How can we have our investment rented quicker?

Rentals are quite similar to sales with the two main points being price and also marketing. However there are some other factors when it comes to rentals too.

As for price, you should be able to get a fairly accurate appraisal from your property manager based on recent events. However if there are now more vacant properties on the market which are similar to yours, you may want to consider lowering the price. It does not always need to be a big change in price per week but it may just give you the competitive edge to secure a good tenant. Sometimes a good, long term tenant is worth a reduced rent in the long run anyways. Every week vacant is a full week’s worth of rent not accumulated.

The marketing can also be a factor as discussed in the answer to the sales question. We unfortunately do see some properties advertised with dark, blurry photos and with not much to get excited about in the text either. Obviously when given a list of properties to choose from, any with mediocre marketing will be the last to be considered. At Hand Property Co we pride ourselves on our marketing and taking as much pride as representing our rental properties as we do our sales.

Is there a high demand feature you could include? This might be as simple as making the property pets negotiable or doing a little extra like adding a second toilet, tidying the front yard, securing the rear yard or even installing the always-important shed. Ask your property manager for suggestions as they will know what is in demand at the moment.

Should we rent or sell our home?

There’s a few factors to consider. How will the rental income affect your taxable income? Can you cover the mortgage repayments if there are any vacancy periods? Is it in an area where the rental market is stronger than sales at the moment? Will you have some money set aside for any maintenance that may come up if you do keep it as a rental? The best place to start is to get an appraisal for rent and sale then speak with your accountant too.

How do we make our property sell faster?

If only there was a magic bullet.  However the two main points are really PRICE and also MARKETING.

It can be hard obviously to objectively value your property, especially if it has been your much loved home previously. Sometimes when the property does not seem to be getting much interest and a price alignment is discussed, it can be a difficult task to consider taking less for a property that you value so much and have a personal attachment to. All we can suggest is to take a step back and consider the agent and buyer’s feedback and also your own views on what you want. Do you need to sell and does it need to happen soon? Some people are happy to wait for their ideal price and that’s okay too.

In all honesty, most of the time it will come down to price but there is also the question; how does the marketing look? We unfortunately do see some properties advertised with dark, blurry photos and with not much to get excited about in the text either. In these cases, potential purchasers are probably not even clicking on the marketing to find out more, let alone calling for an inspection. It is unfair on the Vendor and does not do the property any justice. It’s worth checking out the marketing and making sure it’s to a high standard. At Hand Property Co we pride ourselves on our marketing and we believe the home owners should always be included in the marketing campaign to ensure their satisfaction.

So what if the Agent has done a great job on the marketing and you all agree the price seems fair value? Sometimes in a regional market or even if your property is a little more ‘unique’ than others, it may just take a little time to find the perfect buyer.

What expenses are involved in selling a property?

Most people are aware that there is an agent’s commission fee involved in selling a property however there are also marketing expenses, conveyancing fees and possibly      capital gains tax (CGT) to  consider. Your agent can let you know about the commission and marketing fees at the appraisal stage however ask your accountant if CGT will be        applicable. As for conveyancing fees; a ballpark figure would be between $800-$1100 but you can ask your conveyancer for a specific quote.

What expenses are involved in buying a property?

A couple unavoidable expenses in the buying process are stamp duty and conveyancing fees. To get an estimate of stamp duty fees you can use the calculator at the local government website: www.sa.gov.au

As for conveyancing fees; they vary for each practitioner so it is best to call and ask for a quote first but a general ballpark figure would be between $800-$1100 (2017).


What’s the difference between an appraisal and a valuation?

An appraisal is the term used when a registered real estate agent provides an estimate of a property’s value. They are an estimate and do not have a legal standing. The Agent will normally provide this for free to give you an indication of value if you want to sell. A valuation however is prepared by a qualified valuer and there is a fee involved.   Valuations are required when a definitive value is needed such as for court matters or obtaining finance on a home loan.

What happens when a tenant defaults on rent?

It depends how many days the Tenant is in arrears. After 14 clear days, a Form 2 – Notice to Vacate (South Australia) can be sent following a stipulated legislative procedure. This notice then gives the Tenant at least 7 days to pay the outstanding amount.


If the Tenant does not meet the requirements of the Form 2, the matter can be lodged to appear before the Tribunal. At Tribunal, it is decided whether the Tenant can remain in the property with conditions in place to remedy the arrears or they may decide on a termination of Lease date.


If you have engaged a Property Manager from Hand Property Co Pty Ltd, they will manage this process for you including sending the appropriate forms according to legislation, providing all documents to the tribunal and representing you in the Tribunal hearing.


Ideally if there has been rental arrears, the bond money held can cover the rental arrears owed but it is also crucial to have good Landlord insurance to cover anything above the bond as well.


The Tenants may also be listed on ‘TICA’ which is database of Tenants who have defaulted in some way on their Lease terms and it has not been remedied. If that Tenant applies for rental properties in the future, it is quite likely that the Property Manager will find them on TICA and it could affect their decision as to rent to them or not.

Things to look for when buying a property?

The main things that can be overlooked at a property inspection are generally the items that you can’t always see. For example; the wiring, the plumbing, the septic system, roofing, any termite damage present and so on. So make sure you have a good look around even on the first inspection. If you don’t feel confident that you know what to look for, bring someone along that you know and trust if possible. If you like the property and are considering making an offer, it is also advisable to then hire a building and pest inspector who can give you a written report on the condition of the property. Bear in mind though, there is a cost involved with both reports.

Should we make improvements to our property before selling?

A common occurrence we see is over capitalisation in the Riverland.

Improvements might help sell your property quicker however you might find you have spent several thousand dollars and the sale price has not increased in par with the outlay.  Some smart low cost options might make a huge difference though so it is best to speak to your Agent openly first and discuss what could be worth doing and what they feel might end up costing you more money than its worth.

Who is responsible for water costs in a rental property?

This really depends on what you agree upon in the Lease. We are seeing most investors pass on the full cost to the Tenant, as it is fair to ask them to pay for this utility as they would for their power, gas etc. However some investors decide to pay a portion themselves to encourage the Tenants to water the gardens which the property owners have often spent hundreds or thousands of dollars establishing and want to see them maintained.


Should I speak to my bank before looking at property to buy?

It seems like an obvious answer of YES but it is incredibly common to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new property and forget to first assess your financial position.  Speak to your bank, a broker, financial planner, whoever it is that assists you here, and really work out what you can afford before looking. Most importantly, ask yourself as well, what do I want to achieve?

How long does it take to get finance approval?

We are experiencing the waiting time for formal finance approval increase. Most of our clients have taken 4 to 6 weeks to receive the formal letter of approval from the banks. Even clean deals are taking time to achieve formal approval. If the property is rural, commercial, or a business sale it can easily take longer too.


What does a conveyancer do?

A conveyancer oversees the transfer of ownership of real estate from one person or entity, to another. The preparation, execution, verification and lodgement of numerous legal documents are important elements of conveyancing. If you are buying or selling a property, you use the services of a conveyancer to ‘settle’ the sale.

How is water charged to the tenants in my investment property?

First, you decide what portion of the water account you would like the Tenant to pay. This is normally spoken about with your property manager when you first sign the Property Management Agreement.

You might decide to charge all water usage and supply charges to the Tenant or you may decide to pay a portion yourself, for various reasons. Sometimes Landlords may cover the supply charge or, pay a set amount of each bill as incentive for the Tenant to water the lawn and gardens regularly.

The water account is kept in your name and either the mailing address will be updated to the agency address or you will continue to receive them, and forward them on to the property manager.

When your property manager receives the bill each quarter, they will pay it from the rent received to ensure it is paid on time as often the due date is within one to two weeks of receiving the invoice. As the account is still in your name, the property manager endeavors to be extra diligent to ensure it is always paid on time hence why it’s not often feasible to wait until the Tenant’s portion is due. The Tenant is invoiced for their portion and given a fair and appropriate amount of time to pay the account. When the payment is received from the Tenant, that is then passed on to you.

When should a buyer apply for a mortgage?

It is best to meet with the lenders prior to placing an offer on a property. Whether you choose to engage a bank, mortgage broker or mortgage banker, is up to you. Each lending institution will require certain information to allow them to thoroughly analyse you current situation, credit history and borrowing power. Pre-approval for a mortgage is also a great idea as it gives you the opportunity to work out how much you can borrow to purchase a particular property.

Be cautious and make sure you engage the right lending institution. Don’t be afraid to shop around and speak with brokers who deal with multiple banks to ensure you have the best chance of approval for your particular situation.

Whats involved in making an offer on a property?
  1. Firstly the prospective purchasers needs to fill out the prescribed form provided by the selling agent.
  2. Once the form has been completed and signed the Hand Property Co agent will present the offer to the vendor(s).
  3. All agents are required to pass on all signed offers to vendors.
  4. Once the vendor has received the offer a Hand Property Co agent takes them through each section and makes them aware of what each section means and the implications of each section.
  5. Once the vendor(s) have made a decision, the Hand Property Co agent contacts the perspective purchaser and gives them the direct feedback/ interest.
  6. Once an offer has been accepted, the Hand Property Co team prepares a contract for sale of which is completed and signed by both the Vendor(s) and perspective purchaser(s)
Why choose Hand Property Co Pty Ltd?

Hand Property Co Pty Ltd is an innovative property company offering services in Sales and Property Management for Residential, Commercial and Rural Real Estate across the Riverland and the surrounding areas.

Our main focus is to Value Add to each service we provide to give our clients unbeatable professional service and incredible value for money.

We strive to offer the best customer service, communication and guidance to all our clients. We guarantee an honest approach and will strive not only to meet and exceed our clients expectations but in turn, achieve their property goals. We are constantly investigating new technologies, software and opportunities to give our company and clients the leading edge.

We love what we do and who we partner with. We bring enthusiasm and commitment to every project we work on and we constantly remind ourselves of our core values, which are:

• Effectiveness
• Efficiency
• Honesty
• Persistence

Put simply, if you want a real estate agency who cares about you and your goals; Hand Property Co Pty Ltd is the company for YOU!