New laws for QLD commence

Queensland’s new industry-specific real estate laws will come into force today, Monday (1 December) in a watershed for the State’s real estate profession.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) CEO Antonia Mercorella said the new Property Occupations Act would cut red tape, simplify transactions and increase transparency.

“These are the laws Queensland’s real estate profession has long been waiting for,” Ms Mercorella said.

“They’re specifically tailored for the realities of the modern real estate profession and they’ll make life much easier for agents and consumers.

“The REIQ has long lobbied governments on both sides of the political divide for these laws and we applaud the State’s lawmakers for making them a reality.”

Ms Mercorella said some of the key changes in the Property Occupations Act included:

  • The replacement of seven separate agent appointment forms with a single standardised form;
  • Removing the requirement for agents to disclose to a buyer the commission the agent is receiving from the seller;
  • Extending the statutory limit on lengths of appointments for a sole or exclusive agency from 60 days to 90 days to better reflect market realities;
  • Abolition of a separate Form 30 Warning Statement which will be replaced by a short prescribed statement included in a relevant contract; and
  • Deregulating the maximum commission rates for real estate sales and property management.

“Queensland’s new real estate laws eliminate much of the costly paperwork which has burdened real estate agencies for far too long,” Ms Mercorella said.
“They will also help to create a more competitive marketplace by allowing agents and their clients the contractual freedom to determine commissions which reflect the level of services being provided.
“Removing the requirement for a separate Warning Statement is long overdue and it’s one of the most important of the new reforms.
“It’s a requirement that’s been used by buyers to terminate contracts on the basis of a minor or technical omission, resulting in uncertainty and unnecessary administrative burden.”
Ms Mercorella said the new laws prohibited the use of a price guide for residential auctions, however agents handling an auction property could still provide a buyer with certain information.
“Real estate agents involved in an auction campaign can provide a prospective buyer with a comparative market analysis (CMA) or a written explanation showing how the real estate agent decided the market value of the property.
“Agents can pass this information on to prospective buyers provided the seller has provided written consent.
“With the rise of online portals in real estate marketing the Act goes a step further, allowing agents to load auction properties by price criteria on websites, enabling consumers to search by price ranges.
“Research shows that the vast majority of buyers commence their property search on the internet, so this will allow consumers to get some sense of the price ballpark the property is in.”
Ms Mercorella said the REIQ had rolled out an extensive educational campaign to inform its members about the changes to Queensland real estate laws, including a Statewide roadshow.
“As Queensland’s peak real estate body, we’re committed to educating our members throughout the State about these important legislative changes,” she said.

“Our targeted campaign provides the practical advice and training real estate professionals need to be ready for day one of the new laws.”

The Property Occupations Act commences on Monday 1 December 2014.


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