The Queensland Property Occupations Act has taken effect, with changes impacting the real estate profession and consumers.
RE/MAX support the vast majority of the changes reflected in the Property Occupations Act 2014, which is one the most significant legislative reform to impact the Queensland real estate industry in at the last 50 years at least.
This includes two of the most contentious: price disclosure in relation to auction properties and deregulation of commissions.
RE/MAX supports the new legislation that rules that no prices range is to be suggested by an agent for an auction property because we believe the new ruling is to the benefit of today’s consumer who wants information with facts and data, rather than an opinion, which may not be adequately based on fact.
Much of the concern around this part of the legislation is coming from south of the border where price ranges are common practice. Current activity from the Victorian Government would suggest that where price ranges are allowed, there is genuine concern about the accuracy of these ranges.
The new Queensland Act removes any temptation by real estate agents to attract buyers, as well as auction listings, by quoting prices and price ranges that cannot be backed up in writing.
We support the REIQ and the Queensland State Government because the consumer is entitled to factual information as opposed to opinion. With today’s enforcing of the Act, a potential buyer cannot access a price guide but an agent or auctioneer can provide a comparative market analysis in writing with the written consent of the seller and at the direct request of the buyer.
Deregulating commissions will now allow the market to set what agents are worth. Previously the law capped the amount of commission an agent could charge.
Above-average agents are worth a lot more than the mediocre or below. Of course there will be agents who want to discount to attract business; so be it.
A RE/MAX colleague recently said: The cheapest real estate agent you can engage is the one who will achieve the highest price for your property. That is reality, and the truth. So too is the fact that the real estate agent gets no remuneration until they achieve the sale.
Under a deregulated system, the discussion between sellers and agents will be based on the value proposition of the agent’s service rather than a fixed fee scale.
It is important that all parties understand that any processes and documentation relating to the old PAMDA laws could be non-compliant if used from today forward.
Several process changes in the new Act directly affect consumers but are there for a purpose and aligned with the Government’s well-published ambition to cut real estate industry red tape. These changes are beneficial; and both consumers and agents will prove winners.