NEW codes of conduct for real estate agents, sales representatives, settlement agents and land valuers came into effect today, increasing transparency for people buying or selling property in WA.
Commerce minister Michael Mischin said the new codes were developed following detailed consultation between Consumer Protection and representatives from the Real Estate Institute of WA, the Australian Institute of Conveyancers (WA) and the Australian Property Institute.
Under the new codes for real estate agents and sales representatives, property sellers must be given the real estate agent’s opinion of the current market price in writing, along with reasons to support that opinion.
In addition, agents will be required to communicate all offers to clients, not just those made in writing.
Even if the offer may seem speculative or unrealistic and may not genuinely result in the sale of the property, the agent must present it to the client.
Mr Mischin said the new codes fitted with the Liberal National Government’s commitment to support industry best practice while protecting consumers.
“Consumer Protection created new, modern codes to make it easier for industry members to read and understand their duties and obligations to people buying or selling property in WA,” he said.
“Updated disclosure requirements under the codes will mean greater transparency in property transactions for consumers and market participants.”
The Settlement Agents Code of Conduct 2016 will prevent settlement agents from acting for both the buyer and seller in certain circumstances where one of the parties may be unfairly prejudiced.
Under the Land Valuers Code of Conduct 2016, licensed valuers will be required to complete valuation work within a reasonable time and in accordance with the client’s reasonable instructions.
Mr Mischin said all codes now specified the need to disclose any fee or reward for referring clients to a third party service provider, such as a lawyer.