For a change, lawyers side with the LNP
THEY have not seen eye to eye lately but the Queensland Law Society yesterday was quick to congratulate the Queensland government on the passing of what it described as long-needed reforms aimed at making purchasing property easier.
Law Society president Ian Brown said the passing of new legislation would simplify the residential sales process and was a big step forward for the property industry.
"We thank the Queensland Government for the opportunity to be involved in the consultation on this newly enacted legislation," Mr Brown said.
"We have long believed that good stakeholder consultation is the key to good law.
"However, despite positive steps being taken to make purchasing property easier, we caution potential homeowners to take care when finalising their contracts, with changes to cooling-off periods soon coming into effect."
Changes also included removing the requirement for agents to disclose to a buyer the commission the agent was receiving from the seller; extending the statutory limit on lengths of appointments for a sole or exclusive agency from 60 days to 90 days to better reflect market realities; deregulating the maximum commission rates to allow contractual freedom; abolition of a separate warning statement which would be included in the relevant contract; and stricter disclosure of third party benefits to buyers.
Mr Brown said it was hoped buyers would always contact their solicitor before signing any commitment to purchase.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Anton Kardash said the reforms would provide much-needed simplification and clarification for real estate agents and consumers alike.
"They're also a win for consumers, who are going to enjoy greater transparency in situations where they're looking to buy a property at auction," he said.
"The amended laws governing auction price guides reflect longstanding REIQ policy and we're pleased the government has also incorporated feedback from other industry players on this issue."
The Property Occupations Bill 2013 replaces aspects of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000, effectively separating the two.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the Property Occupations Act would allow property to be purchased without the unnecessary burden of red tape and regulation that previously existed.
"The simpler we can make the process, the greater Queenslanders are protected," Mr Bleijie said.