Brisbane's sales market, property taxes and rates etc, Real Estate Marketing

A new 'tax' on selling your property?

selling houses in BrisbanePutting your place up for sale is about to get harder and will probably cost you more money, thanks to a new state government requirement.

In an “innovative and nation-leading sustainable housing policy” our Minister for Infrastructure and Planning has introduced a mandatory Sustainability Declaration. From January 1st 2010 every seller of a residential dwelling in Queensland will have to fill in a 2 page checklist.

But don’t worry, the Minister says it’s “simple” and “user-friendly”…. Have a look at the draft Sustainability Declaration for yourself.

I had a go at doing one for my house and completed just 13 of 31 questions.  I didn’t know if my shower heads were WELS 3 or WELS 4 rated. And I didn’t know what the “R-value” of my ceiling insulation would be either….

To be fair we agree there needs to be a bigger focus on energy use in existing housing. But these questions are going to take sellers some time and create another hurdle to selling.

You won’t be able to advertise your place for sale until you have a Sus Dec and your agents must display it at open homes and advertise to prospective buyers that it’s available. It looks like the penalty for not doing this will be $2000 for you and $10,000 for your agent…. so if you’re thinking of selling after Christmas you might need to read up on this.

We’re guessing that most sellers will pay a building inspector to complete the form, especially in Brisbane’s inner city where many homes are rented and their investor-owners barely know the property.

Will this create a new value and ‘point of difference’ for homes with extra features and bring a higher focus to sustainability? Maybe. But given the time/cost impost on sellers, and the very small percentage that will be fully completed, we’re not sure it’s a worthwhile change at all.

The government is not even going to collect the data. That might have been useful – they could target their campaigns/incentives at getting home owners to upgrade the items that really make a difference.

We’d be interested to hear your comments…