Last updated 11 August 2016

When engaging an agent to sell a property, the seller is entering into a legal relationship with the real estate agency. This relationship may involve onerous obligations on the seller. By way of example, a seller may be required to pay commission to the agent even if the seller eventually finds a buyer or if the buyer found by the agent does not complete the purchase.

Written instructions

By law, when an agent is engaged to try to sell a property, they will require the seller to sign an appointment in the approved form. The agent can only recover commission if the agent has been properly appointed in accordance with that Act.

The seller should only sign the appointment form when they are satisfied that they understand everything contained in it, and the terms of the agreement are satisfactory, particularly concerning when commission will be payable by the seller. If a seller has any concerns whatsoever, they should obtain independent legal advice. Information may also be obtained from the Office of Fair Trading.

Deregulation of commission

The fees and commissions that an agent can charge for the purchase or sale of residential property have been deregulated (Property Occupations Act 2014 (Qld)). This means that this is entirely a matter for negotiation.