This industry is hard enough as it is, but it’s impossible when the Government advisers give wrong advice. The purpose of undertaking assistant agents’ courses and licence courses, is to ensure Real Estate Agents have fundamental skills and knowledge in the industry. We are required to do CPD because it enhances the knowledge base of those who are looking after consumers biggest investment. With all these imposts on the industry, its not too much to expect the Governmental officials are at least the same standard.
One of our good colleagues on the Northern Rivers of New South Wales had an experience last week that demonstrates the difficulties associated with working in a regulatory industry, where the Regulator is not up to date. He was selling a large property, and there was competition between two buyers. Like a good Agent, the Agent played one buyer against the other as a means of getting the best price for their Vendor.
One of the buyers demanded the Agent to provide them with a copy of all written offers. Not just their own written offers, but the offers from their competitor in the purchase of this property.
When the Agent refused, the buyer said he had advice from Fair Trading that said he must provide all offers to buyers.
Astounded, the Agent rang the Real Estate Institute and Services New South Wales. Both the Real Estate Institute and Services New South Wales advised the Agent that he must pass on all offers to buyers. In other words, the buyer should see all offers made by the competitor.
This advice is flagrantly wrong! Rule 3 of Schedule 2 to the Property and Stock Agents Regulation 2014 requires that all offers are passed onto Vendors. There is nothing in the regulations requiring the passing of information to a Purchaser.
This advice also flies in the face of many other rules of conduct:-
- Rule 7 of Schedule 1 sets out the Agent must keep all information regarding the Vendor and other Purchasers confidential and should not release this information without consent;
- Rules 6, 10 and 11 also require the Agent to act always in the best interest of their client and apply their fiduciary duties.
The Purchaser is not entitled to know what their competitor is offering. To do so, would place an Agent in breach of other rules of conduct. With the complexities of this industry, getting it right is hard enough! Let’s hope the advisors undertake the education which is required by our industry.