Buyers and sellers do not have access to enough independent advice, the Real Estate Agents Authority says.
By Susan Edmunds
It has produced a guide, Get smart before buying and selling property, which is available from the REAA website.
The authority says it is designed to give buyers and sellers simple information about the process, including key things they should know and do, what to expect from their real estate agent, and a rundown of the different methods of buying and selling.
Chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith said a major part of the REAA's work was to ensure that consumers were informed. He said real estate agents were already regularly offering guides to sale and purchase agreements and real estate agency agreements, but consumers needed a bit more information.
"It's not a result of anything in particult but has evolved around the way we get an informed customer. We've been here since 2009 and we're still looking at things and thinking about areas where we could do a bit better."
Lampen-Smith said it was better for real estate agents to work with informed consumers.
The guide tells buyers that agents should not exert undue or unfair pressure, or withhold information about a property.
“They must not take advantage of any party’s inability to understand relevant documents and they must keep the seller updated regularly on any relevant matters.”
It informs sellers that they can negotiate the amount of commission to be paid in any sale and the way expenses are apportioned. It says agents must give sellers a written appraisal of their estimate of the sale price.
It also lays out conflict of interest rules, the use of a buyer’s agent and a glossary of terms.