Property Agents and Land Transactions Bill No. 61 of 2016. Second Reading
Mrs Armitage (Launceston) - Mr President, the member for Apsley has asked some of the questions I was going to ask. I support the bill. It is a good bill. It is tidying up a few anomalies with regard to things like advertising and changes we need to catch up with, like technology. The fact is, people do a lot of electronic advertising now. It is important with regard to the issue mentioned by the member for Apsley, with people putting their house up for sale and then selling it to someone who has been brought though by a previous agent.
I should declare that I had an interest in the past, I do not anymore.
Ms Rattray - You were a real estate agent, of course.
Mrs Armitage - I have been a real estate agent, yes, and we have all had those issues where you have had the house for 90 days or 120 days. Of course everyone thinks their house is worth what they want for it, whether you believe they will get it or not. Sometimes at the end of that period someone you may have taken through that home decides they will buy it. For whatever reason, that person then sells to someone you have taken through and you have done all the legwork, so I can understand the 90 days. It is important if someone can simply put in The Examiner or the Mercury or another paper to say their house is no longer with an agent and that someone who has been through it previously with an agent can then buy it and save the fee. It is a very simple procedure. It has not happened to me but I believe it has happened to other people. The fee can be saved, and on some occasions I believe the fee is halved between the buyer and the seller.
There needs to be something in place that if it is listed with someone and they take them through in good faith, show them and do all the work, within that period they get the benefit out of it. That is a really important part of the bill. I always thought that applied anyway.
The other issue was mentioned by the member for Hobart. In my day, real estate agents tended to work together quite well because they all have the issue that the house might be taken off them and go to another agent. Sometimes someone will have the house and they will not sell it, and someone will go through again and it will go to a different agent, and of course they get the money. Often it is the reverse.
Mr Valentine - Do they sometimes split the commission?
Mrs Armitage - They do sometimes split the commission. If an agent has a house that another agent wants to show someone through, they will do deals and split the commission. That certainly happened in my time. Agents tend to work together because often you never know which side of the situation you are going to be on. It is certainly worth working together.
Like the member for Apsley, I would like to know about the guarantee fund and the fact that it has increased from $3 million to $8 million. How much is in there now and what is the reason? If there are sufficient funds still in it, why has it been increased by $5 million? It would be interesting to find out whether there has been a real hit on it and it needs to increase, or if not, why it needs to increase.
Ms Rattray - What happens if it gets to $8 million, where does the excess go?
Mrs Armitage - That is a good question. It is important, too, we note that sometimes bonds had not been passed on. It is really important that bonds get passed on and we tidy up all of those issues - including the one mentioned by Mr Webster in the briefings, the fact that part 10 had never really commenced. It is important that we tidy those things up and facilitate the red tape reduction by removing an uncommenced part 10 which appeared - or looked to appear, if you look at the act, you would think it was there - but it had never really gone through. That was a little confusing as well.
It is good to remove a few confusing issues and tidy up the bill. I certainly support it.