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Appointing a real estate agent

When you sell your property, you may want to use a real estate agent. An agent can:

  • advise you on the price for your home
  • find buyers
  • negotiate the sale.

They are required by law to negotiate the best possible price for you.

Find an agent

Real estate agents must have a licence to work in Queensland.

Speak with several agents before you choose one. Ask 2 or 3 agents to inspect your property and provide you with a listing presentation.

They will:

  • explain the state of the property market
  • set out a plan to market your home.

Asking price

They may choose to suggest an asking price. If so, they must do a comparative market analysis (CMA).

A CMA compares at least 3 properties that:

  • are of similar standard or condition to your home
  • sold within 5km of the property
  • sold in the last 6 months.

If they cannot find 3 properties that fit these criteria, they will need to:

  • give you their market advice in writing
  • justify how they reached that opinion.

Appointment

You can only appoint a real estate agent by filling in the Appointment of a property agent, resident letting agent or property auctioneer (PDF, 188KB) form.

This form sets out:

  • how much the agent will charge as commission for their services
  • what other costs they may incur on your behalf (such as advertising)
  • when your payments are due to the agent
  • what services the agent will provide, and how they will provide them.

Make sure you read the form thoroughly to make sure you’re happy with the arrangement.

Time frame

Single appointment

You can enter a single appointment for a one-off service. This includes selling your house.

Continuing appointment

A continuing appointment means your agent can do several services for you. This is most common for property management.

You might also consider this option if you have more than one property or businesses to sell.

Appointment types

You can enter into different types of appointment which will affect:

  • who can try to sell your property for you
  • who is entitled to commission when the property sells.

Your agent must discuss the different types of appointment with you before you sign the appointment form.

Open listing

You only pay the agent their commission if they sell the property. You can open list your property with several different agents at the same time.

If you appoint a sole or exclusive agent, they may continue as an open listing:

  • after the sole or exclusive agency agreement has ended
  • if you agree on the appointment form.

Cancelling the agreement

You or your agent can cancel an open listing at any time. Whoever is cancelling must notify the other in writing.

Exclusive agency

You have to pay the agent their commission when your home is sold, regardless of who actually sells the property. If another agent sells the property, you could potentially pay two commissions.

Cancelling the agreement

The maximum term of appointment is 90 days. If you agree on a term of more than 60 days:

  • either party may end the appointment
  • you (or your agent) must give a minimum of 30 days’ written notice
  • the appointment must remain in effect for at least 60 days.

Otherwise, it ends at the end of the agreed contract term (which may be up to 90 days).

Sole agency

You pay the agent their commission once your home is sold, unless you make the sale yourself.

Cancelling the agreement

The maximum term of appointment is 90 days. If you agree on a term of more than 60 days:

  • either party may end the appointment
  • you (or your agent) must give a minimum of 30 days’ written notice
  • the appointment must remain in effect for at least 60 days.

Otherwise, it ends at the end of the agreed contract term (which may be up to 90 days).

Problems or disputes

If you have a dispute with your agent, you must follow these three steps.

Talk to the agent

Put your complaint in writing directly to the agent. Explain the problem and what you want the agent to do to fix it.

If they accept your complaint and fix the problem, you don’t have to take the matter any further.

Talk to the industry body

If your agent rejects your complaint, you can still take it further.

Contact the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) for advice (if your agent is a member). If this fixes the problem, you don’t have to take it any further.

Make a formal complaint

If you still have no success, you can contact us to make a formal complaint.

You may also be able to make a claim for compensation if you’ve suffered a financial loss.

Last updated
31 August 2016
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