Issue 73 - May 2011
Real Estate Agents Act 2008.
It is now more than 18 months since the Real Estate Agents Act 2008, came into force completely.
With plenty of time having elapsed since the commencement, allowing all real estate agents to understand and implement any necessary changes, it would be interesting to observe whether agents are actually following the requirements of the Act and the accompanying regulations.
Below, is a selection of requirements of the 2008 Act. For those of you who listed and/or sold property during this period, how did your agency and salesperson measure up?
Please note that with limited space available, I have had to paraphrase.
Section 126. No entitlement to commission or expenses without agency agreement.
(a) There is a written agency agreement signed by or on behalf of the client and the agent
(b) The agency agreement complies with any applicable regulations made under Sec. 156 and
(c) A copy of the agency agreement signed by or on behalf of the agent was given to the client within 48 hours of the client signing it.
Unless the above requirements had been adhered to, an agency couldn’t enforce payment for commission and/or expenses.
Did this happen with your listing?
Section 127. Approved guide to be provided before agency agreement for residential property signed.
The Real Estate Agents Authority publishes approved guides (and may approve other guides). A copy of the approved guide must be given to sellers before the agency agreement is signed by the sellers and the salesperson must receive a signed acknowledgment that the guide has been received by the seller(s).
Did your salesperson supply you with an approved guide before you signed an agency agreement with them?
Section 128. Any agency agreement must disclose rebates, discounts and commissions.
In any situation where a seller of property is required to pay anything over- and-above the agency’s usual commission rate, for such things as advertising or an auction or any other charges, the agency agreement must disclose, to the seller(s), any rebates, discounts or other payments that the real estate company is going to receive from the suppliers of the advertising, etc.
In other words where, for example, a newspaper grants a ‘rebate’ to a real estate company on the basis of the volume of advertising that the real estate firm places with the newspaper, that rebate must be disclosed to the home-owners who are selling through that agency and who will be paying for that advertising. This includes advertising of auctions. This would normally apply in most situations where there is advertising in the National dailies and may well apply in other situations.
In the event that such rebates etc. are not disclosed, the agent will not be entitled to recover such expenses.
Did your agency disclose to you, any rebates, discounts or other incentives to which they would become entitled as a result of advertising paid for by you?
The above are just three of the provisions of the 2008 Act. As recent cases have shown, the Real Estate Agents Authority takes very seriously, any breach of the Act.
If you consider that your agent has breached one or more of the above, it is suggested that you contact the Authority. There will be no cost to you to do so.