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New laws govern Queensland real estate

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Real estate agents in Queensland will no longer be required to disclose their commission to buyers or stick to a maximum commission limit under new legislation passed yesterday.

The Property Occupations Act and associated regulations bring in a raft of changes affecting how agents deal with buyers and sellers.

Under the act, agents will no longer be required to disclose their commission from the seller to the buyer.

In addition, the limit on maximum commissions has been abolished, allowing agents to charge any amount agreed to by the seller.

Agents will also no longer be allowed to issue price guides before auctions.

Other changes include longer maximums for sole or exclusive agency agreements, stricter disclosure of third party benefit, and abolition of the warning statement in the contract.

Queensland attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie said the changes would cut down on red tape.

“Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions we can make in our lifetime and the simpler we can make the process, the greater Queenslanders are protected,” he said.

“Contracts can often do more harm than good, with many people either skimming over important information or in some cases not reading the finer detail at all,” he said.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) president Anton Kardash also welcomed the changes, particularly the price guide ban, as promoting a more transparent relationship between agents and clients.

“They’re a win for consumers, who are going to enjoy greater transparency in situations where they’re looking to buy a property at auction,” he said.

However, real estate coach Tony Panos told sister publication Real Estate Business  the new legislation may harm sellers.

“What would happen is the sellers of properties would lose the interest of buyers … because buyers will be turned off looking at things and not knowing whether they can afford it or not. They would stay away from properties where they were given no idea at all of the selling price. So, I think it would be against the vendor's best interests,” he said.

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