Working in real estate

Real estate professionals have legal obligations and must follow certain procedures when conducting business in real estate.

Property sales

Land agents and sales representatives need to:

  • enter into a written contract (sales agency agreement) before acting for a vendor
  • 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
  • accept cooling-off notices from purchasers
  • meet obligations when selling at auction including registering bidders before an auction and checking ID
  • check that you won't gain any personal benefit from the purchase of land or a business you're commissioned to sell - see 24G information on this page.

Land agent registration

Sales representative registration

Property management

  • It’s compulsory for registered agents to use the Residential Bonds Online system (RBO) when accepting bonds from tenants.
  • Property managers must understand lease agreements and respect the rights of tenants and landlords.
  • Property managers are responsible for property inspections, maintenance and repairs during and at the end of the tenancy.

Property manager registration

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 or business sale that you have appraised or been authorised to sell unless you have the Commissioner’s approval. This relates to 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.

Conflict of interest factsheet (PDF 62KB).

It's best to seek legal advice regarding a potential conflict or beneficial interest.

You can apply for approval to receive beneficial interest. An alternative to the approval process is to sell the property at public auction. The auction must be prominently advertised for at least two consecutive weeks before the auction takes place.

Requirements for 24G matters - CBS website

Apply for 24G approval

Land valuers

Land valuers don't need to be approved by CBS, unless they value property for a 24G exemption.

Apply to be an approved land valuer


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
  • 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 an auctioneers licence

Changes that will affect your registration

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

Contact CBS

Online: Contact CBS

Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001

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Page last updated 15 February 2023

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
Last Updated:
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