What Laws Do Real Estate Agents Have to Abide by in Qld: Everything You Need to Know

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How Strict Are the Rules for Real Estate Agents in Australia?

The rules for real estate agents in Australia are quite strict and comprehensive. Individual state and territory regulatory bodies oversee them and aim to protect consumers, maintain professional standards, and reduce fraudulent activity.

Our conveyancers have written this article to assist our friends in real estate to make sure they are abiding by the rules in Australia.

Feel free to get in touch with us and we can organise a free presentation to the real estate agents in your office.

General Regulations for Real Estate Agents

Licensing: Real estate agents must be licensed to practice, which typically requires completing a specific course of study and passing a state-administered exam.

Advertising and Marketing: There are specific rules about how properties can be advertised and marketed, including avoiding false or misleading statements.

Trust Accounting: Real estate agents handle significant amounts of money on behalf of their clients. They must maintain a trust account for these funds and manage it specifically.

Disclosure Requirements: Agents must disclose relevant information to all parties in a transaction, such as price, property condition, and any conflicts of interest.

Conduct: Agents must adhere to professional conduct standards and guidelines, including acting in the best interests of their clients, treating all parties somewhat, and maintaining confidentiality.

Dispute Resolution and Discipline: There are procedures for resolving disputes between agents and their clients and disciplinary measures for agents who breach the rules.

Contractual Obligations: All contracts must be documented in writing and follow a specific format. There may also be certain mandatory terms and conditions to be included.

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Are Realtors Required to Show All Offers to Prospective Leads?

Real estate agents must promptly communicate all offers from prospective buyers to sellers.

This is a requirement in every Australian state and territory, as the agent is working on behalf of the seller and is required to act in their best interest.

However, the seller might provide the agent specific instructions on the offers they will consider. For example, the seller might tell the agent not to offer them below a particular price. In such cases, the agent may not present offers outside these parameters.

It is important to note that while agents must present all offers, they are also obligated to do so in a manner that is not misleading or deceptive.

This means they must accurately represent the amount or terms of an offer or create a false sense of urgency.

All these rules are in place to ensure the transparency and fairness of the buying and selling process, and an agent found to be in breach of these obligations can face disciplinary action from their state or territory’sterritory’s real estate regulatory authority.

Can a Realtor Sell Their Home in Australia?

Yes, in Australia, a realtor, or real estate agent, can sell their own home. However, there are a few essential factors and obligations they need to consider:

Disclosure: The real estate agent must disclose that they own the property. If they do not, it can be considered deceptive and misleading conduct.

Conflict of Interest: The agent is responsible for avoiding any conflicts of interest. They may have an advantage over buyers because they have professional knowledge and understanding of the property market. This must be managed carefully to ensure fairness.

Pricing: The agent must be careful not to misrepresent the property’s value. For example, if they overprice their home and it doesn’tdoesn’t sell, it could lead to accusations of false advertising or misleading conduct.

Representation: It’sIt’s often recommended that agents hire another agent to represent them in the sale, even if they’re well-experienced. This can help avoid any appearance of impropriety and provide a buffer between the owner/agent and prospective buyers.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations: Like any other real estate transaction, the sale must comply with all relevant state and territory laws and regulations, including contract formation, disclosure requirements, and advertising guidelines.

Ethics: Regardless of whether they’re selling their own home or a client’sclient’s, real estate agents are expected to conduct themselves ethically and professionally at all times.

What Is Gazumping in Real Estate?

“Gazumping” is a term used in real estate to describe a situation where a seller accepts a verbal offer from one potential buyer but then accepts a higher offer from someone else before the sale is formally completed.

The first buyer is left disappointed, as they believed they had a verbal agreement to buy the property but were ultimately outbid.

This practice is legal in many places, but it’s generally viewed as unethical due to the potential financial loss and emotional distress it can cause the initial buyer, who may have invested time and money in property inspections, legal fees, and loan applications.

There have been attempts to limit gazumping.

However, until the contract of sale is officially signed and exchanged, the seller retains the legal right to sell the property to a higher bidder.

Can You Ask For Proof of Another Offer on a House?

If you’re a buyer and you’ve been told there is another offer, you can ask the agent for proof.

However, the agent is not obligated to provide this evidence.

It is also important to note that the agent must respect the privacy and confidentiality of the other party involved.

Remember, real estate agents are legally required not to mislead or deceive any parties during business activities.

If an agent falsely claims there’sthere’s another offer, this would be considered misleading and deceptive conduct and a violation of the law.

Cooling-off period

The standard contract for buying a home comes with a cooling-off period of 5 business days.

However, auctions have no cooling-off period.

The cooling-off period also does not apply to a private treaty contract:

  • entered into within 2 business days of an unsuccessful auction of that property
  • in which the buyer was a registered bidder at the auction.

When it ends

The cooling-off period ends at 5pm on the final (5th) day of the cooling-off period.

How to cancel the sale

To cancel during the cooling-off period,

  • give written notice to the seller (or seller’s agent)
  • sign it
  • deliver it before 5pm on the final day.

The seller must refund the deposit within 14 days. They may deduct a penalty of up to 0.25% of the purchase price. A cooling-off period may be waived by the purchaser.

What Laws Do Real Estate Agents Have to Abide by in Qld?

Need help to understand a real estate agent’s responsibilities?

Our seasoned conveyancers and legal professionals will guide you through every regulation, ensuring your transactions are legal, ethical, and favourable.

Contact us today for advice.

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