by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B
Real Estate Lawyer
Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria
Director Lawyers Real Estate Pty Ltd
A real estate sale negotiator requires a thorough knowledge of the laws and regulations affecting real estate, drafting expertise to convert ideas into a written document that will give legal effect to the agreement reached, and the ability to recognise threats to the legality of the sale (and to be able to deal with them if they arise).
Only a qualified property lawyer has the ability to properly negotiate the sale of real estate on behalf of a vendor.
In reality, estate agents take no real responsibility for the contract or the conduct of the sale. The estate agent drops out of the transaction well before it is complete, leaving all final negotiations to the lawyer. It is a little known fact that, when a real estate agent is involved in a sale, the most important negotiations take place after the sale has taken place. The real estate agent just watches from the sidelines, hoping that the commission will not be jeopardised.
True responsibility rests with the person whose role it is to ensure that the vendor is aware of the legal requirements, obligations and rights associated with a sale – the lawyer.
It is the lawyer’s duty to ensure that the vendor complies with Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act, to draft the contract of sale and any special conditions the vendor may need, and to take the sale transaction to its conclusion at settlement – and sometimes beyond.
As a property lawyer, I am constantly called upon to correct mistakes made by estate agents during their “negotiations”.