Working in real estate
Real estate professionals have legal obligations and must follow certain procedures when conducting business in real estate.
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 are commissioned to sell - see 24G information on this page.
- 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.
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.
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.
Compulsory real estate notices
- R1 Sales Agency Agreements - rights and obligations (PDF 64KB)
- R2 Disclosure of benefits (PDF 23KB)
- R3 Buyers information notice (PDF 29KB)
- R4 Bidders guide (PDF 132KB)
- R5 Collusive practices (PDF 103KB)
- R6 Warning notice to purchaser (PDF 15KB)
- R7 Warning notice (PDF 21KB)
- Cooling off notice - from vendor to purchaser (PDF 114KB)
- Service of cooling off notice - from vendor to purchaser (PDF 113KB)
Disclosing a benefit from a sale - 24G
From 29 January 2018 there are new requirements for 24G matters.
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.
It is 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.
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.
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.