As most investors would realise, dealing with buying, selling and renting properties does have its legal hoops to jump through when any process is to be instigated.

One fact to keep in mind at all times is that when dealing with real estate agents in any position, they should be licensed sales people or licensed property managers.

I will generalise a little here because each state in Australia has slightly different laws, but a:

  • real estate agent is a person who holds a full license and has the authority to deal with a trust account
  • real estate salesperson is a person who can deal with all the legal papers to do with selling and buying a property
  • auctioneer – in some states an auctioneer needs an auctioneer’s license, but in others the real estate agent license now suffices for this activity

When appointing a real estate person to act for you, ensure that they are licensed and also make sure that you sign the correct paperwork to progress with the job at hand.  If such paperwork is not signed you will not have the level of consumer protection you need should anything go wrong.

When selling a property make sure you know exactly what type of listing you are signing up for.  There are open listings, sole agency and exclusive agency listings, so talk to your agent and check out which you think would be best to work with for your deal, check out the period of time (very important) and what is being offered under the particular type of listing as offices have the autonomy to offer various agency bonuses to a listing, such as free advertising for an exclusive listing.  Take note that I am not saying you will get that, but these things are negotiable.

All persons pertaining to sell property or deal with the sale of a property in any way should be licensed and this includes office staff.  Also included under these laws are property developers who sell more than six of their properties in any one year.


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