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Buing a house.....QLD. Advice for a numpty


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Looking to move out of my unit and into a house. Has been sped up with neighbour conflict. Went to house inspection today. 

I am confused about the offer process. The agent was a dick (I am paying for the house, didn't know my name and hardly spoke to me (chatted to my partner).

I want to put an offer in. A lower end offer as there are things that need to be done. Garden was drenched after a heavy downpour. Fixable though.  

The words he used in his email when I said could I put an offer in are:

To put the paperwork together so you can make an offer in please fill in the following details:
 
"Buyer 1 Full name
Middle name
Last name
Date of birth:
Email Address:
Postal address:
Phone number:
Email address:
 
Buyer 2 Full name:
Middle name
Last name
Date of birth:
Email Address::
Phone number:
Email address:
 
Solicitor details:
 
Subject to finance: (yes or no)
Finance date; (normally two weeks from date of contract)
Finance lender;
 
Subject to Building, pest & pool inspection: (yes or no)
Inspection date: (normally two weeks from date of contact)
 
Settlements Date:
Deposit amount: 
(the most is 10%)
 
Purchase Price;
(it is always best to put your highest offer in, your walk away offer, please let me know if it is your walk away price)
 
I shall make the paperwork up and send it back to you for signing
Any questions please give me a call...."
 
What does all that mean. This guy had zero interest in explaining to me. So am I reading this right that an offer is a formal contract? What happened to going back and forth with seller. 10% deposit - can I put 5% on. Why would I start with my highest offer.....am so deflated atm.  There are so few houses. Will I have to pay for a conveyancer each time I put an offer in? Where is the bit about 30, 60, 90 day settlement? Have been to bank this week. Pre-appoval just going through the formal application process. Am also looking to sell my unit privately once I buy. Any advice to do this?  Have knowledge of 3 interest people. where  realestate.com
Edited by skel
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Typically in Qld the only time an offer is binding is at auction (there can be exceptions but not common). Otherwise you can put in whatever you want; price, settlement, CP’s (need for finance, pest inspection etc) and I’m pretty sure you get a 7 day cooling off period when you can just walk. Would suggest you find a solicitor and they’ll explain it all - the agent is working for the seller not the buyer. 

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34 minutes ago, skel said:

Purchase Price;

(it is always best to put your highest offer in, your walk away offer, please let me know if it is your walk away price)

lol

As if he's not going to go straight to the seller and say 'this is what they'll pay'

Call the principal at the agency and ask to deal directly with him/her because you don't want to deal with the other bloke

Edited by IronJimbo
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Basically everything these days needs to be in writing to protect both parties.

Thats not to say that stuff can't happen in the background.  For our investment property (listed with an offers over $x price tag), we did the negotiation verbally with the agent on the phone to the vendor and then when we agreed to a price,  we went off and filled in the paperwork.

BTW if the agent is asking you to do all that stuff via email, they probably don't think you're a serious buyer or they've got so much interest  they figure theres no point in making too much of an effort.

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I remember when we bought our first house, the offer was done up like a contract.  But after that, the negotiating went back and forth via phone calls.  Granted that was 20 something years ago.

If you've never done it, it can feel daunting.  

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In Queensland it is pretty standard to make a formal offer through a contract of sale. This is the negotiation starting point and will include how much you want to pay for the place and also the conditions and deadlines for the contract to become binding. These typically include build & pest (14 days) and finance (21 days) if you are going to get a mortgage.

Once the seller signs the contract they cannot pull out. The buyer then has the option to pull out based on the findings of your build & pest inspection, or if you are unable to obtain finance to finalize the purchase within the specified timeframe (provided these were conditions in the original contract). 

As for what to offer, it will come down to the market you’re buying in. If you’ve done your research you should know how much it will roughly sell for so make an offer that is not your max but it’s high enough to show you’re serious. The seller will invariably come back to you with a counter offer and you can then start increasing your original offer to inch closer to what they are asking. If there is more than one party bidding they will have to notify you that it is a multiple offer sale, in which case the agent will take the best offers to the seller and they can choose which one to move forward with and start negotiations.

Note that there is a cooling off period of 7 days from the date both parties signed the contract but if you pull out you will lose your deposit (usually 5 or 10%). 

Edited by Rog
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Also re: conveyancer you don’t have to pay for one each time an offer goes in. Once you engage with one they will usually review multiple contracts until you find a place. Make sure you ask that question but that is normally how it works. 

Settlement is really up for negotiation, usually 30 days but can be whatever suits both seller and buyer. 

Also make sure the property is not tenanted as you will need to honor whatever contract they may have in place. 

We recently bought a property up in Queensland so feel free to ping me If you have any other questions. 

Edited by Rog
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Just another thing they do strangely in Qld. 
I saw one property that had been on the market for a few months and obviously hadn’t sold so the advertised price was increased by $5k :huh:

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2 hours ago, truck said:

Typically in Qld the only time an offer is binding is at auction (there can be exceptions but not common). Otherwise you can put in whatever you want; price, settlement, CP’s (need for finance, pest inspection etc) and I’m pretty sure you get a 7 day cooling off period when you can just walk. Would suggest you find a solicitor and they’ll explain it all - the agent is working for the seller not the buyer. 

Untrue.  You can even win at an auction and decide to walk away. Nothing is official until you and the sellers have both signed. 

what rog said is spot on in both his posts. 
 

I suggest before signing you put in a clause pending building and pest and finance on the contract. Its standard So the agent will do it. 
 

im a buyers advocate and you can also call me if you want.  I won’t charge you btw.  
 

p

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57 minutes ago, roxii said:

Just another thing they do strangely in Qld. 
I saw one property that had been on the market for a few months and obviously hadn’t sold so the advertised price was increased by $5k :huh:

The dodgy shit they do here and assume other places is the agents do vendors bids at auctions if it looks to pass in way below what they expected. 
 

this way they can then tell everyone the highest bid was 1.8 mill and not the actual previous highest real bid of 1.65 million. Etc...

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Thank you.  It has helped to ease my mind a bit (the real estate is till a dick).  I have contacted 2 conveyancing companies and will wait to talk to them.

Thanks Rog for the information on the real estate needing to disclose if there are multiple offers - I asked in a round about way and he said he could tell m what he'd do if there were multiple offers.

This area has recently had a major flood risk put over the top if it (if the dam breaks).  Do the need to disclose this as well? 

I am unsure about prices and will do some work today to review history etc in the area.  We viewed after a massive downpour and the garden was 'underwater' but a landscaping friend said that is fixable.  Also at least 3 main lounge windows were hard to open. Property is only 9 years old.  Can this allow me to go slightly lower?  There is  more right than wrong. LOL.

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1 hour ago, skel said:

Thank you.  It has helped to ease my mind a bit (the real estate is till a dick).  I have contacted 2 conveyancing companies and will wait to talk to them.

Thanks Rog for the information on the real estate needing to disclose if there are multiple offers - I asked in a round about way and he said he could tell m what he'd do if there were multiple offers.

This area has recently had a major flood risk put over the top if it (if the dam breaks).  Do the need to disclose this as well? 

I am unsure about prices and will do some work today to review history etc in the area.  We viewed after a massive downpour and the garden was 'underwater' but a landscaping friend said that is fixable.  Also at least 3 main lounge windows were hard to open. Property is only 9 years old.  Can this allow me to go slightly lower?  There is  more right than wrong. LOL.

You can make an offer pending building and pest inspection, then when that comes back you can bring these to the attention of the owner and you can ask them to fix them, negotiate a cost reduction or they can tell you to go jump. That's when you need to decide what the property means to you and whether the price is fair including any required repairs or you are prepared to walk away. 

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1 hour ago, skel said:

This area has recently had a major flood risk put over the top if it (if the dam breaks).  Do the need to disclose this as well? 

If so go and get an buildings insurance quote as well - you may find it that flood damage is uninsurable and, therefore, could be a problem if you want to get a mortgage.  Even if you can get cover it might be exorbitant so you need to factor that in.  Remember from the point the contracts are binding the building risk is yours and not from the point of settlement.

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Rog has nailed it for you Skel.

Have a chat with a good conveyancer / solicitor and they will help guide you (they are working for not, unlike the R/E Agent).

A someone who worked in the finance industry for over 25 years I always told my clients to make any offer "subject to finance" as it provides you with an out if need be.

As for the "best price" crap detailed above - make an offer with what YOU are comfortable with but have in mind what your maximum is and be prepared to walk away in need. Always other opportunities.

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3 hours ago, Ayto said:

A someone who worked in the finance industry for over 25 years I always told my clients to make any offer "subject to finance" as it provides you with an out if need be.

 

I was always advised to place it as "subject to finance acceptable to the buyer" - if dealing with big sums or belligerent sellers they can go to a loan shark and get you the finance to keep the contract valid, while you get left with exorbitant repayment terms

As a seller of a house where the potential buyer did not get their finance approved which stuffed us around with a wife 7 months pregnant and having to miss out on an offer for the upsized house we wanted, it looked very tempting at the time (They were trying to borrow $600K on a $400K purchase to do massive extensions so could have forced the issue very easily in that case)

If solar panels are on the house, worth getting them checked over as well if you are factoring that in - some of the older systems may be not working efficiently or at all and you could be up for expensive repairs or not get any benefit from them - most house inspections do not cover this and requires a sparky to inspect

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I have often bought homes for people 40k under what others have offered by buying unconditional.  
 

it can take longer than a week for someone to prove they have finance sorted. This is very stressful for vendors.  
 

its not something I’d suggest unless you were paying all cash of which I’ve had several clients do. 

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Over here, the whole chain thing can be a bit of a nightmare, as it can collapse at any point. There is one advantage though, any offer is always 'subject to contract',  if there is anything you don't like, then contracts don't get exchanged until it's sorted, then a deposit is paid.

The buyer can pull out even after exchange but they would lose their deposit. The deal here is never 'done' until completion.  We bought our house chain free, as we weren't selling and the seller was moving to Devon to live with her daughter (who must've been a bloody saint to have that old battle-axe live with her!)

We walked away from a deal on a previous house, even after paying nearly £700 for an inspection. There were things we couldn't agree on. They tried to strong arm us but we didn't fall for it.

We've been in our house 2yrs and it will be paid in about 12-15mths.  If we buy another, I'd considering selling first then renting, jus to make the chain easier. Sounds like you are wasting money but it really can be troublesome here. (especially in current market).

I think Scotland has a better system but I don't know the details.

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1 hour ago, FatPom said:

Over here, the whole chain thing can be a bit of a nightmare, as it can collapse at any point. There is one advantage though, any offer is always 'subject to contract',  if there is anything you don't like, then contracts don't get exchanged until it's sorted, then a deposit is paid.

The buyer can pull out even after exchange but they would lose their deposit. The deal here is never 'done' until completion.  We bought our house chain free, as we weren't selling and the seller was moving to Devon to live with her daughter (who must've been a bloody saint to have that old battle-axe live with her!)

We walked away from a deal on a previous house, even after paying nearly £700 for an inspection. There were things we couldn't agree on. They tried to strong arm us but we didn't fall for it.

We've been in our house 2yrs and it will be paid in about 12-15mths.  If we buy another, I'd considering selling first then renting, jus to make the chain easier. Sounds like you are wasting money but it really can be troublesome here. (especially in current market).

I think Scotland has a better system but I don't know the details.

The English system is just shite compared to the Scottish and Australian systems. How they have got away with something so crap for so long beats me. I also love the fact that the owner typically shows the prospective buyer through as opposed to an open house concept. Bought and sold a number of places in England and you literally don’t know you have a deal until right at that last minute when contracts exchange and money gets paid. 

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37 minutes ago, truck said:

The English system is just shite compared to the Scottish and Australian systems. How they have got away with something so crap for so long beats me. I also love the fact that the owner typically shows the prospective buyer through as opposed to an open house concept. Bought and sold a number of places in England and you literally don’t know you have a deal until right at that last minute when contracts exchange and money gets paid. 

Agree. the only good thing is 'subject to contract' in that you have the power to get everything agreed without being on the hook. This stops pushy sellers from pressuring you into anything.

The rest is crap though.

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We were complete Numptys for our first 3 house purchases and got screwed to varying degrees as as result (NSW).

The biggest mistake we made was not realising how flexible the entire process actually is.  Until you have signed on the dotted line, nothing is set in concrete.  Real Estate agents did their best to make us believe it was all a very rigid and set process and very hard to back out of - which is complete BS.

And not knowing how to play the agents.  If there was ever a profession you should fcuk with, it is real estate agents because they will fcuk with you till the cows come home.  So go hard.

By our 4th house (brand new, empty spec home), I was much wiser.  It came on the market at $700K, sat there for 6mths empty, then dropped to maybe $650K....and sat there for 6mths empty....the agent told us the price HAD to start with a 6.  Then it went to $599K.  I offered $540K.  The agent said if I came up just a little, I'd probably get it.  Came up to $560K.....but said it was only a deal if the chucked in the ride-on lawn mower as well 😁.

Agent said he'd never heard anything like that, but he'd ask the seller.  So for $560 we got a house & a mower...which I desperately needed at the time cos my knees were fooked and I couldn't use a push mower.

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1 hour ago, ComfortablyNumb said:

The agent said if I came up just a little, I'd probably get it. 

That reminds me of an agent in SA when buying there.  He was actually the son of the vendor.  He told us another couple of thousand would get us there and we said no.  We knew the old guy wanted to sell to us, we lived a few doors down and he'd already invited us around so he could show us where all the outdoor taps were etc. 

When we stuck to our guns the agent then said he was just kidding and our offer had already been accepted.  Dodgy prick.

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45 minutes ago, -H- said:

When we stuck to our guns the agent then said he was just kidding and our offer had already been accepted.  Dodgy prick.

Pond scum.

Should have reported him to the Ombudsman or Fair Trading or something.

This is why I love messing with them.

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1 hour ago, -H- said:

That reminds me of an agent in SA when buying there.  He was actually the son of the vendor.  He told us another couple of thousand would get us there and we said no.  We knew the old guy wanted to sell to us, we lived a few doors down and he'd already invited us around so he could show us where all the outdoor taps were etc. 

When we stuck to our guns the agent then said he was just kidding and our offer had already been accepted.  Dodgy prick.

That’s extremely interesting.  
 

say you came up 5k more the commission for the agent would have been about $60. 
 

The agent was a dick 

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22 minutes ago, Peter said:

That’s extremely interesting.  
 

say you came up 5k more the commission for the agent would have been about $60. 
 

The agent was a dick 

Yeah I never quite got that. If I was in RE I’d just try and sell them as quick as possible and keep the sellers happy not waste weeks getting an extra few $k which as you say translates to just a few $$ extra commission. 

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A good news update.....in process of signing a formal offer contract. The seller has verbally agreed just doing the online contract signatures. Have a fabulous conveyancer who went through it with me today and suggested one change. Still dependent on building and pest inspection and finance (not issues there).

Feel like an adult moving from apartment to a house. Been here 15 years.

I feel like all the stars are aligning. Yesterday we heard our strata insurance has gone from 97k to 140k. Being north there is only one option. Already pay 6200 in BC fees. We don't have enough money to cover bill so now a 600 to 700 special levy is coming. We do have 95k but had reduced admin and sinking funds for 3 quarters due to COVID. The increase is what has killed up. Definately time to move.

 

Thank you for everyone's advice. It helped me to stop panicking and find a pathway forward. This is why I love this group. 

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Yes, we had an investment property that was strata title.  Body Corporate etc. fees and issues were a bit of a PITA.  The biggest problem was the place was at the coast & I think the wooden decks were made from pasta.  Rotted at a crazy rate, always needed work.

Not sure if we'd ever go strata again?

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2 hours ago, -H- said:

That reminds me of an agent in SA when buying there.  He was actually the son of the vendor.  He told us another couple of thousand would get us there and we said no.  We knew the old guy wanted to sell to us, we lived a few doors down and he'd already invited us around so he could show us where all the outdoor taps were etc. 

When we stuck to our guns the agent then said he was just kidding and our offer had already been accepted.  Dodgy prick.

It’s often a game of perception, they need to show that they squeezed every little penny left out of you so the vendor is satisfied it is as much as they are going to get.

Personally, I think you are crazy to risk walking away from a property for the sake of $2k (provided you really wanted the place). In the big scheme of things, that’s an insignificant amount and you could always counter offer with a little bit less and meet them in the middle. In this case it worked for you but I bet you would’ve been bummed if they came back and said they sold it to someone that offered $1k more than you. 

That’s where I think a buyers advocate like Peter is useful because they take the emotion away from the process so it’s not like a buyer vs the seller and let’s see who is going to “win”. 

Edited by Rog
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2 hours ago, Peter said:

That’s extremely interesting.  
 

say you came up 5k more the commission for the agent would have been about $60. 
 

The agent was a dick 

It wasn't about his commission, it was about his inheritance.  The old bloke died about 3 months after we bought the house (he was selling to move into aged care).

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1 hour ago, Rog said:

Personally, I think you are crazy to risk walking away from a property for the sake of $2k (provided you really wanted the place). In the big scheme of things, that’s an insignificant amount and you could always counter offer with a little bit less and meet them in the middle. In this case it worked for you but I bet you would’ve been bummed if they came back and said they sold it to someone that offered $1k more than you. 

That’s where I think a buyers advocate like Peter is useful because they take the emotion away from the process so it’s not like a buyer vs the seller and let’s see who is going to “win”. 

It also depends on the time and place - this was 20+ years ago in Adelaide, he was actually risking having us say we'd found another place just as much as we were risking him selling to someone else

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8 hours ago, -H- said:

That reminds me of an agent in SA when buying there.  He was actually the son of the vendor.  He told us another couple of thousand would get us there and we said no.  We knew the old guy wanted to sell to us, we lived a few doors down and he'd already invited us around so he could show us where all the outdoor taps were etc. 

When we stuck to our guns the agent then said he was just kidding and our offer had already been accepted.  Dodgy prick.

I wouldn't say dodgy, I'd say he was being a good agent. It's their job to get every cent possible for the vendor.

I'd say dodgy though if he said there was someone else offering another $2k more when there wasn't. 

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2 hours ago, Merv said:

I always organise a pre settlement property inspection. People can leave the place a shambles and there may be damage done during the removal.

This is only if you can prove it. 
 

one bought a townhouse for a client and on the pre settlement inspection we noticed the outside split system was missing. After we tried to test it. The vendor said it had never been connected and the head unit was the only thing installed. 
clearly bullshit but we couldn’t prove the outside part was there on auction day.  
 

in the end we made the agent pay to have it reinstalled.  

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On 16/01/2021 at 7:20 PM, Peter said:

This is only if you can prove it. 
 

 

Still worth doing it, current house was having boards placed around the bottom of the house when we did final inspection, to block off the access to under the house.  Discovered after getting the keys they had put all their shit under there after that inspection - 3 skips and a lost weekend later...

Mind you they did try, they had a big bonfire in the back paddock before they left, just a shame they didn't realise metal doesn't burn - that was another 2 ute loads to the tip

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On 16/01/2021 at 5:09 PM, Merv said:

I always organise a pre settlement property inspection. People can leave the place a shambles and there may be damage done during the removal.

I did an inspection on the morning of settlement when we bought a property in Kingscliff and the previous owner was still living there.  I asked what he was still doing there and he said he thought we were going to help him move and he had been waiting to hear from us!   FMD 🤣

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51 minutes ago, skel said:

Deposit paid this morning.

Finger crossed on bank and then building & pest.  One step closer.....

🤞😊

Hope you ran this purchase past Zuri?

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3 hours ago, skel said:

Deposit paid this morning.

Finger crossed on bank and then building & pest.  One step closer.....

🤞😊

I'd be driving past it right now and see how it handled the rain.

134+mm in 2 hours here.  😲

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Hopefully your conveyancer advised you to take out home insurance against the property from the day the contract was signed, even if with conditions. If not, I’d be getting on to it online immediately (I’m with Suncorp and they seem ok).  

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Skel, reference the disclosure of the recent notation that the house is in a possible flood zone, that should be disclosed on the section 32. As well, there  should be a disclosure of cyclone activity. Where this will have the largest impact for you at this time, is house insurance. Your bank will probably try to sign you up to a house insurance package when you are doing your mortgage application. It pays to shop around a bit, especially when it comes to the cyclone and flooding coverage. When we bought on Magnetic island two years ago, we found quite disparate premiums for coverage in FNQ. 
Good luck with the offer, purchase and settlement process. It will test your nerves a bit, but don’t hesitate to ask questions and advice. 

ps. Don’t forget to post details of the house warming, lol.

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H, sect 32, vendor statements all the same. As some one who has property in 3 different states, I pray for the day when all states are the same! 
as far as disclosures being looser in QLD, that wasn’t our experience when we bought on Maggy island 2 years ago. The disclosures were pretty strict and tight. Maybe that was due to revisions after 2015 cyclone and 2016 floods in the Townsville area. I have found all the vendor statements we have dealt with include the purchasers due diligence list which I think you are referring to. Definitely worth reading those and doing your research.

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Ah yes, I used to work on the Qld/NSW border dealing with purchasers in both states, but that was pre-2015 so things must have changed a bit.  Probably still better to call it a vendor statement or a disclosure statement, if you ask for a 32 in Qld you might get a blank stare....

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