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Australia - Property Search
Property websites are perhaps the most helpful in getting preliminary information for property buying in Australia. There are numerous options available, including many that allow individuals to connect directly with local real estate agents.
- One of the largest resources for properties for sale in Australia is RealEstate.com.au. The website allows you to browse hundreds of thousands of properties for sale based on the area of the country, state or other details.
- For foreign investors, Buy Australian Homes is another excellent resource. This resource is dedicated specifically to individuals who are foreign nationals looking for property in Australia.
Australian Estate Agents
Expertise is critical when it comes to buying property overseas. Hiring an estate agent to manage the transaction for you, including locating properties available is often a critical step for a foreign investor. There are several agencies in the country to choose from including LJHooker,Raine and Horne, and Century 21, to name just a few. Also, as you search through the above list of websites to find properties, numerous agents are available on those websites as well.
Real estate agents in Australia are regulated and must be licensed. Those who are working as an estate agent can apply for their own licence if they have the right qualifications and have the right amount of work experience behind them. In order to apply for the licence they must supply evidence of both qualifications and experience and a fee is payable.
The agent that is licensed is responsible for the conduct of the other agents that work for them. If their conduct or the conduct of their firm is considered to be below standard then they face penalties including disciplinary procedures and in severe cases, the cancellation of their license.
The vast majority of sales are handled by estate agents. They will work on behalf of both a seller and a buyer and are usually responsible for most of the procedure of a house sale and purchase. They will carry out title searches, arrange for property inspections to take place, negotiate prices on behalf of buyers, prepare contracts and will monitor the process from start to finish. While real estate agents are regulated, their fees are set by the company that holds the licence for that particular firm. Fees are paid by the seller.
If you prefer you can hire the services of a professional buyer’s agent. These are usually a former estate agent and are familiar with the property market. However, their fees are usually on the high side. You may be required to pay a registration fee and a percentage of the house price. For expats, this is a service worth considering as it can take much of the hard work out of a house purchase, but this is not something that is wide spread and buyer’s agents may not operate in the area you would like to buy in.
If you wish to, you can also select to look for properties to buy in Australia through the numerous online versions of newspapers available. Many have up to date listings of properties for sale, including The Sydney Morning Herald, News.com.au, The Mercury out of Tasmania, and Perth Now out of Perth, Australia.
The more local your search is for property available in Australia, the more likely you are to get accurate information about properties for sale as well as pricing. These resources are often a great place for research and developing an idea of what you are after, though working with a real estate agent who is local to the area you wish to move into is far more beneficial.
Foreign buyers searching for property in Australia need to be aware of any restrictions while they are searching. Permission is required in some circumstances from the Foreign Investment Review Board (www.firb.gov.au). Further details on this organisation are given in the Property Purchase and Building sections of this guide.
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