Property reforms a 'win-win' for Queenslanders
A recently passed reform of Queensland's real estate and property legislation has been heralded as a game-changer for both real estate professionals and consumers.
The Property Occupations Act and associated legislation passed on May 6 breaks the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act of 2000 into separate, industry-specific legislation. This split, industry experts say, will cut red tape, strengthen consumer rights and streamline what could be a confusing and messy process for buyers and sellers alike.
Among other things, the new laws will put Queensland in line with other states by deregulating real estate agents' commissions, plus end the requirement for property developers and their employees to be licenced. The licencing framework for real estate agents and auctioneers has also been simplified.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) was pleased with the changes made.
"These reforms will deliver a number of positive changes for the real estate sector," said REIQ CEO Anton Kardash.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie looked equally favourably toward the changes. "By streamlining the process, we're reducing costs and other burdens for people buying and selling real estate, property professionals and the broader community," he said.
Buyers also winners of reforms
Property professionals are not the only ones who stand to benefit from the changes - the new laws could equally be a boon for first time buyers.
The reforms mandate greater transparency toward buyers when it comes to third-party benefits, shorten the length of claims processes and slash the amount of government forms. The Warning Statement, previously a separate document, will now be part of any relevant contract a buyer signs.
This change will aid customers who often find themselves buried under impenetrable paperwork. "Lengthy contracts can often do more harm than good," said Mr Bleijie, adding that many people skimmed or entirely skipped important information in real estate contracts.
"Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions we can make in our lifetime and the simpler we can make the process, the greater Queenslanders are protected," he added.
Reforms follow industry recommendations
Many of the changes reflect the positions of the REIQ and other industry professionals, who have long called for a simplification of the law. "We've consulted extensively with our own members and the State Government to help shape this new set of laws which herald a new era for real estate in Queensland," said REIQ chairman Rob Honeycombe.
"This is a win-win for all Queenslanders," said Mr Bleijie.
With the new reforms under way, this could be the perfect time for prospective buyers and sellers to dip into the real estate sector.