Hitting back at the outcry over fee changes for advertising on realestate.com.au, REA Group urged agencies to ignore the “misinformation”, reassuring them there was no intention to “disintermediate” agents.
However, Domain claimed the following month that REA had made it “very clear” that it “wanted to take the agent out of… the deal between the seller and the buyer”.
Also in August, it was revealed that Squiiz had been chosen as the name of the much-anticipated industry-owned portal, and that its member base included more than 60 per cent of the market.
The new portal received a boost in September when the Certified Practising Real Estate Agent Association said it had ceased development of its own site and would support Squiiz.
Another ongoing theme during the third quarter was the real estate industry making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
A former agent from Sydney pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million from the trust funds of property owners.
A star Brisbane agent was charged with more than 30 drug offences following a two-year police sting operation.
Another Brisbane agent was ordered to pay $134,000 in fines and compensation after pleading guilty to multiple areas of malpractice.
South Australia issued a warning to the public to avoid any dealings with a bankrupt agent who was continuing to practise despite being unlicensed.
Western Australia took action against two agencies after an investigation uncovered the misuse of trust accounts and a failure to comply with the Real Estate and Business Agents Act.