There are commonly 3 taxes which can be charged when property is bought or sold.
Goods & Services Tax (GST)
Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
There is no Stamp Duty in NZ (but it is charged in Australia).
CGT only applies if you bought after November 2015 and sell within 2 years.
GST applies when an apartment is on a commercial lease.
When selling your apartment, it is important to know what taxes you may or may not have to pay as this effects the outcome.
There are three main taxes involved when selling your property/apartment in Australasia but not all or any will apply to you necessarily.
New Zealand is a great place for property as the taxes charged are lower than any other first world country.
There is no Stamp Duty which is a tax charged on purchasing a property in Australia or the UK.
Capital Gains Tax only applies to you if you bought after November 2015 and sell within 2 years.
However, the one tax to look out for which many owners forget or are unaware of is GST.
Goods & Services Tax or more commonly known as GST applies to you if the apartment is bought with the intention to be used for what is called a taxable supply.
I.e. for a commercial capacity.
For example, a guaranteed rental, commercial lease or an apartment in a hotel lease.
The important thing here is if your apartment was intended to be used as a taxable supply make sure you talk to your accountant, as there is a good chance that when your sell your apartment a 15% tax will be applied or passed onto the next purchaser both effectively reducing what you are left with.
As an owner, you might be wondering what YOU need to do, or help with, in the process of selling your apartment. After you choose the agent that you feel will best represent you and get a good price for your apartment in the time frame you need, what else needs to be done on your part?
Surprisingly little. We do the leg work for you. From the time you sign the listing agreement to the time your apartment goes on the market and we start getting offers, we are there for every single step of the process. And, we’ll keep you up to date on each step, too.
As an owner you have to find an agent that best suits you and your needs when selling your apartment.
Finding an agent and building a relationship and setting expectations that both parties are happy with is the first and most important aspect of selling your apartment.
Once you have found an agency the rest is fairly simple. You will need to sign a listing agreement and as this is a legally binding document we suggest you get a lawyer to look over this for you. The difference with Apartment Specialists is that we don’t lock you in. You are in control.
The agent will advise you with all the details of the campaign, marketing, the current market and so on.
The final step is making sure you are kept up to date – setting these expectations and how much involvement you would like is up to you and we tailor these to suit you as an individual.
What happens with you sign a sole agency agreement with an agency? Here are 3 examples from owners that we worked with who wanted to sell their apartment. Unfortunately the agencies with whom they signed just didn’t deliver at all or in a timely manner and this is due to the sole agency agreement in their contract.
Signing and selling my apartment with a sole agency agreement and what that means for me. This is important to understand as a Sole Agency agreement is legally binding. At Apartment Specialists we don’t lock you in.
It is important to understand and know your rights as an owner when selling your apartment and what it means when signing a Sole Agency Agreement.
This is because it is a legally binding document and sometimes owners don’t realise this and what implications this may have.
The most common clause in an agreement is signing with an agency and being locked into 90 days with the agency. This means if you are not happy or you feel the agent is not working for you, you can’t change until that time period is up.
We trust in that if the service is good why would you want to leave.
The choice should be yours.
In any other industry this would not be accepted, so why real estate?
How is the value of your apartment calculated? Oftentimes real estate agents will look at the sales statistics for the apartments in your building and base the current value of your apartment off these previous numbers. But how can sales in your building alone be an accurate gauge on price?
The value of your apartment is usually calculated by a number of factors including recent sale prices, sales in the buildings and the most important like for like buildings in similar areas.
Firstly, we look at apartments that are the same, these are usually in the same building. Most agents stop there; we go further and look at other buildings that are similar to help us gauge the real market value of your property.
This is where our expertise are superior, we have the knowledge of all the buildings in Auckland and understand our market well.
Calculating size, carparks, level and so on are all important factors to consider when valuing a property as well as record prices in the building and recent sales in both your building and other that are alike.
We can market your apartment without even entering the building as we have floor plans of all buildings in Auckland and know these buildings inside and out.
What is the difference being a specialist for you, an apartment owner looking to sell? With thousands of apartments in the Auckland CBD and surrounding suburbs and at least 100-150 apartments selling every month, you need the right information so you can make the best decisions for you.
Apartment specialists looks at the value of apartments, not just in your building, but of those in the surrounding buildings as well. The apartment market moves all the time and we make sure we’re aware of it when valuing your apartment.
In this video you’ll see a real estate agent missed out on $61,000 because there were sales occurring at the time that didn’t show up on the sales statistics.
My apartment worth is found out by speaking to a specialist. At Apartment Specialists we know our market well and can give you a well-informed, educated and up to date value on your property.
There are over 26,500 apartments in the Auckland CBD and fringes and around 395 buildings which will become up to 450 in the coming years. Each month there are 100 to 150 sales of apartments.
We know this by understanding our market well. This is done by constantly keeping up to date and being in the know. It is not just about being an agent but about being a specialist in the market.
We look at apartments that are the same, these are usually in the same building and look at other buildings that are similar to help us gauge the real market value of your property. Calculating size, carparks, level and so on are all important factors to consider when valuing a property as well as record prices in the building and recent sales in both your building and other that are alike.
By being well informed, we can help you make the best decision that works for you and selling your property.
If you’re looking to sell your apartment in Auckland, although there’s no real ‘right’ time there is definitely a period you want to avoid which. If you sell during this time, it can cost you anywhere from $20,000-$50,000.
In this quick video, Andrew Murray at Apartment Specialists tells us exactly when to avoid a campaign to sell your apartment and why! Listen in to find out when the sweet spot is to get your apartment on the market. Apartment Specialists knows… that’s why we’re the specialists.
Apartments are different to houses and can be sold most times of the year, we recommend the only time you avoid is December through to early January.
Selling at the wrong time can end up costing you more than you may have anticipated. However, apartments are very different to houses and most of the year is a good time.
However, the only time to avoid would be the December, early January period – the holiday period, this is due to a lot of events happening in people’s lives, end of deadlines, holidays, family commitments and so on.
This podcast gives us an insight on what happens to the rest of the body corporate fee that has been paid advance when you sell your apartment.
Good day. Andrew Murray from the Apartment Specialists. Today we will talk about what happens when you’ve already paid your body corporate fee in advance. For example, you’re selling your apartment. You paid your body corporate fee three months ago. What happens to that? You’ve paid it for the whole next year or you’ve paid it for the whole next six months. What happens to that money you’ve already paid when you sell your apartment?
Now what happens is, on settlement date, it will be apportioned. For example, let’s look at it like an orange. Let’s say you’re halfway through the year and you’ve paid the body corporate fee for the whole year. And when you sell that apartment, you’re halfway through the year. What happens is, on settlement date, you will get half of your body corporate fee back that you’ve already paid. It’s done just basically on percentage terms.
If you have paid your body corporate fee and you’re only 20% into that period, you will get the remaining 80% back. It’s pretty simple. When you go to sell your apartment, you’re going to get back the money you’ve already paid in advance for any maintenance and rates on your apartment as well.
An explanation of the different parts of and the necessity for a pre-contractual disclosure in Auckland apartment sales.
Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. What is a pre-contractual disclosure? Now, in 2010 an Act was created called the Unit Titles Act. Now, that replaced the old act of 1972 and has come to force in June 2011. The aim of this act was to provide more disclosure to purchasers because if you are aware of the Auckland apartment CBD market, there has been a lot of apartments which have had watertight issues. And there are a lot of purchasers who came in and bought and were unaware, or just purchased and were not given all the facts. So the aim of this act, a huge focus, was to increase the disclosure part of it, in regards to putting in place procedures which make sure that a purchaser has all the information.
So a pre-contractual disclosure is the first disclosure out of the three that was brought in. There is a pre-contractual disclosure, an additional disclosure and a pre-settlement disclosure. Today we are going to be talking about the pre-contractual disclosure and that one has to be given to a purchaser before entering a sale and purchase agreement. If not, that contract is null and void. So, it has to be given.
Now, on the other side of that, there also is a pre-settlement disclosure that comes later. And an additional disclosure which can be given on request. A pre-contractual disclosure, as you can see here, most of it, in the normal format is just an educational document. We are here specifically talking about a unit 3E. Got the body corporate number, the unit title plan, all that kind of thing. And it gives you general information. It is about definitions. What is a body corporate? What is a disclosure statement? What does it provide? Because a lot of people that are purchasing apartments are doing it for the first time, the whole concept of the unit title can be very confusing. So part of that is pretty straightforward.
The real nuts and bolts of a pre-contractual disclosure is the information about the unit in the complex. So it will give you the fee, the body corporate fee in writing, and what period that is paid on. Obviously, it will be over a year, that is most common. And when does the body corporate decide what fee it is going to charge? At the AGM. And then it also talks about any maintenance that is going to be carried out in the next 12 months – which generally they will refer to the minutes – which is called the AGM. It is an annual general meeting, which every building has, referred to the 212 AGM and EGM minutes. EGM means extraordinary general meeting. It is something that should alarm, or raise alarm bells. Which means either the body corporate is planning something that is a major, i.e. they are painting the building because it is going to raise the values. Or it needs a paint or something like that. So maybe a special levy needs to be talked about, or they will come across an issue. And that issue needs to be discussed on how they want to manage it. So if that comes up, make sure you get a copy of that EGM to understand what that is.
The next is the body incorporate fund. And this is seeing how healthy the body corporate is. You want these numbers to be as high as possible because they are the figures that are going to be paying for things. Paying for this maintenance and paying for things that come up by chance, i.e. if the lift needed to be refurbished or something like that.
Then under here, number nine. It will say how much it costs as an additional disclosure. For more information, it generally ranges between about $200 and $500. Here it is $250. And then, there is number ten. Now, this is where I have a big gripe over this legislation. I believe there is a hole in it – I know there is a hole in it – and it needs to be tweaked. Because it is not giving the purchaser the visibility or the trust in this document that it needs to. And I will explain that in my next podcast. So basically, you have looked in at number ten as saying, “The unit or the common property is not currently, and never has been, the subject of a claim and under the Weather-tightness Homes Resolution Services Act 2006 or any other civil proceedings relating to water penetration of the building and the unit title development.”
I will explain that in my podcast why this statement here is not worth the paper it is written on. It is very misleading. And why? It makes this whole disclosure really irrelevant in my opinion. So basically when you look at a pre-contractual disclosure – just a summary of it – it is giving all the information you need to make the right decision. But do not rely on it because of that number ten – and I will explain that in my next podcast – because it does not actually tell you if there has been watertight issues. It just tells you about a claim, if there has been no claims. And also, it is at the cost of the owner so the owner has to pay for it. The costs range between $0, for some body corporates charge nothing for it up to 300 and sometimes $350 for the pre-contractual disclosure. Why – when they are the same documents – are some free, some are not? There is no reason. Ask your body corporate. It is a bit of a troubling sector in some ways, I believe.
Anyway I hope that helps. And yes, this next podcast I am going to go over what every purchaser should be aware of. That this document is not actually how it should be. Its intentions are good, but actually what it is achieving is incorrect. Anyway, I will talk to you about that next week.
Simple rules that agents or private sellers can follow to establish a better relationship with a tenant and make selling a tenanted Auckland apartment a smooth and easy process.
Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. When selling your Auckland apartment, what happens to the tenants?
Now, there is a very good chance that when you sell your apartment it is going to have tenants in it. Being that between 65 and 70% of all Auckland apartments are tenanted. So, a huge concern with owners is when they do come to sell their apartment, what is going to happen to their tenants? Because it is their income stream. So they are worried that the tenants are going to go elsewhere or they are going to start looking or they are going to stop paying you rent. Now, that is a valid concern. But it can be made not a concern at all by following a few rules that we outline when we deal with every tenant.
Now, it is very common for us because at Apartment Specialists, just doing apartments means we are dealing with tenants all the time. The first thing is – the simple basic steps I follow is – respect the tenant because it is their home. Treat them as you want to be treated. Very, very simple, but often forgotten.
Now, create a relationship with the tenant. Actually explain the process. Make them understand their rights. Make them understand that a tenancy agreement is more powerful than a sale and purchase agreement. So we cannot kick them out. Explain that if it does go to an owner-occupier, their tenancy agreement still stands and notice has to be given. Explain to them that your job, or what an agent’s job is, is to sell that apartment as quickly as possible; and for the highest price possible; and to annoy them the least amount possible. And then to enable that to happen, it would be great that if they could help, if they could keep the place tidy. And when they realize that they are actually helping the situation, they often come to the party.
Now, another one is communication. Now, that is a big one. Arrange a schedule of viewing times so they know. Arrange it around them. Put them in control. Have the times each week so they know when it is happening. And you still ring them the day before to remind them. Have it maybe every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and a Saturday. Or have it Saturday between 12 and 1, and Sunday between 12 and 1, and Thursday afternoon. Have it consistent. Work around their schedule and work with them and through that, they all often give you a key. Give you access and let you go whenever you want. But through putting them in control, it puts them at ease and you explain what the risks are and they are minimal from their situation. And you will have very happy tenants and a very smooth sale process because at the end of the day, they are the gatekeepers. And you have got to look after them as much as you look after the owners that that you are selling the apartments for. The only valid concern that can be dealt with very easily, if done properly.
Hope that helps. And I am not too sure about what I am talking about next week. I was thinking about it and I guess you are going to find out.
Apartment Specialists provides you with list of information that will help you figure out the best time to sell your Auckland apartment.
Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. Today we are talking about a question I get asked every single day – I know I have said it quite a few times – but this is one every apartment owner always asks, “Is now a good time to sell my apartment?”
There are quite a few answers to that question. I know it seems like a very straight forward one. But they are actually – it is not that straight forward. Because at the end of the day it is actually what is best for you being the owner. Now, there is my personal opinion on what is going to happen in the apartment market – and there is what is best for you.
These two things are completely different. For example, the best thing for you may be to sell your apartment right now because you need the money to do other things. To go on a holiday; it may be a family situation; it may be to put the money somewhere else where it is going to make more money. There are so many different situations though. In that regard, it is irrelevant to what I think is going to happen in the market. Because you are selling because it is the best thing for you.
My job is to give you all the information you need to help figure out what is best. I.e. should you auction your apartment? Should you list it with a price? How should you do it? Should you dress it? How should you market your property? Should you sell it?
If there is a window of six months. Should you sell it now? Should you sell it in six months? If it is a hotel lease, should you wait until you get it out of the pool? Or should you keep it in the pool? All these kind of questions.
Then there is a second question: Should I sell my apartment now? Now that is where I say – Okay, if it was my apartment, and there was none of these other factors, that is when it is very different.
My personal opinion is that there is still more in this market to go. We are still always moving but the thing is – the apartment market is a very different one. It is one that actually does not hit you hard on the back of the housing market. It rides on supply and demand. If there is a lot of apartments available, the price goes down. It is all about the developments.
As you know, the developers are selling off the plans again – which means there is going to be new apartments coming to the market. They are not there yet. They have not been bought yet. I know they are being planned to be built. So I would not sell now. I will probably wait a while. Wait until you start seeing the cranes in the sky. Then I would assess the situation. And then look at – okay, maybe it is time to accept. Or maybe you want a lot – you want to talk long, long, long term.
It all depends on the purpose of your purchase. If it is just for income and you do not care about capital gain then it does not matter. Unless if it’s going to affect he rental situation for example; if you have all of a sudden, had a flood in your apartment, well that could lower the rent. It is a big, big question that cannot really be answered in general terms. That is something that is very specific to the particular person’s situation, the particular person’s goal with their investment, and the particular person’s apartment.
For example, there could be a development going on in front, in a couple of years it could lose its view. That would be advantageous if capital gain was the sole reason for you to sell now. The answer is – I cannot give you an answer. But it all comes down to you being a specific owner, and me giving you the information to help you figure out what is best for you, and you making that decision. Lovely. Cool.
Next week, we will talk about – you are going to sell your apartment, but you have got tenants. How are they going to be affected? Are they going to be affected? Will they move out? It is something that is a concern of most people when they are going to sell – what do they do with tenants. I will cover that very briefly and then how we look at it.