The current Act which governs Real Estate Agents in the sale of residential property (Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act) is on its last legs and a new Act, to be named The Property Occupations Act will, when passed by Government, then govern real estate agents and the selling of residential property in Queensland.
There are a number of changes under the new act which has been designed with a view to cutting red tape and improving the operation of the legislation. This will be welcome news for all stakeholders in the real estate industry as the existing PAMDA has been a nightmare.
Notable changes include:
- Streamlining home sale contracts and statement – currently PAMDA prescribes a complex process which must be followed when presenting and delivering residential real estate contracts. These processes require several approved forms to be presented and delivered to a buyer in a specified way and order. In addition, failure to comply with these provisions constitutes grounds for terminating the Contract.
The existing Warning Statements (information sheets) will be replaced with a simpler requirement for a prescribed statement to be included in the contract, once, and in a conspicuous way, directly above where the buyer executes the Contract.
- The maximum commission constraints which an agent can charge will be removed meaning an agent can charge whatever commission they wish, provided of course, the Seller agrees to it.
- The prohibition on agents receiving a commission for beneficial interest sales will be removed provided the seller acknowledges and agrees to the agent acquiring the beneficial interest in the Sellers property.
- The Lawyers Certificate requirements will be removed.
- The limit on lengths of appointments for a sole or exclusive agency will be extended from 60 to 90 days.
- The requirement for agents to disclose to a buyer the commission the agent is receiving from the seller will be removed.
- Agents will be allowed to disclose the fact that a reserve price has been set for a property going to auction (but not the reserve price itself).