We continue our expose of the REIV’s use of the media and political lobbying strategies to prevent changes to real estate licensing laws.
(For a detailed examination of corruption through political lobbying see Pigs at the Trough (Crown Publishers, NY, 2003) by Arianna Huffingtons.)
Real DOUBLE Standards For Real Estate Agents
Looks like the REIV’s propaganda war has started, with this piece appearing on page 52 of the Geelong Independent on Friday 9 December, 2005. In the article Mr. Raimondo makes reference to “ethics” and “training in the law” and “best practices”, suggesting that somehow the real estate industry has a good grasp of these concepts.
I would argue that the REIV itself contributes to the poor behaviour of estate agents. It is my firm opinion that the REIV actually encourages estate agents to commit the criminal offence of engaging in unqualified legal practice contrary to Section 2.2.2 of the Legal Profession Act 1996, by providing estate agents with so-called “standard” REIV Special Conditions to be used where a purchaser wants to buy a property subject to a building inspection.
I argue that it is illegal for an estate agent to advise a purchaser as to the legal nature and effect of the “standard” conditions prepared by the REIV.
What’s more, the estate agent is paid by the vendor to act for the vendor. Doesn’t this mean that there is a conflict of interests where an estate agent purports to “assist” the purchaser while acting for the vendor?
One of Mr. Raimondo’s arguments against the granting of estate agent licenses to lawyers and accountants is a supposed “conflict of interests” (although he makes no attempt to explain how this conflict arises).
I would suggest to Mr. Raimondo that he seriously examine the REIV’s policy on having estate agents taking the role of the purchaser’s lawyer in the use of the “standard conditions” before making any further comments on conflicts of interest, training in law, best practice etc.
by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B