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Legal issues when buying or selling in Queensland


The way in which property is bought and sold in Queensland has undergone some change with the introduction of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act introduced in July 2001. These reforms became necessary because investment- related marketing activities became confused with traditional real estate practices. Buyers sometimes paid considerably above the market price in situations where they had no contact with local agents.


the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act
Conveyancing
forms used when buying or selling real estate
when listing your property for sale
contract of sale


the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act


Some significant changes were introduced to this act in 2001-:

  • A mandatory Warning Statement as the first page of all contracts - including contracts for private sales.
  • Obligatory disclosure by real estate agents and property developers of any relationships they have with service providers to whom customers are referred and any money or other benefits they may receive as a result of the referral.
  • 60 day limit for sole and exclusive agency appointments
  • Five-day cooling-off period for all sales of residential property (except by auction)
  • Licensing of property developers
  • Mandatory Code of Conduct

Conveyancing


Conveyancing is the legal transfer of a property's title from the seller to the buyer. Queenslanders have the choice of employing a solicitor to handle the conveyance or doing the job themselves. DIY kits are available. However, if this method is used please be aware that any problems associated with the conveyance may result in costly outcomes. Using a recommended solicitor will take the worry out of the process for you.
Whether you use a solicitor or decide to do-it-yourself, conveyancing still incurs costs such as searches at the Titles office, stamp duty and registration fees. Searches of zoning, and Titles will determine whether the property has any restrictions such as adverse planning, demolition orders, outstanding taxes linked to it, or encumbrances on Title such as easements.



forms used when buying and selling real estate

For a complete list and explanation of all forms that you may encounter when buying or selling real estate in Queensland visit the Queensland Government Office of Fair Trading website. It outlines the changes made to the process of buying or selling real estate in Queensland with the introduction of new legislation in 2001. You can also view any of these documents on this website.


When Listing Your Property for Sale

Before an agent performs any service for a client they must complete a PAMD Form 22a. Failure to do this may result in a penalty and loss of commission. The client appoints a Real Estate Agent for the sale or purchase of property, land or business. This form also outlines the method of sale to be used, the commission structure agreed upon, and discloses any other fees, charges and expenses that may be incurred. For an example of the form to be completed click PAMD22a




The Contract of Sale

The contract of sale is prepared by the real estate agent when a buyer wishes to make an offer on a property. If the offer and/or subsequent negotiation is acceptable to the seller, both parties sign this document. Buyers may seek independent legal advice, and will often make the contract subject to satisfactory building and pest inspection, finance approval etc.

The REIQ Standard House and Land Contract has been prepared in compliance with the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 and in conjunction with the Law Society of Queensland and is commonly used among real estate agents around Queensland.
A sample copy of the REIQ Standard House and Land Contract (http://www.reiq.com.au/pdfs/BuySellRent/Contract_for_House_and_Land_5th_Edition.pdf ) is available for buyers who wish to familiarise themselves with a contract of sale before beginning their real estate transaction.
We can also supply you with a copy of this document.

In the case of a property sold through auction it is important to get a copy of the contract before the property goes to auction. Properties sold 'under the hammer' are unconditional, and therefore definite. A solicitor will be able to advise you on conditions of the contract of sale before you begin bidding on the property.

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