Transparent Negotiation – What, how, why?


So you’ve started seeing the words “Transparent Negotiation” pop up on real estate listings and you’re wondering what it means. Well, the answer is pretty simple… Transparent Negotiation is a totally transparent way of negotiating real estate transactions, and has been developed by agents to alleviate the frustrations and pitfalls of other selling methods. 

It blends the best characteristics of more conventional sales methods (like Auction and private treaty) into one flexible, fair and totally open method of sale, and creates an environment where agents can be totally transparent with all parties involved.

Sellers… Imagine knowing exactly how many buyers were going to be submitting offers on your property weeks before the set sale date. Or, imagine someone presenting you with an amazing offer prior to your Auction date, and still having the opportunity for all the other interested buyers to openly compete with that offer!

Buyers… Imagine never missing out on a property because you didn’t know how much you needed to pay. Imagine knowing all other buyers’ prices at all times (like an Auction) but without a public bidding process. Instead, you can bid from the comfort and privacy of your own home, and take your time to consider your next price.

Agents… imagine always being able to get your vendor the best price in a short time-frame by being able to include all buyers (e.g. those with finance or other conditions). Imagine an End Date Sale that was open and transparent, where the buyers could continue negotiating until you truly knew you had found the true market value of the home.

It really is a win-win for sellers, buyers, and agents alike – and is why agents across WA (from Broome to Bicton) are starting to adopt this new method of sale.

How does Transparent Negotiation work?

If a property is for sale by Transparent Negotiation, interested buyers are asked to submit their terms and conditions (things like settlement period, finance clauses and deposit amount) for the seller to approve. They’ll also be asked to submit a starting price on a separate form (which becomes like your ‘bidding sheet’ during the Transparent Negotiation). Your starting price does not have to be your best or highest offer (save that for the transparent negotiation). Only approved buyers (buyers who have had their terms and conditions accepted) can participate in the Transparent Negotiation.

The first starting price that the agent receives will become the advertised price for the property. If another buyer submits a higher starting price, that new higher price becomes the advertised price… and so on. This process can continue right up to the advertised date of the Transparent Negotiation.

However, if a starting price is submitted during this period which the seller would be happy to accept, the Transparent Negotiation may commence early (before the advertised date of the Transparent Negotiation) and all approved buyers will still have the chance to participate.

This process not only enables all parties to arrive at a true market value, but it takes the guesswork out of knowing what to pay by knowing what other people are offering to pay.

Another major plus for Transparent Negotiation is that it utilises technologies that we all use on a daily basis. Rather than bidding in public, buyers can submit their new price remotely by scanning, emailing, or sending a photo of their bidding sheet to the agent with each new price increase. This means buyers can bid from anywhere in the world as long as they have internet/mobile phone reception.

During the Transparent Negotiation, the agent informs all buyers of each new price that is received, giving everyone the opportunity to increase their price if they wish to. As the price increases, buyers will stop bidding or can withdraw from the Transparent Negotiation at any time if the price exceeds their budget. The buyer with the highest unchallenged price acceptable to the seller becomes the successful purchaser of the property – and the owner signs off on the bidding sheet to confirm the sale.

Why was Transparent Negotiation created?

Transparent Negotiation is a culmination of the knowledge and experience of some of WA’s top performing real estate agents and auctioneers, and has been designed to take the process of selling real estate into the 21st-century.

It brings together the best aspects of traditional sales methods, and removes the parts that don’t work so well.  By doing things just a little bit differently it puts trust and fairness at the forefront; giving sellers greater control and buyers a greater feeling of fairness.

To find out more about the Transparent Negotiation process and its success, please call us on 9586 5555 or email

RBA Rate Decision – October 2016

Effect on property markets.

Today’s decision by the RBA will have little impact on Australian real estate with property markets continuing to ramp up for the traditional spring time surge in activity. The two official cash rate cuts so far in 2016 (May and August) have continued to support buyer demand across most regions. This is evident in the very strong performance of auction markets with clearance rates consistently above 75% in both Sydney and Melbourne. Despite the onset of spring, listing numbers continue to hinder sales activity in some capital city markets. However, it’s hoped that the slow down in price growth will prompt prospective home owners to list their property over the coming spring and summer period.

rbaKey indicators

Capital city home values rose 1.0% in September and 7.1% over the past year. – Over the past 3 months Melbourne home values have recorded the strongest growth at 5.0% followed by Canberra (4.5%), Sydney (3.5%) and Adelaide (2.6%).
New listings in capital city markets are now -3.3% lower compared to this time last year.
The unemployment rate tightened by 0.1pts to 5.6% in August.
Australia’s population grew at 1.4% over the year to March 2016. This was led by Vic (1.9%), NSW (1.4%), ACT (1.3%) and Qld (1.3%).
Australia’s GDP increased by 0.5% in the June quarter, taking growth to 3.3% over the past year.
The Australian dollar fluctuated between US$0.74 and US$0.77 over the past month.

Source: RBA, ABS, CoreLogic


Mortgage shortfall? There may be a solution.

While many people successfully buy and sell property every year, unfortunately there are some cases where the sale price may not cover the outstanding mortgage. While this can seem like an overwhelming situation there may well be a possible solution….

The bank will notify your settlement agent (prior to settlement) indicating there will be a shortfall between the sale price and the outstanding mortgage.

When the shortfall is considered a smaller deficit (for instance, $20,000-$30,000) there is scope for the seller and their agent to talk to their bank and work out an alternative before having to sell the property as a mortgage in possession. The major banks do have departments which can deal with these situations. Depending on the institution, there may be a hardship team; a credit collections solutions team; or the shortfall voluntary sales and settlement team. The hardship teams for the four major banks are:

  • Westpac – 1800 067 497
  • Commonwealth Bank – 1300 720 814
  • ANZ – 1800 252 845
  • NAB – 1800 701 599

For a comprehensive list of hardship team contacts, visit the below:

Top 5 traits of a good landlord

Life as a landlord can be challenging if you don’t earn your tenant’s trust and respect. By aiming to be the best landlord you can be, you will likely find the role more enjoyable and attract better tenants. Here are five qualities that all good landlords have in common – how many traits do you possess, and what areas do you need to work on?


1. Good landlords are inquisitive  The best landlords know exactly the right questions to ask potential tenants. Highly inquisitive, with sharp minds, they genuinely enjoy getting to know people and have developed great intuition. This helps them to select reliable tenants to rent their property, and to avoid bad seeds. What’s more, they’re not afraid to ask the tough questions – although they always do this with the utmost respect and courtesy for all applicants.

2. Good landlords are reliable and trustworthy  At first glance you might think, hang on a minute – aren’t tenants meant to be the reliable and trustworthy ones? But renting a property is a two-way street. There needs to be mutual trust between both parties. The more your tenant trusts you (and vice versa), the healthier your professional relationship will be, and the longer it will last. Finding tenants can be time-consuming and costly, so make sure you put effort into developing a solid relationship with your current occupants. This will minimise the risk of conflict (or of your tenants paying you late!).

3. Good landlords are excellent communicators Problems often arise when landlords and tenants stop communicating regularly. Good landlords keep the lines of communication open throughout the entirety of the tenancy, not just in the beginning of the agreement. They check in regularly to make sure the property is in good condition, there’s no issues that need to be fixed, and that the tenant is comfortable and content. This helps to foster a sense of trust (as per point two) and has the added bonus of helping you stay on top of maintenance.

4. Good landlords are proactive When it comes to property, there’s always the risk that something might go wrong unexpectedly. A pipe could burst, a window could break, the shower could stop working. Whatever the trouble, it’s important that your tenants can trust you to fix the problem quickly and to your best ability. If you take too long to respond, this could lead to resentment, conflict and ultimately to the tenant leaving or potentially even taking legal action. If for some reason you can’t respond to the problem quickly, try to arrange someone else to respond on your behalf. It’s all about showing the tenant that you care and that you are working hard to resolve the issue.

5. Good landlords are highly organised  Being a landlord requires a fair amount of paperwork. The best landlords are highly organised and don’t let the paperwork get on top of them. They aim to stay one step ahead of the game at all times. For example, they always have marketing material waiting in the wings in case their tenants decide to suddenly hand in their notice. Or, they schedule in things like rent reviews, contract reviews and property check-ups well in advance, so nothing is sprung on their tenants unexpectedly. Good time management skills are a must, and will reduce your chances of experiencing stress or conflict.

Learn more about property investment. Download our free guide to finding the best tenant for your rental:


Savvy Gen Y’s New & Innovative Ways to Buy Real Estate Infographic

6 New and Innovative First Home Buyer Trends Infographic

New Buyer Trends for Under 30’s

Rising youth unemployment numbers, the mounting cost of property in Australia and low level of wage growth has fuelled speculation that First Home Buyers are being priced out of the property market, however new research by LJ Hooker shows Generation Y are finding innovative ways to get their foot on the property ladder.

According  to LJ Hooker’s Head of Real Estate, Christopher Mourd young property hunters in today’s market have changed their buying habits to overcome issues faced in our evolving property markets, adapting the way they buy, use and invest in property to suit the way they want to live or to suit their budget and investment strategy.

“It seems to be the case that while policy makers and industry groups have been consulting on the best approach to help, the younger generation has been working behind the scenes to find innovative new ways of ensuring that they can secure their piece of the Australian dream,” he said.

“There are no doubt challenges faced by first home buyers, however many savvy Gen-Y’ers see investing in property as a long term venture, not just somewhere to live.”

In Fact, the latest consumer research from shows that 23 per cent of those under 30 searching for property were investors and so will go that extra mile to secure a property.


LJ Hooker Research Reveals New Buying Trends

According to LJ Hooker Research Manager, Mathew Tiller there have been a number of factors that have influenced property hunters under the age of 30 to explore non-traditional ways of buying property, including; affordability, lifestyle choices, location and income and employment.

“The biggest driver changing buying habits of those under 30 has been the rising cost of property. The national average loan size for a first time buyer was $326,000 as of March 2015; a growth of 14 per cent over the past 5 years and 58 per cent since 2005.  Price growth has also dramatically slowed the time it takes to save up for a deposit,” Mr Tiller said.

“Also, rising levels of youth unemployment and low levels of wage growth since 2009 have not matched recent strong property price growth seen in capital cities. This has inhibited even those with secure employment from wanting to purchase their first property due to job security concerns and an inability to save for a deposit as fast as property prices have risen.”

These various economic, social and demographic shifts have resulted in a number of non-traditional buying trends emerging for those under 30. Here’s a fun infographic showing you what those trends are:

The Buyer Trends in More Detail


The most common new buying habit, first identified in LJ Hooker’s The (new) Australian Dream white paper, is that of the rentvester.® This buyer is currently renting, loves their lifestyle and doesn’t want to relocate from the area where they are presently living. The problem is that they can’t afford to buy in this area. Rather than disrupt their current lifestyle these buyers purchase a property in a more affordable part of the city or country, and rent that property out while they remain as tenants in their current location.

Team up

Younger buyers have looked to overcome the affordability challenge by splitting and sharing the cost involved in purchasing a property. They have done this by teaming up with a family member, friend or business partner in order to buy a larger property to co-inhabit or as an investment. The major decision here is how to structure the ownership arrangement.

Mr & Mrs fix it

Young families have looked to get into a larger house in their preferred area by purchasing an older smaller home which usually sits at the bottom of the price scale for the area. Generally, these properties are in need of major renovation; however, they allow buyers to add rooms and levels as their families grow.

Build ‘em up

Another more affordable way for young families to get into a new house is for young buyers to move out of their local area and into a newly built suburb. This has seen demand for house and land packages in new estates rise considerably over the past few years. For those not willing to compromise on location, purchasing a vacant lot and building from the ground up has also been away to remain within their preferred area.

Buy now pay later: Purchasing off the plan for extended settlement

Capital city markets have seen strong growth in the number of new developments being approved; this rise has been in line with an increased popularity of apartment living. Purchasing “off the plan” allows a buyer to put down a deposit now and not have to deal with the mortgage repayments until construction is complete. This has been popular with the under 30s as it allows them to keep saving or maintain their lifestyle in the short term until they move into their new property. This has also been popular for the younger generation of investors who want to lock in today’s price and capture the capital growth over the construction period.

Thanks Mum & Dad: Using parents’ equity

Parents have ridden the property cycle over the past few decades providing many with a hefty equity uplift or outright ownership of their homes. This has in turn allowed them to use their financial position to go guarantor on their children’s mortgage or stump up some cash to help out with the deposit. Recent research by the NAB shows that first home buyers are increasingly turning to their parents for help in order to get into the property market. They found that 6.7 per cent of first home buyers now use the NAB Family Guarantee; up from 4.8 per cent in 2010. While some have called these buyers KIPPERS (Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings) for the majority of first home buyers this is the quickest, most secure and best long-term financial solution to get a foot on the property ladder.

More tips on buying property in Mandurah.


Preparing For Storms

Dangerous storms are the most common natural hazard in Australia and on average, cause more damage and destruction than cyclones, earthquakes, floods and bushfires.


Each year from May to October, storms, including, tornados, thunder, lightning, hail, flash flooding and gale force winds cause major destruction to the southern half of the State from Kalbarri to Israelite Bay. They are unpredictable and the damage they can cause should not be underestimated.

Most storm damage to homes occurs from loose and broken roof materials, fallen trees and branches and flooding from blocked gutters and downpipes. You can stay safe and reduce damage to your home by being prepared.

Preparing your home is your responsibility.  Make preparing your home inside and out a priority and take these few simple steps to minimise damage from storms.

  • Check your roof and gutters for damage or loose material
  • Clear gutters and downpipes of leaves and blockages
  • Trim branches near your home and hire a contractor to clear trees from power lines
  • Clear rubbish from your yard, balcony or patio and put away any loose objects
  • Prepare an emergency kit with portable radio, torch, spare batteries, first aid kit and family emergency plan
  • Ensure your family understand storms and the risks
  • Prepare an emergency plan including a relocation plan in case your home becomes flooded.
  • Have a list of emergency phone numbers at hand

Consider what you will do with your pets.  Do you know how to turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies? Check if you have adequate home and contents insurance.

You can keep up to date with latest storm warnings and advice:

  • through news bulletins on radio, TV or online
  • on the Bureau of Meteorology’s website
  • by calling the Land Weather Warnings and Flood Warnings Advice Line on 1300 659 213

Or for more information:

Local Business of the Month – Salt Bistro, Mandurah

Sales Consultant Lorelea Abele talks to Charlie, General Manager of or our local business of the month Salt Bistro, Mandurah.

Q: What can you tell me about Salt Bistro and what should customers expect when dining at Salt?

At Salt we offer an a la carte Menu featuring all fresh and local seafood, 7 Day Lunch Specials, Coffee and Cake specials all day every day. The design and Atmosphere of salt bistro we aimed for the laid back yet classy feel where you want to stay longer, enjoy the beautiful outlook of the Mandurah esplanade while you relax and watch the world pass by.

Q: I understand that Salt has a new Menu, If you had to choose 2 signature dishes off the menu that are a must for everyone to try what would they be?

The two main signature dishes would have to be the Roasted Lamb Fillet and Dhufish-Local Prawns.

Q: Besides Fantastic food what else does Salt bistro offer for diners?

Salt Bistro Prides itself on Amazing service being the General Manager I personally ensure that every customer leaves Salt Bistro happy & 100% Satisfied.

We are fully licenced and offer a diverse range of Local & West Australian Wines, Fantastic Cocktails and Mocktails all at competitive prices.

Here at Salt Bistro we don’t just cater for the Adults we also have a Fantastic Kids menu which all meals are $10.00


Q: What are your opening hours?
Mon-Fri               10am-3pm
Sat & Sun            8am – till Late
Mon-Fri               5pm- till Late
Breakfast is served 7 days a week:           Mon- Fri              10am-12pm
Sat & Sun            8am – 12pm

Q: I understand that Salt also has gift vouchers available is this correct? Can you tell me a bit about these?

We offer Gift vouchers for $25.00, $50.00 & $100.00 these vouchers can be used just like real cash within Salt Bistro and have a 6 month expiry date. Perfect present for the person that is hard to buy for.


Q: Before we go is there anything you would like the Mandurah community & future customers who may be thinking of visiting Salt for the first time.

Salt bistro promises not to disappoint. We focus on not rushing our meals or dining experience and strive for Quality in our exquisite meals.

To Make a Booking: Call 9535 6336 or via our website at

Facebook page:

If you’d like to nominate a local business of the month please contact Lorelea 0438 033 226 or

Mandurah Christmas Gift ideas, local shopping tips from Kelly Swindell.

With Christmas just 1 week away, I’ve compiled a list for those of us who may not be as organised as we would like to be with having all Christmas gifts placed ready under the tree. Here are my top ten Mandurah outlets for finding that perfect gift for our loved ones.

Harley & Rose
Harley Rose

Located in the Meadow Springs Shopping Centre is my go to shop for beautiful bouquets of flowers, of which, my children’s school teachers will be receiving as a thank you for all of their dedication this year. Also packed with lovely gift ideas, which my friends and family have benefited from for years, there are so many trinkets available that make excellent gifts for Christmas.

Aster & Ruby

Located in Dolphin Quay, Aster & Ruby stock a wide range of gorgeous handmade clothing and unique accessories. Leading up to Christmas they have 25% off their Christmas clothing so a great opportunity to purchase something from one of their funky collections. My favourite children’s outlet in Mandurah by far!

Meadow Springs Country Club
Meadow Springs golf course

In the heart of Meadow Springs is the renowned golf and country club. Buy a membership or shout a round or two of golf to the ‘pro’ in the family. Their pro shop have available all your golfing needs including gift vouchers, which are also available for their restaurant. Either that or shout a loved one to a lovely lunch on the grounds in the restaurant.


On Pinjarra Road is this family run store who have everything from water sport fun and trampolines for the little kids (or big at heart kids) through to basketball rings and gym set ups and clothing for the gym nut in the family; everyone is taken care of here for summer fun!

Tuckeys Tackle
For the fishing fanatic, local tackle shop Tuckeys Tackle on Mandurah Terrace will take care of all of your needs. Whether you’re an amateur or just looking to throw in a line with the kids, to the more experienced, there are so many different present options at Tuckeys, of which I will be taking full advantage of for one of my own family members this Christmas.

Relish Kitchenwares

Again in Meadow Springs Shopping Centre, you will find Relish. As someone who has somewhat of an addiction to all things kitchen and baking, you’ll be in ‘kitchen heaven’. You will find tiered cake stands, tea pots, mugs and cups and cutlery sets perfect for gifts for the ultimate entertainer.

Rejuvenate Skin & Body
Being local to Meadow Springs, I’ve been going to Rejuvenate for years now. From tanning to nails to waxing as well as massages and treatments, Rejuvenate caters to everyone. They currently have their Christmas Packages available to purchase as gift vouchers which make a very relaxing gift and ones my Mum can vouch for that were very well received when I purchased one for her as a Christmas present previously.

Eco Spa
Also located in Dolphin Quay, Eco Spa are another of Mandurah’s lovely day spas. I adore having treatments there, including massages and facials. I love their organic products which are perfect for a Christmas gift and of course, gift vouchers.

Kayaks 4 U

Sitting right on the Western Foreshore, is Kayaks 4 U. They stock a large and varied range of kayaks, clothing and paddling accessories, ideal for the water sport enthusiast. With every day being demo day, so you can try before you buy, with guidance and expert advice from their experienced staff.

My last gift idea isn’t something that you can purchase per se. As cliché as it may sound, the gift of time, in my opinion, is the most important of all. Making the time to spend with your loved ones; whether that be ‘unplugging’ from our phones, tablets, laptops and gaming devices, taking time out by going on a long drive for a day trip somewhere or just, as simple as it sounds, taking the time to sit down with our kids to have a meaningful conversation, reading them a book or kicking the ball around the backyard. Being present, ultimately, is the best present of all.

Wishing all of my past, current and future clients a very safe and happy holiday season.

Kelly Swindell

Property Consultant
0499 995 583







Buying Real Estate – The Contract of Sale and Settlement

Contract Information

The contract of sale is a legally binding agreement between you and the owner of the property. It’s important to ensure all information provided in this contract is accurate and correct so the transaction can be completed successfully.

There are many details that need to be included in the contract of sale for a property.

  • Names and addresses of seller and buyer
  • Sale price of the property
  • Deposit amount and due date
  • Settlement date
  • Any special terms and conditions (finance, inspections etc.)
  • Chattels included in the sale
  • Whether the house will be vacant possession or tenanted

As this is a legal document, it’s crucial to go through it with the real estate agent and your own lawyer or solicitor to ensure the contract is sound. A lawyer can also help you understand your requirements during the sale.

Cooling Off

In some states, there is a cooling off period that commences as soon as both parties have signed the contract for non-auction sales. During this defined period, you have the right to walk away from the sale, usually after paying a small termination fee.

However, some owners may provide the buyer with an agreement to waive the right to a cooling off period when signing the contract of sale.

Settling the Sale – What You Need to Remember

There are many things you’ll need to organise between the time you sign the contract of sale and the settlement date.

During the settlement period, you will need to fulfil the conditions outlined in the contract of sale as well as any other obligations you have.


Before the settlement date rolls around, you will need to contact your mortgage lender and organise your finance for the home. Whether you’re closing a bridging loan, using a loan portability feature or taking out another mortgage, your finance needs to be organised as soon as possible.

The balance of the home is due on settlement day and will usually be paid to the seller once the lender has authorised the payment.


If you outlined any special conditions in your contract of sale, now is the time to fulfil these. For instance, the sale of your home may be subject to an inspection, valuation or some type of work by the owner.

For a smooth transaction, this needs to be organised well in advance to ensure everything is completed by settlement day.


Once both parties and solicitors have written to the agent to confirm the sale has settled, the agent can organise the handover of the keys to the new owner.

This can take a couple of hours to be finalised, so it’s a good idea to organise your removalists to come to your home the day after settlement.


Top Tips for buying Solar panels


As recommended by the Clean Energy CouncilHigh_0014_Clean Energy Council

  1. Be an informed consumer.

    Research your options, be clear on your needs and compare quotes.

  2. Know your daily electricity consumption.

    By understanding what you use, you can assess how much you would like your solar system to generate, depending on your budget.

  3. Get an estimate of how much energy your system will generate.

    Your contract should include an estimate of the average daily output of your system in kilowatt-hours (based on where you live and the size and position of your system).

  4. Check with your electricity retailer.

    Never purchase a solar system without knowing what rate you will be paid for the electricity you generate and whether this will affect any rates in your electricity bill.

  5. Choose a solar retailer that has assigned the Solar PV Retailer Code of Conduct.

    Ask your retailer if they have signed the Solar PV Retailer Code of Conduct.

  6. Always use a Clean Energy Council Accredited Installer.

    You can check your installer is accredited.

  7. Avoid signing up on the spot.

    You should not feel pressured to sign a contract on the spot. Take the time to understand up-front costs, warranties and payback of your solar PV system.

  8. Use products that meet Australian standards.

    Ask your installer to provide proof that the panels and inverters meet the standards. You can also check the product list on the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Accreditation website.

  9. Check the conditions of product warranties and work guarantees.

    Know who is providing the warranty (manufacturer or importer) and how long it lasts.

  10. Keep the documentation.

    A copy of your contract is necessary to resolve any disputes down the track.

  11. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For more information download the Clean Energy Council’s Consumer Guide to Buying Household Solar Panels.