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 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 much commission is charged when selling an apartment in Auckland? You should know what you are going to be left with after all the costs.
You also should know what’s most important to you, as an owner, to look for in an agent. We’ll bet it’s that they’ll maximise the amount of money you’ll be putting in your pocket. Just because the commission costs are higher it doesn’t mean you’ll be getting less when your apartment sells!
Get insight on what real estate agents in Auckland charge for commission and why, sometimes, it’s better to pay a little more commission to get a lot more value.
The commission charged when selling your apartment vary depending on your apartments value. You are charged 4% for a value up to $500,00, 2% for a value up to $1,000,000 and 1% upwards from $1,000,000 plus GST.
It is not always about the sales price you can achieve but rather you want to know how much you are going to be charged in commission and what you are going to left with after the sale has gone through.
Usually you will be charged around 4% for a property with a value up to 500,000. 2% for a property up to a $1,000,000 and 1% for properties sold for more than $1,000,000. This is plus GST unless you living outside of New Zealand and can prove your residency, then you won’t be charged GST.
There is however a minimum cost you will be charged and this applies to properties worth 3,000,000 and under.
These can vary across agencies and Apartment Specialists we charge $11,500 plus GST
When you sell a property below 300,000 there is a minimum fee, at Apartment Specialists ours is 11,000 plus GST (This is subject to change without notice).
However, it is more than just what your commission costs are going to be – you want to ensure the agent you have chosen is going to get the best possible deal for you. Asking your agent for their recent sales and what records prices they have achieved is a good idea to inform you with what price you may get.
We have an advantage in the apartment industry to help you realise your apartments worth as there are so many like for likes, for example the same apartment that has been sold in the building with the same specs and so on.
Planning on how long this process will take is an important aspect to consider when selling your property. We can’t say exactly but we can estimate due to averages that a freehold property takes around 30 days to sell including the campaign and then another 3 weeks to settle from there.
Leasehold properties are different, and typically take double the time to sell (around 60 days) but the same time for settlement, 3 weeks.
Bearing in mind that if your property is tenanted (Periodic) in both situations you are legally obligated to give them 42 days notice in writing if a purchaser prefers vacant possession.
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. we recommend the only time you avoid is December through to early January. If you sell during this time, it can cost you anywhere from $20,000-$50,000.
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.
Selling an Auckland apartment under a lease or hotel lease is relatively worthless, but there are situations when you really need to sell your apartment. In this podcast, Andrew Murray will show you the steps that you need to take when you plan to sell an apartment that is still in a lease. Get all the facts and more from this podcast.
Good day, Andrew Murray from Apartment Specialists. Today we’re talking about Auckland apartment sales and specifically, what happens if you can’t get your Auckland apartment out of its lease or its hotel lease. How do you sell it? We all know if an apartment is in a hotel lease, it’s worthless. But let’s face it, there are situations where you have to sell your apartment. If you have to sell it, well, because it’s in a lease and you can’t get it out, you can’t change that, so what do you do? The problem is, apartments are worth less when you sell them in a lease compared to when you’re out.
The reason why is, you can’t sell it to an owner-occupier, so that’s an emotional purchase, so, a person can fall in love with the apartment and pay more. Or, when it’s in a lease and then in every case I’ve come across, you receive less income than you are if you were renting it to a student, a family, or a professional, so it’s worth less again. So, if you have to sell your apartment and it is in a lease, there’s a way you can do it to get as close as you can to that value of what it would be worth if it was out of the lease. And you’re selling it as a long term investment. What you’re doing is, you’re selling it at the lowest return possible.
Whatever the mortgage rate is at the time, you’re selling it at that basically or less. So basically the new purchaser will just be having that as a.., but knowing in the long term there will be a little bit of capital gain when it comes out. So you’re raising that bar as much as you can. You have to realise if you are an owner, sorry, you need to do your very best to get it out of that lease, and if you can’t, you’re going to have to accept it that your apartment is worth less, and it’s minimising that loss as much as you can. So you can upsell it, and you can get very close, but unfortunately there’s not much you can do to get the true value unless you can get it out.
I can talk with anybody specifically on their apartment if they’re in that situation, on how you can get as close as you can possible, or how there are different ways you can get out of leases. Sometimes there’s some technicalities, that means you can get out. I’m happy to read through your original apartment lease for you if needed. I hope that gives you a bit of an idea, and I look forward to talking to you next week.
The average time period to sell an Auckland apartment and the factors affecting the period of sales.
Good day. Andrew Murray from Apartment Specialists. Today, I am going to talk about how long it takes to sell an Auckland apartment.
Now, looking at the average of our last 25 sales, I can say, on average, it took 27 days per apartment for it to go on the market and then get sold. You can say the average time to sell an Auckland apartment in the current market is a month.
Why do some apartments sell in a day and others take up to three months, sometimes four? Well, it comes down to three reasons: one being the actual property. How suitable is the property? Is it a property that’s favourable? For example, if it is not an owner-occupier property and it doesn’t get very much light, it’s going to take longer to sell.
Does the property have anything that is not going for it? For example, maybe there are a few issues in the complex and they need to be resolved. Well, that’s going to turn off a lot of buyers and make it again, difficult to sell.
Another one is access and that’s huge. Which is very different in this market than with houses. Because most of this market has tenants. If the tenants aren’t giving you access, that can make it difficult to sell again. But at the end of the day, it all generally comes down to one thing which is the owner’s situation.
If they needed to move quickly, price is the one thing that eventually holds it up. If the apartment is priced very well, it will go out of the door. If it’s priced not very well, it will last a long time. If the apartment is priced very well, it would probably go in generally, about a month and if not, it can take a lot longer.
It comes down to the client’s situation. If they want a very high price for the apartment, it takes longer. Hopefully, the ideal client will give us that time to be able to try to achieve that for them. Through the whole time, you are giving them feedback and often, if it is priced too high, the market tells you that, and we give that information to the owner, and they adjust it accordingly.
To recap on this one. Basically, on average, it takes 27 days or around about a month to sell an Auckland apartment. I hope that helps. In the next podcast, I will talk about how much it costs to market an Auckland apartment.
There is a difference between selling apartments and houses. Selling apartments is a very specialised market and often the buyers are a different group of people to those who are looking for a house.
At Apartment Specialists it’s all we do, we only do apartments and we are focused on putting you in control. There are other agencies who predominantly do apartments too; make sure you do your research and go with what suits you and your circumstances better.
Andrew Murray from Apartment Specialists. Who specialises in selling apartments?
Now just like if – which happens quite often, I have people come up and ask me:
“Can I sell a house?” I will say, “No.” They will go, “Why not? You did a great job with me, with my apartment.” I go, “Well I can sell your house. But I know I am not the best man for the job and the reason is, I do not specialise in houses”.
My market is apartments, which is a very specialised market. It is very unique. You’ve got a unit titles act. You’ve got a lot of different types of buyers. There is a lot of different ways you can add value which is very different to the housing market. I’m not confident in doing houses because I know there is somebody out there who can probably do it better.
Now that is not in case with apartments, then obviously that is what I do. Now I hope if somebody had an apartment and they went to a housing agent. And you know the majority of the business is houses – they said to them – “Would you like to sell my apartment?” That they would say – “No, I’m not the best agent for the job.” In an ideal world, that is what should happen. But unfortunately that does not happen. Most agents sell whatever they can, as that is the nature of the business.
Now to help you look for or find the best agent or agency for you, besides obviously listening to myself, from Apartment Specialists. There is also a few other agencies that do apartments or the majority of what they sell is apartments. Now you have got – the only two agencies which only do apartments – The Apartment Specialists and City Sales and you have also got Ray White. Their office down on Lorne Street, and Britomart. And then you have got Barfoots. Now they do a lot of the mortgagee sales. And you have got Baileys down on the waterfront. They do a lot of leasehold stuff. I’ve got a few agents who do some character stuff. And you’ve got Property Asia. The name says it all. And that is pretty much it. You’ve got other ones which dabble here and there but those are the main offices that have agents which – the majority of what they sell are apartments. That is where you will find the true apartment specialists. And there are those particular branches which are in the CBD.
So have a look around. Find out which agent or agency is best for you. Always make sure when you are going with an apartment or house you are going with somebody who specializes in: a. In your apartment and b. In your area. I hope that helps.
Next week, I am going to be talking about how to choose the right Auckland real estate agent for you.
Auckland apartment valuation is done using different methods like actual comparison of purchase price or meterage. It all depends on the valuers. However, this podcast will help you look into your apartment and show you how you can increase its value.
Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. How is an apartment valued?
Now, an apartments’ size does matter more than houses. More than anything else. And the reason why is the value of an apartment is all brought down to the value per square metre. For example, if you purchase an apartment for $400,000 and it is 100 square metres, well then the value of the apartment per square metre is 4,000 – per square metre.
What a valuer does is they come in, they talk about the market. A lot of this is copy-and-paste stuff. But really it comes down to the sales they use. And the valuer decides what sales to use. So there is a big grey area here. There is a lot of discussion that can be around – on the equity, on valuations – because the valuer can choose high sales in the building or low sales to compare. And they find values to support the value for something sold for. But anyway, stop worrying about it.
So, how it is done is for example here, this is a property in a character building and so what I have used to compare similar buildings in sales in buildings and taking every single one down to a square meterage. Say 24 Anzac Avenue, it is a three bedroom brought down to $3,496 per square meter because it is 163 square meters and it was sold for $570,000. Okay, one in the Metropolis. Okay, $540,000, 85 square meters. Divide 540 by 85, it gives you $6,353. And so, it is all about the sales price divided by the square meterage and it gives you the value.
You can see here they also use one in the building which generally is most reliant because they are much more comparable. So, for example 1C $220,000 which has 43 square meters divide 220 by 43 and it gives you $5,116 square meters.
Anyway they look at all of that giving more weight in general to apartments being sold in the building and you have evaluation. A hundred square meters and $5,200 when it costs $520,000. Now, the actual purchase price of that apartment is very similar to that and that is what most valuers will do. They will come up with evaluation very similar to the purchase price because that is what the market has shown. And they use the sales through square meterage to show us. Now, what is a very interesting question is, different valuers can show completely different values and neither is wrong.
So, it is a very interesting process. But I hope that gives you a bit of an insight to how apartments are valued. And then it will help you look at your own apartment. Or help you when you look at the value of other apartments – that compare one sale for or another sale for. And at the same or similar kind of apartment – and take it down with a square meterage. I hope that helps.
Next week I am going to be talking about– the question I am always asked, “When should I sell my apartment? How do I know?” And back to apartment sales.