Buying Sale Lists – Is This Where We’re Headed?

Posted on October 7, 2007 by | 4 Comments

Peter Mericka B.A., LL.Bby Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B
Real Estate Lawyer
Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria
Director Lawyers Real Estate Pty Ltd


I received this email from a reader over the weekend:

“Best of luck in tackling the deceits of the REIV and thanks for the blog site on Melbourne real estate. I think most sellers are too timid to try any alternative method of selling their homes and are completely under the control of the RE agents. I have about the same regard for RE agents as my local used car dealers and am finding it very difficult to buy a small property due to the dishonesty of the profession I’ve experienced.

Not sure if it’s happening here, but friends in Sydney recently paid an agent $5000 for access to the new sales listing and said it was the only way they could get a chance to purchase a house.”

Is anyone else aware of estate agents selling new sales listings?  If so, I’d like to investigate how this procedure operates and how widespread it is. 

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  • FloridaPhil says:

    I am apalled! That is just plain GREED to solicit money to view new sales listings. I am a Realtor in Florida USA and just joined the forum. We use the MLS.

    This is a great tool for both real estate agents and consumers and is monitored by the Real Estate Institue or Boards as we call them of each state. Buyers or Sellers are not charged a fee to search for properties, residential, commercial, vacant land etc.

    The agent pays to belong to the Board and has access to the MLS, since the agent is the person inputting the data and photos of the property to be sold.

    It is not a perfect system, but agents can acces the history of the property, taxes, maps, mortgage calculators, sold prices, etc.

  • Hi Phil, good to have you on board!

    The real estate industry in Australia is still in its dark ages, with all kinds of people calling themselves estate agents after a simple course at night-school, and with ethics hardly rating a mention.

    While the buying of new listings is a very recent phenomenon, estate agents in Victoria have been “selling” contracts and disclosure statements for some time.

    What happens is that a potential purchaser is required to pay $500 “holding deposit” before the estate agent will give them a copy of the sale contract or the disclosure statement – quite illegal, but quite common.

  • FloridaPhil says:

    First I was appalled, now I am shocked! With our contracts, the Buyer MUST read and sign the Seller’s Disclosure prior to having an executed contract. Without that Disclosure, there is only an offer on the table. Once there is an effective date on the contract, the Buyer has an inspection period of at least 10 business days in which to have a property inspection done. The Buyer has the option to walk away if the repairs are extensive.
    This tends to protect both parties involved in the transaction. Let me know if you would like me to send you a copy of the contract with Addenda.

  • In Victoria we have similar rules, but local estate agents know how to exploit them.

    For example, estate agents in Victoria take on the role of lawyer, and change sale contracts to suit themselves. See where the estate agent purports to assist the purchaser, but really places both the purchaser and the vendor in an impossible position.

    You should also see this estate agent’s “gazumping clause” at

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