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Of course, not all agents work the same hours, but this will give you insight into their level of experience and involvement within the market. Full-time agents will also have more time to work with you, and will likely be more willing to work around the hours that best suit your busy life. Whichever your preference, timeliness is important in the real estate game. You want your agent to communicate with you regularly and give you the information you need when you need it.

There are loads of great ways your agent can use technology , and strong agents will take advantage of this to be more productive and to get the best results for you. How attractive is the presentation? Most buyers start their search online , so this is very important. Does your agent offer you multiple ways to get in touch with them in a pinch? Do they use programs that allow for electronic signature of documents? Buyers and sellers can often have conflicting schedules, so this can really streamline the process.

Not only will these tools and systems create efficiencies, but also they show that your agent is current and engaged with the industry. You may also want to ask who they see as their top competitors. A good agent will want to build a strong connection with you as well.

While experience and skills are valuable, your agent needs to understand your expectations, so find one who does. For more information, visit the Commercial and industrial noise page on the Environment Protection Authority website and the Odour page on the Environment Protection Authority website.

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If the property is part of a subdivision with common property such as driveways or grounds, it may be subject to an owners corporation. You may be required to pay fees and follow rules that restrict what you can do on your property, such as a ban on pet ownership. For more information, view our Owners corporations section and read the Statement of advice and information for prospective purchasers and lot owners Word, 53KB. You should investigate whether you will be required to pay a growth areas infrastructure contribution.

To find out if a property is within the Melbourne Strategic Assessment area, which has special requirements for biodiversity conservation, use the Obligations in the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy Area tool on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning - Native Vegetation Information Management website. Properties are sometimes subject to the risk of fire and flooding due to their location. You should properly investigate these risks and consider their implications for land management, buildings and insurance premiums.

To find out who is responsible for floodplain management in your area, visit the Catchment management framework page on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website. You may wish to find out more about exploration, mining and quarrying activity on or near the property and consider the issue of petroleum, geothermal and greenhouse gas sequestration permits, leases and licences, extractive industry authorisations and mineral licences.

You should consider whether past activities, including the use of adjacent land, may have caused contamination at the site and whether this may prevent you from doing certain things to or on the land in the future. For information on sites that have been audited for contamination, visit the Contaminated site management page on the Environment Protection Authority website.

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You should compare the measurements shown on the title document with actual fences and buildings on the property, to make sure the boundaries match. If you have concerns about this, you can speak to your lawyer or conveyancer, or commission a site survey to establish property boundaries. For more information, visit the Property and land titles page on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website. All land is subject to a planning scheme, run by the local council. How the property is zoned and any overlays that may apply, will determine how the land can be used.

How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home |®

This may restrict such things as whether you can build on vacant land or how you can alter or develop the land and its buildings over time. The local council can give you advice about the planning scheme, as well as details of any other restrictions that may apply, such as design guidelines or bushfire safety design. There may also be restrictions - known as encumbrances - on the property's title, which prevent you from developing the property. You can find out about encumbrances by looking at the section 32 statement.

The local council can advise you if there are any proposed or issued planning permits for any properties close by. Significant developments in your area may change the local 'character' predominant style of the area and may increase noise or traffic near the property.

The Changing Role of the Residential Real Estate Broker

The local council can give you advice about planning schemes, as well as details of proposed or current planning permits. A cultural heritage management plan or cultural heritage permit may be required prior to works being undertaken on the property. For help to determine whether a cultural heritage management plan is required for a proposed activity, visit the Planning and development of land page on the Aboriginal Victoria website. Building laws are in place to ensure building safety.

Professional building inspections can help you assess the property for electrical safety, possible illegal building work, adequate pool or spa fencing and the presence of asbestos, termites or other potential hazards. There are laws and regulations about how buildings and retaining walls are constructed, which you may wish to investigate to ensure any completed or proposed building work is approved. The local council may be able to give you information about any building permits issued for recent building works done to the property, and what you must do to plan new work. You can also commission a private building surveyor's assessment.

For more information about building regulation, visit our Building and renovating section. Ask the vendor if there is any owner-builder insurance or builder's warranty to cover defects in the work done to the property. You can find out more about insurance coverage on the Owner builders page on the Victorian Building Authority website and Domestic building insurance page on the Victorian Building Authority website. Unconnected services may not be available, or may incur a fee to connect.

You may also need to choose from a range of suppliers for these services. This may be particularly important in rural areas where some services are not available. For help choosing an energy retailer, visit the Victorian Energy Compare website. For information on possible impacts of easements, visit the Caveats, covenants and easements page on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website. The contract of sale and section 32 statement contain important information about the property, so you should request to see these and read them thoroughly.

Many people engage a lawyer or conveyancer to help them understand the contracts and ensure the sale goes through correctly.

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If you intend to hire a professional, you should consider speaking to them before you commit to the sale. There are also important rules about the way private sales and auctions are conducted. These may include a cooling-off period and specific rights associated with 'off the plan' sales.

The important thing to remember is that, as the buyer, you have rights. For more information, view our Buying property section.