Is it time for the federal government to take over certain aspects of real estate and property regulations from the states? Each state is governed by their own laws in relation to real estate agents and each state has its own Real Estate Institute. Here are some of my thoughts on this.
Property is the number one investment most Australians will make in their lifetimes. We have a national interest to make sure that homes are affordable and within reach of anyone who holds down a full time job. Going back 15 years or so there was no Internet and the majority of Australians purchased homes within their own area at the most their own state – in fact most people only new of home for sale in their own areas because of the limited reach of newspapers. I can remember driving around for a whole day searching for For Sale properties in my parents car, dropping into local agencies windows and having a peak.
Fast forward 15 years and we have the Internet, many people purchasing interstate and many more buying from outside their own areas. We now have more property investors than ever and a more savvy buyer market.
But where have we moved as far as rules and regulations? Each state government has it own rules governing the sale of properties, each government has a number of different rebates, taxes, duties that they provide/collect from buyers and sellers.
So what would it take to bring in some national regulations and strip some state authorities from their obligations? I am not advocating a complete strip down, but I am saying that anyone wishing to buy/sell a property through an agent should know what their rights are, and at present it is totally confusing and totally different from state to state.
I also think with the rise of private selling that will come into play over the next few years (maybe to 7-10%) there should be some regulations in place for anyone selling a property privately. The first thing we must do is to make sure as an industry that all parties are protected in these transactions.
Here are some things I think need addressing:
- National Regulations for advertising a listing – with Minimum Requirements.
- National Regulations for transparency in Negotiation of a Sale.
- National Regulations for disclosure – Full disclosure of Property History.
- Laws prohibiting auctioning Rental properties – Vendor must advertise a fixed price.
- National Regulations for Private Sales – Sellers must take a license test (online) and fill in all required forms prior to advertising.
- National Portal – A place where people can go to find out all of the taxes, duties, rebates for each state.
Now, I am going to be the first to put my hand up and say my experience with these things is minimal…I want a debate, vigorous and clean….I want to know who would fight against this and who would be for it….