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Appointment to act as a property agent

As a property agent, you must not do anything for a client until they appoint you in writing. Basically, this is a service agreement between you and the client. It sets out the rights and obligations of both parties.

The appointment

You must fill out an appointment form. Once you and your client both agree on your terms, you will each need to sign the form. You must:

  • give the completed form to your client
  • keep a copy for your records.

Appointment of a property agent, resident letting agent or property auctioneer (PDF, 188KB)

The appointment to act must set out:

  • the services you will provide
  • any limits, restrictions or conditions on your services
  • the commission, fees and expenses that the client will pay you for your services
  • the due date (or dates) for each payment
  • an end date (for a sole or exclusive agency).

You will need to declare any financial benefit that you expect to gain from a third party. This might be:

  • any surcharge for renters to access services such as pay TV, linen, cleaning (over the actual expense that you pay)
  • any rebates you get to refer clients to other businesses, such as a mortgage broker.

Transferring appointments

You can assign your appointments to another real estate agent if:

  • your original appointment lets you do so
    or
  • the client consents to it in writing.

This may be, for instance, because you sell your business.

Time frame

Single appointment

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

You can renew a single appointment. To do so, you and the client must fill out the reappointment section of the same appointment form you signed. You must do this no more than 14 days before the expiry date of the appointment.

Continuing appointment

A continuing appointment allows you to do a service or several services for a client over a period. They include:

  • rental property management
  • resident unit management
  • project marketing
  • affordable housing.

These types of appointments allow either you or the client to cancel the agreement. To do so, you or your client will need to give at least 30 days written notice. You may have a shorter notice period if you and the client mutually agree on it.

Appointment types

Open listing

The seller can:

  • open list their property for sale with several agents
  • cancel the appointment at any time by writing to the agent.

An open listing lets the seller hire multiple agents, any of whom may sell the property. They only pay the commission to the agent who actually sells the property.

Either you or your client may end the agreement at any time. You or your client must give written notice to do this.

If you enter into a sole or exclusive agency agreement, the appointment can continue as an open listing:

  • after the sole or exclusive agency agreement has ended
    or
  • if the client agrees in the appointment.

Exclusive agency

If you become the exclusive agent for a property, you have the sole right to make the sale. You are entitled to a commission for selling the property, regardless of who actually sells it.

This means that you may still potentially claim a commission if:

  • another agent sells it
  • the client sells it themselves.

You must give the seller a notice stating:

  • that you are acting as an exclusive agency
  • how an exclusive agency is different from a sole agency
  • that you may still claim commission if somebody else makes the sale
  • how long the term of appointment will last
  • whether it will become an open listing after the expiry date.

If you agree on a term of more than 60 days then the appointment must remain in effect for at least 60 days. Either party may end the appointment as long as they give a minimum of 30 days written notice. The maximum term of appointment for the sale of 1 or 2 properties is 90 days.

Sole agency

A sole agency is similar to an exclusive agency. You may still potentially claim a commission if another agent sells it. Unlike an exclusive agency, you are not entitled to a commission if the client sells it themselves.

You must give the seller a notice stating:

  • that you are acting as an sole agency
  • how a sole agency is different from an exclusive agency
  • that you may still claim commission if another agent makes the sale
  • how long the agreement will last
  • whether it will become an open listing after the expiry date.

If you agree on a term of more than 60 days then the appointment must remain in effect for at least 60 days. Either party may end the appointment as long as they give a minimum of 30 days written notice. The maximum term of appointment for the sale of 1 or 2 properties is 90 days.

Last updated
28 July 2016
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