Guide To Give Agents Stress & Heartache

Posted on May 4, 2007 by | 0 Comments

by Tim O’Dwyer Solicitor*

When Queensland’s Fair Trading Minister launched a new publication, Real Estate Realities, she said it was “aimed at saving thousands of home buyers and sellers money, stress and heartache.”

Real estate-related complaints, she explained, were the Office of Fair Trading’s second highest complaint category.

Hence these wise warnings to buyers:

• “…the agent acts for the seller and no matter how approachable, friendly or co-operative they appear, they are not working for you.”

• “If requested, the agent has a duty to reveal any pertinent information to you about the property.”

• “Don’t rely on the provision in the standard land contract for the sale to be subject to a satisfactory building and pest inspection.”

• “Don’t be pressured into signing…”

• “When you are ready to sign a contract, take a copy away and discuss it with your solicitor.”

• “…appoint your own independent service providers, such as solicitors, valuers, finance agents and building and pest inspectors. Check…that they are not associated with the agent or the seller.”

• “…the agent is not qualified to give legal advice on the contract or to modify or vary it.”

And these top tips to sellers:

• “If you wish to sell your home rather than engage a licensed real estate agent, do some homework…”

• “It is highly recommended you use the services of a solicitor … to draft your contract” “Don’t allow the agent to deter you from seeking legal advice before signing…an agency appointment.”

• “You can negotiate the rate of commission…and shop around for the best deal.”

• “Not all properties are suited to the auction method”.

*Tim O’Dwyer is a Queensland solicitor and consumer advocate. watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au

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