phase out printed certificates of title as electronic processes become more secure and reliable, while the Big 4 banks have collectively discarded 1.6 million printed land certificates for mortgages in Victoria. The rise of e-conveyancing is also expected to limit settlement delays and generate significant time savings.

    Dominic Perrottet, current Treasurer and the Minister for Industrial Relations and former Minister for Finance, Services and Property, puts it this way: “Across Australia, the future of conveyancing is digital. The benefits are clear, the technology is here.”

  2. The rise of DIY.

    Another trend in property conveyancing is the DIY movement. This has become popular among those who are on a budget, and has led to some firms offering conveyancing kits that outline the typical components of a property transaction and provide a background on conveyancing.

    While DIY could potentially save you some money upfront, there are several inherent risks to this option. For those who want to try DIY conveyancing, it’s important to note that it can be a time-consuming and at times complex process. With a professional conveyancer guiding you forward, you are less likely to make mistakes, which could have complicated, complex and lasting implications. Read more about the big risks of DIY conveyancing here.

    Furthermore, conveyancing is a highly regulated procedure and some legal documents in a DIY kit still require signoff from a licensed lawyer or conveyancer; if attempting to manage your own conveyancing, it could be difficult to find a legal practitioner who’s willing to provide short-term or ad-hoc services.

  3. Security first.

    With the rise of e-conveyancing comes the need for increased security awareness, both on a conveyancer’s part and on a client’s.

Cyber security is a serious concern especially with hackers growing bolder and more aggressive in their attempts to obtain personal information, and the compromise of data can lead to legal trouble. It’s important that you work with a conveyancer that is up to date with the latest verification laws, as this new standard practice goes a step further towards ensuring your identity is protected.

These are just some of the big trends impacting the conveyancing and property industry and at Think Conveyancing, we make sure we’re on top of the latest changes that could impact our valued clients.

Our lawyers are committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience to you, whether you’re buying or selling property, so for more information about our services, processes or fees, contact our friendly team on 1300 932 738. You can also contact us online here.


Looking into the Crystal Ball: The Future of Property Conveyancing posted first on http://thinkconveyancing1.blogspot.com

Looking into the Crystal Ball: The Future of Property Conveyancing

When a homebuyer finds “the one”, they usually want to rush through the process of buying so they can move in as soon as possible! However where buying and selling property is concerned, conveyancing is a vital aspect in ensuring that the transaction runs smoothly, and all legal loopholes are covered for both purchaser and vendor.

Given its vibrant housing market, Australia has a robust conveyancing industry with conveyancers found in every state. As with all industries, conveyancing is undergoing advancements and changes to suit the needs of an ever more digital-savvy population.

Here are some trends we’ve observed that tell us where the art of property conveyancing is heading:

  1. Save the trees!

    With environmental issues increasingly top of mind, preserving our forests via the introduction of paperless processes. Given that property conveyance requires so much paperwork, it’s only natural that it is becoming increasingly popular. Conveyancing is a very paper-heavy process, but it is slowly making the move into digitisation.

    Indeed, the NSW government has made motions to phase out printed certificates of title as electronic processes become more secure and reliable, while the Big 4 banks have collectively discarded 1.6 million printed land certificates for mortgages in Victoria. The rise of e-conveyancing is also expected to limit settlement delays and generate significant time savings.

    Dominic Perrottet, current Treasurer and the Minister for Industrial Relations and former Minister for Finance, Services and Property, puts it this way: “Across Australia, the future of conveyancing is digital. The benefits are clear, the technology is here.”

  2. The rise of DIY.

    Another trend in property conveyancing is the DIY movement. This has become popular among those who are on a budget, and has led to some firms offering conveyancing kits that outline the typical components of a property transaction and provide a background on conveyancing.

    While DIY could potentially save you some money upfront, there are several inherent risks to this option. For those who want to try DIY conveyancing, it’s important to note that it can be a time-consuming and at times complex process. With a professional conveyancer guiding you forward, you are less likely to make mistakes, which could have complicated, complex and lasting implications. Read more about the big risks of DIY conveyancing here.

    Furthermore, conveyancing is a highly regulated procedure and some legal documents in a DIY kit still require signoff from a licensed lawyer or conveyancer; if attempting to manage your own conveyancing, it could be difficult to find a legal practitioner who’s willing to provide short-term or ad-hoc services.

  3. Security first.

    With the rise of e-conveyancing comes the need for increased security awareness, both on a conveyancer’s part and on a client’s.

Cyber security is a serious concern especially with hackers growing bolder and more aggressive in their attempts to obtain personal information, and the compromise of data can lead to legal trouble. It’s important that you work with a conveyancer that is up to date with the latest verification laws, as this new standard practice goes a step further towards ensuring your identity is protected.

These are just some of the big trends impacting the conveyancing and property industry and at Think Conveyancing, we make sure we’re on top of the latest changes that could impact our valued clients.

Our lawyers are committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience to you, whether you’re buying or selling property, so for more information about our services, processes or fees, contact our friendly team on 1300 932 738. You can also contact us online here.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Homeowners Beware – The Risks of Accepting Unwritten Quotes

Buying a property is more than just the fairytale ending of purchasing a home and settling in to live happily ever after. It is often a tricky business, especially when third parties get involved in your quest to create your ideal sanctuary.

Most people know the general rule of thumb when getting quotes: always request at least three quotes.

However, the often-forgotten side note to this rule is that those quotes should be provided in writing. It is important to have a document that serves as a personal insurance in the event of any disputes or miscommunications – particularly if legal issues arise as a result.

What protection does a written quote offer?

It is essential to get quotes in writing regardless of the job at hand, whether you’re hiring a plumber, a builder or a conveyancer. This is true even if you know the person who is doing the work.

You might think, “I’m working with someone I really trust”, and you therefore choose to take a contractor’s word for it. However, here are some reasons why that’s not enough:

  1. A quote that’s not confirmed in writing can suddenly change in cost.

    This can spell trouble, especially if you’re on a budget. A quote is meant to provide specific details on costs such as tools and labour, allowing you to wisely make decisions based on what you can afford. However, if you accept a verbal quote, it may not be legally binding – and you run the risk of a service provider suddenly increasing the price for any number of reasons, at a point when you can no longer turn back.

  2. A quote that’s not in writing can cause confusion regarding scope of work.

    Failing to clarify expected services or scope of work clearly and in writing can lead to disagreements and misunderstanding. An important distinction to keep in mind is that an estimate is different from a quote. Estimates are usually given verbally and can be vague with regard to the details on the work to be done. Quotes are usually more concrete and can be relied on as a final figure.

  3. A quote that’s not in writing can prevent you from fairly comparing.

    A written quote allows you to keep track of the prices, inclusions and expected timeframes. Ideally, you should be requesting the same information so you can compare apples with apples. You may receive (and accept) a lower verbal quote, only to find after the fact that it increases once extra services and inclusions are factored in – and it therefore wasn’t the most competitive quote at all.

What if my supplier can’t provide a written quote?

Understandably, there are some situations where suppliers may be incapable of presenting a very clear quote right off the bat. In these cases, estimates can serve as a temporary placeholder, but they should always be followed by proper written quotes once the details have been hammered out.

For instance, at Think Conveyancing, when we provide a written quote to potential clients, we include fixed costs for services that we know are relevant, and we then include a guide/range of costs for services that may be required and estimate costs for disbursements that may be incurred. This provides transparency and ensures there are no surprises when the bill arrives.

Keep in mind that written quotes don’t need to be actually supplied on paper; they can be provided via the post, on email or even in a text message.

Ultimately, getting a written quote is about safeguarding yourself. The acceptance of a quote indicates a need for both parties to follow through on the listed terms, so by having something in writing, you protect yourself from getting ripped off.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss your situation in further detail, please contact our friendly team on 1300 932 738. You can also contact us online here.


Homeowners Beware – The Risks of Accepting Unwritten Quotes posted first on http://thinkconveyancing1.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Homeowners Beware – The Risks of Accepting Unwritten Quotes

Buying a property is more than just the fairytale ending of purchasing a home and settling in to live happily ever after. It is often a tricky business, especially when third parties get involved in your quest to create your ideal sanctuary.

Most people know the general rule of thumb when getting quotes: always request at least three quotes.

However, the often-forgotten side note to this rule is that those quotes should be provided in writing. It is important to have a document that serves as a personal insurance in the event of any disputes or miscommunications – particularly if legal issues arise as a result.

What protection does a written quote offer?

It is essential to get quotes in writing regardless of the job at hand, whether you’re hiring a plumber, a builder or a conveyancer. This is true even if you know the person who is doing the work.

You might think, “I’m working with someone I really trust”, and you therefore choose to take a contractor’s word for it. However, here are some reasons why that’s not enough:

  1. A quote that’s not confirmed in writing can suddenly change in cost.

    This can spell trouble, especially if you’re on a budget. A quote is meant to provide specific details on costs such as tools and labour, allowing you to wisely make decisions based on what you can afford. However, if you accept a verbal quote, it may not be legally binding – and you run the risk of a service provider suddenly increasing the price for any number of reasons, at a point when you can no longer turn back.

  2. A quote that’s not in writing can cause confusion regarding scope of work.

    Failing to clarify expected services or scope of work clearly and in writing can lead to disagreements and misunderstanding. An important distinction to keep in mind is that an estimate is different from a quote. Estimates are usually given verbally and can be vague with regard to the details on the work to be done. Quotes are usually more concrete and can be relied on as a final figure.

  3. A quote that’s not in writing can prevent you from fairly comparing.

    A written quote allows you to keep track of the prices, inclusions and expected timeframes. Ideally, you should be requesting the same information so you can compare apples with apples. You may receive (and accept) a lower verbal quote, only to find after the fact that it increases once extra services and inclusions are factored in – and it therefore wasn’t the most competitive quote at all.

What if my supplier can’t provide a written quote?

Understandably, there are some situations where suppliers may be incapable of presenting a very clear quote right off the bat. In these cases, estimates can serve as a temporary placeholder, but they should always be followed by proper written quotes once the details have been hammered out.

For instance, at Think Conveyancing, when we provide a written quote to potential clients, we include fixed costs for services that we know are relevant, and we then include a guide/range of costs for services that may be required and estimate costs for disbursements that may be incurred. This provides transparency and ensures there are no surprises when the bill arrives.

Keep in mind that written quotes don’t need to be actually supplied on paper; they can be provided via the post, on email or even in a text message.

Ultimately, getting a written quote is about safeguarding yourself. The acceptance of a quote indicates a need for both parties to follow through on the listed terms, so by having something in writing, you protect yourself from getting ripped off.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss your situation in further detail, please contact our friendly team on 1300 932 738. You can also contact us online here.