Dealing with Real Estate Agents

When the time comes for you to start thinking of property, whether it be to buy, sell or let a property, you will have to deal with a real estate agent. It is important to remember that you must deal with licensed agents and appoint them using the approved form in writing. Research thoroughly and find an agent who follows the code of conduct and doesn't make ambiguous or false representations.

It is crucial to have a reliable real estate agent to get the best deals and be protected from shams.

When appointing an agent, keep in mind they are not legally allowed to act for you unless they have been formally appointed in writing on the appropriate form. When selling a property, research and become knowledgeable on the different types of appointments.

If you are not dealing with a Hervey bay real estate agent, you will probably be dealing with a representative from the industry in the form of an auctioneer, sales person, property developer or a restricted letting agent. Each of these persons must be licensed by the Office of Fair Trading and if they are not, consider your business with them as you will not have the same level of consumer rights protection if things go haywire.

Ask to see their license to ensure that you are dealing with an authentic licensee. If not, visit the Office of Fair Trading to inspect and receive copies of license information at a small price.

The representatives and agents are required to conduct their business according to a Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct ensures that there is a complaint handling process as well as a requirement of a license to deal professionally, honestly, fairly and ethically to all clients.

This Act also prevents money being misused by requiring agents to bank money received from real estate transactions into a trust account and to provide receipts. Furthermore, agents must provide payment by trust account cheque or through an Electronic Funds Transfer. Cash refunds are prohibited.

If a problem occurs regarding an agent's conduct, it must be sorted out personally first. If the dispute remains unresolved, following the complaint process is critical to determine the matter at hand. If worse comes to worse and you are not satisfied, file a written complaint to the Office of Fair Trading where officers will investigate.

Protection is assured if an agent makes misleading or false representations regarding a property. As well as this, you are protected if an agent provides information regarding the transaction including the property value, sales history, income tax benefits and income potential.

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