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Is your agent able to sell real estate in your home town?

In our last blog post, we talked about how you can find out whether a real estate agent, like Bill Tsounias, who works for McGrath in Sydney, is licensed to sell your property or perform various other functions of a real estate transaction, such as act as an auctioneer. Because Bill is based in NSW, we were able to look up his license on the Service NSW website, which keeps a register of all the current and lapsed real estate agents in the state, and see that he is licensed to sell real estate in NSW unsupervised.

When you look up agents in your local area, you should be looking for things like whether they’re allowed to work unsupervised or whether they’re supposed to work with another agent — in which case, you should be meeting with the other agent, too — or if they’ve had any compliance or disciplinary actions carried out against them. You also have to remember that each state and territory has its own licensing requirements, and as a result, it’s own register.

Different state, different license

So, when you look up an agent like Marshall Rushford in the Service NSW property register, you won’t find him there, because he isn’t licensed to sell real estate in NSW — only in Victoria, where he is based. That’s another thing to keep in mind, particularly if you’re from out of town and you’re buying or selling real estate in another state — be sure the check the correct register.

It’s also helpful to understand that each state and territory has different licensing requirements, but that, for the most part, they all require agents to continue their professional development (CPD), just as accountants, bookkeepers, lawyers and other professionals do. Every 12 months, agents are required to complete a certain amount of education in order to stay accredited; their licences must also be renewed every 12 months or three years, depending on the type of license they hold.

Agents can be fined for not continuing their training

Aside from not being able to renew their real estate agent’s license when it comes due for renewal, agents who don’t keep up with their training can also be fined by the licensing body in their state (the Department of Fair Trading for agents in NSW, Consumer Affairs in Victoria, etc). CPD is important to ensure real estate agents keep abreast of changes to legislation and real estate practices, which is why each state licensing authority takes CPD so seriously — and why your agent should, too.

In the last 12 months alone, the NSW state government introduced new laws to tackle underquoting, and also amended the Swimming Pools Act 1992 to improve pool safety by making homeowners register their swimming pool on the NSW Swimming Pool Register. Is your agent up to speed on the latest legislative changes in his or her state? This is something you should ask prospective agents about when you meet with them.

The Victorian Government recently introduced underquoting laws too. If you’re selling your home around the Caulfield area in Victoria, and you’re using Marshall Rushford or his team, ask them about the new underquoting laws, and what they will mean for you selling your property. Marshall’s team take their CPD very seriously, so they’ll be able to explain all of the recent changes to the Estate Agent’s Act 1980.

One particular change involves agents being required to update the advertised price of a property within one business day, if an offer, higher than has been advertised, is rejected at any time. Ask Marshall about how or if this could affect your marketing campaign.

To learn more about the real estate sales process, including how to manage inspections, offers and following up with buyers, download our free educational guide. Alternatively, for more real estate news, insights and analysis, subscribe to our blog.



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