New codes of conduct for real estate

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New codes are designed to make it easier for property industry members to understand their duties and obligations to people buying or selling property in WA.

REAL estate agents are now required to provide property sellers with a market price in writing and tell them about all offers made on a property.

According to the State Government compulsory training has already started in relation to the proposed changes for settlement agents, real estate agents and sales representatives and the property industry has two months to fully comply.

Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the new codes were developed following detailed consultation between the regulator – Consumer Protection – and industry, including the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, the Australian Institute of Conveyancers (WA) and the Australian Property Institute.

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia said it recognised the introduction of the new codes of conduct for real estate agents, sales representatives, settlement agents and land valuers, which supported industry best practice and provided consumer protection.

REIWA president Hayden Groves thanked Mr Mischin and the Department of Commerce for carrying out a detailed consultation process and working closely with the institute to develop the new codes.

Mr Mischin said Mr Mischin said Consumer Protection created new, modern codes to make it easier for industry members to read and understand their duties and obligations to people buying or selling property in WA.

“Updated disclosure requirements under the codes will mean greater transparency in property transactions for consumers and market participants,’’ he said.

“Under the Real Estate and Business Agents and Sales Representatives Code of Conduct 2016, property sellers will receive the real estate agent’s opinion as to market price in writing, along with reasons to support that opinion.

“In addition, agents will be required to communicate all offers to clients and not just those made in writing.’’

He said the Settlement Agents Code of Conduct 2016 would prevent settlement agents from acting for both the buyer and seller in certain circumstances where one of the parties might be unfairly prejudiced.

“Under the Land Valuers Code of Conduct 2016, licensed valuers will be required to complete valuation work within a reasonable time and in accordance with the client’s reasonable instructions.’’

In addition all codes now specified the need to disclose any fee or reward for referring clients to a third party service provider, such as a lawyer.

“The additions in the new codes will enhance the high level of service agents already provide to their clients.’’