Real estate law in South Australia is set to be reviewed by the state government, after years of lobbying by the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA).
The proposed changes are designed to increase consumer protection according to the REISA.
REISA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Greg Troughton, said that the majority of the proposals confirmed by the state's Deputy Premier, the Hon John Rau MP, were in line with the amendments REISA had been lobbying for over three years.
“Major real estate reform was introduced in 2008 and these additional amendments will simply tie up loose ends and ease red tape for everyone involved in the real estate transaction,” Mr Troughton said.
“Put simply, today’s reforms will adopt REISA’s best practice recommendation of not using ambiguous language in pricing such as ‘$500 plus’ and it will also require sales representatives to substantiate their selling estimate with sales data.”
“Both of these important measures have been REISA’s best practice recommendation since the introduction of the laws in 2008. We are pleased that these standards will be transferred into legislation.”
South Australian principal, Trent Shorland of Brocks Harcourts Mount Barker, which is 25 minutes out of Adelaide, said he encouraged the review.
“I think the evaluation of the laws is a positive thing for us as agents and good for business,” he said.
“The government has really listened to the institute and agent practioneers and these proposed changes will be much easier to understand and more workable.”
According to Mr Shorland the crux of the problem with the current laws lies with the terminology.
“A few years ago there were alterations to the laws which made them quite stringent, though the language was confusing. These changes will be a lot more user friendly.”
Other measures REISA is strongly supportive of is the ability of the agent and vendor to extend their original sales agency agreement for a further term. This had been a major issue since the law changed in 2008, particularly in rural areas where it can often take many months for a property to sell.
There is also important clarification of when and how some documents, such as signed documentation can be delivered. REISA had been seeking clarification on the time frame in which sales representatives need to deliver signed contracts to the purchaser and vendor. The proposed amendments would make it clear, that with 48 hours is reasonable.
REISA also welcomed the adoption of electronic communication in the transaction.
“Acknowledging that the way people do business has changed, it is reassuring that the real estate laws will be changed to reflect this,” Mr Troughton said.
“There are some areas of reform which REISA is still seeking further discussions on and we trust that we can hold positive discussions with the Government surrounding these.”
The REISA were unable to comment on which particular areas need further discussion at the time of publication.