Using a real estate agent

When you are looking at properties, you will often come into contact with real estate agents or sales representatives.

The most important thing to understand about real estate agents or sales representatives when buying a property is that they have been hired by the seller. The aim of the agent is to sell the property for the seller at the best possible price and under the best terms.

What to expect from a real estate agent or sales representative who is employed by the seller

  • The real estate agent must be licensed.
  • Sales representatives, including property managers, are required to be registered 
    • Real estate agents are responsible for the conduct of the sales representatives they employ.
  • The real estate agent must have a written contract with the owner/s to sell the property.
  • If you make a written offer on a property, the real estate agent or sales representative must present your offer to the seller unless it's below a value decided by the seller.
  • The real estate agent or sales representative must obtain a copy of the certificate of title for the property.
    • The real estate agent or sales representative should try to find out and tell you important information about a property, such as whether there are any restrictions about the use of a property.
    • Where an extension is obviously badly built, real estate agents should make enquiries with the local authority about the legality of the extension.
  • If the real estate agent suggests that you use a service provider, such as a termite inspector or settlement agent, the agent must tell you in writing if they have any connection with that supplier.
  • If you are considering buying a strata titled property, the real estate agent (or owner) must give you a copy of the strata plan, showing what you are buying and Forms 28 (Disclosure Statement) and 29 (Buying and selling a strata titled lot) of the Strata Titles General Regulations 1996.

Some things to remember about the role of a real estate agent or sales representative

  • The real estate agent’s job is not to get you the “best deal” as a buyer as they are employed by the seller to get the best price and conditions for the seller.
  • The real estate agent may not be appropriately qualified to give you financial advice, such as tax advice or investment advice.
  • The real estate agent is not required to tell you why the seller has decided to put the property on the market.

European house borers

Real estate agents should inform buyers about EHB and if a property is in a risk area.  It is also important for buyers to be vigilant and use pest inspectors who have been trained in EHB identification. More details are available on the Department of Agriculture and Food website

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