Realestate.com.au has upgraded it private selling policy with some new rules which may make it very difficult for agencies not providing a full service to their vendors. It is still very much an open to interpretation document.
Published: 28 May 2009
This policy of www.realestate.com.au (“REA”) is intended to provide guidance on the nature of the customers to which we wish to provide online real estate advertising services, and the commercial basis and reasoning on which we have based our business model.
REA provides online services listing real estate properties advertised for sale or rent through licensed real estate agents, and various associated services.
REA is committed to enhancing the service it provides to its customers
This business model focuses upon licensed real estate agents as our primary customers. Therefore, we only allow licensed real estate agent managed listings to be advertised on our website – it is inconsistent with our policy to allow private listings.
For the purposes of advertising on our website, a “private listing” means a listing of property whereby the individual, company or business, who wishes to sell or let their property directly to purchasers/lessees without engaging a licensed real estate agent in the course of the transaction for the provision of the following range of agent services (without limitation):
- Market appraisal of property.
- Marketing the sale or rental of the property (eg copywriting; signboards, booking print and online advertising, letterdrop, etc).
- Managing and responding to enquiries from potential buyers or renters.
- Negotiating or brokering the key commercial terms of the transaction between seller/lessor and purchaser/lessee and solicitor/conveyancer.
- In respect of a sale of property, organising the auction or tender of that property (where relevant), and facilitating the sale transaction between the purchaser and the seller when the property is sold.
An individual or company or business may use a licensed real estate agent to perform a limited number of the services set out above, such as Marketing item b) and/or the Management of enquiries item c).
However, where such entity does not obtain at least the range of agent services set out above, REA will consider that such a listing is a “private listing”. REA will exercise its sole discretion, but will not act unreasonably, in determining such issue.
REA has made the decision not to allow private listings on its website:
- on an internal and unilateral basis;
- on reasonable economic grounds;
- on the basis that it supports the real estate industry in Australia; and
- results in the provision of a quality and more professional and useful service to visitors to www.realestate.com.au, which caters to those visitors’ needs.
Before real estate agents jump into the air celebrating here a a few things to thinik about.
- Should realestate.com.au be dictating to licensed real estate agents how they sell or market their property listings.
- Should realestate.com.au be able to view private documents between an agent and a vendor on request? Obvious privacy issues here between a real a agent and their vendor.
My opinion on this is that real estate agents should be using private selling sites as a great way to get listings as my experience shows that the majority of private sellers eventually move to sell through an agent.
Private selling will be a slow growth area in the future and realestate.com.au have not said they will never allow private sellers, to me, at the moment it will not work commercially for them, but they have never said they will never do it, so don’t think for one second they are doing it to protect you – more so to protect their revenues from agents lashing back.