Running a business

Working in real estate

Auctioneers, land agents, sales representatives and land valuers must follow legal procedures when conducting business in real estate.

Land agents and sale representatives

When entering into sales agency agreements you need to:

  • accept cooling-off notices from purchasers
  • verify vendor's statements that contain information about the land
  • give copies of all written offers for purchase, contracts, agreements or documents to the vendor
  • check that you won't gain any personal benefit from the purchase of land or a business you are commissioned to sell - see 24G information on this page.

Manager of the land agent's office

You need to nominate a manager for each location where you conduct business. The manager must be registered with Consumer and Business Services (CBS) as either a sales representative or land agent - companies must have a registered land agent.

Notify CBS of the manager in the land agent's office

Trust accounts

You must deposit funds received from clients into a trust account. The account needs to be approved by CBS and be held in a bank, building society or credit union.

Make sure that you:

  • keep all records of trust money
  • issue detailed receipts
  • arrange for accounts and records to be audited every year.

Audit checklist

Compulsory real estate notices

Disclosing a benefit from a sale - 24G

You or your associates must not personally benefit from a property sale that you have been authorised to sell. This relates a section of the law commonly referred to as '24G'.

Associates usually include people such as:

  • personal partner
  • close relative
  • people connected to you through work.

Always seek legal advice regarding a potential conflict or beneficial interest.

In some circumstances, you can ask CBS for approval to proceed so that you stay within the law. An alternative to a 24G exemption is to sell the property at public auction.

Apply for a 24G exemption

Land valuers

Land valuers do not need to be approved by CBS unless they value property for a 24G exemption.

Apply to be an approved land valuer

Auctioneers

Auctioneers must be registered with Consumer and Business Services. They must also:

  • accept the highest bid if it was equal to or more than the vendor's reserve price.
  • not accept dummy bids at auction
  • announce the conditions of the auction before it starts, including if vendor bids are allowed
  • register all bidders before an auction and check their ID
  • decide whether the auction will stop to allow latecomers to register and bid
  • announce and place up to three vendor bids during the auction
  • maintain accurate and complete records of who made bids, how much they bid and the outcome of the auction - eg passed in, held over or successful
  • negotiate with bidders if the auction was held over.

Apply for a auctioneers licence

Changes that will affect your registration

Notify CBS within 14 days if you have committed an offence or have had legal restrictions placed on your work or business - eg bankruptcy, financial receivership, or suspended registration.

You will also need to advise CBS when you:

Contact Consumer and Business Services

Phone

131 882

In person

91 Grenfell Street
Adelaide

Post

GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001


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Page last updated 11 August 2017

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
URL:
http://www.sa.gov.au/topics/business-and-trade/running-a-business/working-in-real-estate
Last Updated:
11/08/17
Printed on:
20/08/17
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016