Sell Your Backyard FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
How big does my land have to be?
It doesn’t matter what size your land is. If you can imagine a
small unit there, then it’s worth
contacting us. Even if you can’t imagine it, why not contact us
anyway. If it helps, in
Victoria there have been residential dwelling built on
subdivisions as small as 169 sqm.
Can I have a say in how much of
my yard is carved off?
Yes of course. It’s perfectly reasonable that you would want to
keep some garden around the
back (or side) of your home. We are happy to work with you on
your ideas about resizing
What does Sell Your Backyard do with the land
once I’ve sold it to you?
We work on plans to build a residential dwelling or dwellings.
We might develop the
property ourselves, or after a successful subdivision
application, sell the property to a third
party with plans and a building permit.
How do you work out what you’ll
pay me for my backyard?
Before we make you an offer, we methodically undertake a costs
analysis. This involves
researching current market value, recent market trends, the size
of the possible subdivision
the type of access, costs for subdivision approval, costs for
landscaping and fencing, cost of
connecting and reconnecting essential services, costs of
anything additional you might have
requested, new garage for example and so on. Please refer to our
Information Pamphlet for
How long will it take before I
have the cash in hand?
We expect the process to take approximately 5 to 6 months. This
will vary depending on
council processes. In more difficult cases, it could take
longer. If it is likely there could be
difficulty processing a subdivision application or there could
be a delay we notify you on the
I don't fully own my home yet; I
have a mortgage. Does the bank need to be
Yes, but we would expect the bank to welcome a reduction in your
Will my Council Rates decrease
after I’ve sold my backyard to Sell Your Backyard?
Yes, retaining ownership of a property which has been reduced in
size should mean that your
council rates will decrease. Your retained property should be
revalued by your local council
and your rates adjusted accordingly. Sell Your Backyard will liaise with
council and advise them that a reevaluation
of your property should be conducted..
Shouldn’t I seek independent
Yes, we encourage you to engage a solicitor to peruse the
contract of sale and include any
conditions that you might think prudent. You might also want to
discuss the possible sale
with your accountant.
Shouldn’t I obtain an independent
We encourage you to seek independent advice about the value of
the proposed subdivision.
You could do this informally, by asking a real estate agent for
an appraisal of what they could
sell the land for; or formally by commissioning an independent
valuation. To compare the
market valuation with the Sell Your Backyard offer, you need to deduct all
costs of the subdivision, such as
land surveying, application administration, landscaping, legals,
advertising, agent’s fees and
so on, from this amount. If Sell Your Backyard’s offer is still less, consider
if the balance of having a fixed
price, a guarantee and no capital outlay is worth the financial
Do I need to prepare anything for
the initial assessment?
We will require a copy of the Title Certificate. This will
enable us to identify any restrictive
covenants that might be placed on your land. If you have copies
of site plans, and water,
sewerage, drainage plans this would be a great help.
Will I have to pay Capital Gains
Tax? How much will this be?
When you sell the home you live in you are exempt from Capital
Gains Tax (CGT). However,
(unless you bought your home before 20 September 1985*) when you
sell off your backyard
you are not. Despite the fact that government urban
consolidation policies are ‘encouraging’
medium density housing, you will still be required to pay CGT on
the income you receive
from the sale of your backyard. Calculating the amount of CGT
depends on many variables,
such as when you bought the property, the purchase price, the
sale price, etc. To complicate
things more, there are even different ways to work it out! For
more information, speak to
your accountant or visit the “Capital Gains Tax essentials” page
on the Australian Tax Office
(*Assets acquired prior to 20 September 1985 you are generally
exempt from Capital Gains Tax).
Can I have a say in the type of
fencing and landscaping?
We welcome your opinions and ideas. The design and budget for
landscaping and so on will be discussed with you when
negotiating sale price.
Will I be inconvenienced while my
backyard is being developed?
Only along the driveway, and the rear construction will simply
be like a neighbour building
an extension. Remember, by the time your backyard is being
developed you would already
have been paid a lump sum for it. It’s a good time to take that
big holiday you deserve.
Do I have a say in what is
developed on my backyard, even after I’ve sold it to
Sell Your Backyard?
We will share the plans with you out of courtesy. Our design
professionals have to design
within council guidelines, and to
appeal to the property market.
We will consider your opinion, but unless you create a caveat on
the sale of the land, we have the right to determine the design
as we see fit.
What if I decide not to proceed
with the project after you have submitted to
To prepare an application for
subdivision for council takes a lot of time from a lot
of skilled people. We would have encumbered considerable cost on
our resources. You are
legally liable to continue with the sale.
If a planning permit is not
issued what happens?
We either change the plans to suit council's concerns, or appeal
against the council decision.
The worst-case scenario is that your property is just not
suitable for development. Which is
disappointing for you, but better than if you had tried to
sub-divide yourself and had
exuberant consultancy and legal costs to pay and no end result.
What do I need to prepare for
The Certificate of Title, and water/sewer/drainage plans if you
have them. For things you
should prepare for yourself, see the question below.
What could I be doing while
you’re investigating subdivision possibility?
Before we get back to you with preliminary assessment results
you would serve yourself well
to investigate the following:-
• Capital gains tax you would be liable to pay
• Alternative quotes for the sale of your backyard (If you chose
to, for a fee, you could
commission a formal valuation).
• Seek quotes from land surveyors, and subdivision consultancies
to see what they would
charge to help you subdivide your land. See if they’ll do it for
a fixed price. See if
they’ll guarantee subdivision approval.
• See what commission a real estate agent would want for selling
your newly subdivided
land. See if they’ll guarantee they sell your backyard for the
price they tell you you
• Check out what advertising fees would be.
• Decide if you want to spend the money to subdivide without a
guaranteed price or time
• Decide if you have the time to deal with the grind of
following a paper trail, negotiating
constantly and are patient enough to wait for the end result
before you see any money.
• Seek valuation on land you are hoping to sell to Sell Your
What if I want to sell my house
and whole block?
This is not something we wouldn’t consider. The advantage to you
would be that you would
not pay capital gains tax, could avoid advertising fees and real
estate agent’s commissions.
It’s possible too that we can pass some of our subdivision
savings on to you giving you a
higher price overall. You need to weigh up selling to Sell Your
selling on the open market.
Is landscaping for my property
Yes, if this is a requirement by council as part of the permit.
However if council's requests are
quite substantial, the costs will have to be negotiated as part
of the purchase price.
What if I want something extra,
like a garage, shed, carport?
Bring your suggestions to the table. When negotiating with you
we like to hear what your
expectations and aspirations of the sale are - so we can
accommodate them. It might be in
your interest to build a new garage and decrease the sale price
of the land and thus pay less
Capital Gains Tax for example.
What if my neighbours complain?
If your neighbours object formally to the subdivision planning
application, it’s Sell Your Backyard’s problem.
If your neighbours are grumbling to you, you can assure them
that Sell Your Backyard endeavours to portion
land sizes and access in a way that is aesthetically pleasing
and sympathetic to the existing
neighbourhood character. It is in Sell Your Backyard’s interest to build homes
typical of or sympathetic to
the suburb, since this is what potential buyers are generally
looking for. A well designed,
well built, efficient an aesthetically pleasing dwelling can
only add value to your neighbour’s
property - and yours.
If your neighbours are still grumbling; you can tell them that
you’re doing your bit for the
planet. Australian cities are under a lot of strain as a result
of increasing population pressure
and urban sprawl. Melbourne is growing at approximately 63,000
people per year - that’s a
lot of heads that need roofs over them. A small, energy
efficient new home built on a small
subdivision that has easy access to water, electricity and roads
is more sustainable than larger
houses in the city’s satellite suburbs. The future of Australia
depends on higher density living.
Tell your neighours to get green and subdivide - if that fails,
ask us to build a higher fence!
What if I don’t like the plans
for the building to built on my old land?
Sell Your Backyard takes your concerns, considerations and expectations
seriously. In most cases we will
seek approval for the development of the land before applying
for the subdivision. This
allows you to have open discussions with us about the plans for
the proposed dwelling. In
other cases, Sell Your Backyard might subdivide the land first. In this case,
you might not be able to have
input into the design of the building and in the very worst case
might have to place an
objection to council!!