We receive many completed residential property sale contracts on a daily basis from real estate agents and many of those communications continue to include the direction to the buyer, or ourselves as the buyer’s agent, with the documents presented in a specific order.
The amendments to the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (PAMDA) changed the requirement for documents to be presented in a specific order and the direction requirements.
The new provisions came into effect on 1 October 2010. We have watched with interest if the new procedures have impacted on the process of preparing residential sale contracts and noted that the majority of real estate agents still use the old procedure when delivering contracts to us. We understand that agents are merely trying to protect themselves and do ‘the right thing’ but why jump through administrative hoops that are no longer required?
Agents should consider adapting their administrative procedures to be consistent with current legislation. It should be noted that the following changes have been made to the procedures:
1. Delivery of documents:There is no longer a prescribed order for the delivery of documents at either the proposed relevant contract stage or the relevant contract stage. However, it is logical to present those documents in the following order:
- Warning Statement
- Information Sheet pursuant to BCCM for the sale of a lot; and
- Proposed relevant contract or relevant contract
No penalties or consequences will apply if the documents are not presented in the above order.
2. Direction to the buyer:The direction of the buyer’s attention to the Warning Statement, Information Sheet (if any) and the proposed relevant contract now only applies at the proposed relevant contract stage, i.e. when presenting the contract to the buyer for the first time for signing.
3. No continuing obligation to give the direction to the buyer:There is no requirement to keep giving the direction to the buyer where negotiations of the terms and conditions between the parties mean that the proposed relevant contract passes between the parties a number of times – so long as the direction was given to the buyer when the proposed relevant contract was first presented to the buyer. If the property or the parties were to change, then a new proposed contract has been prepared and a new direction is required in those circumstances.
4. More than one buyer:The requisite direction to the buyer need only be given to one of two or more buyers to be compliant. The agent does not have to give the direction to every named buyer.
No Change: There has been no changetothe requirement for all contracts to be securely attached together, preferably by stapling or binding, and not by bulldog clips or paperclips. Also, if sent by email or fax, the proposed relevant contract or relevant contract must be sent in a single email or a single fax.
If you require any further information about the changes, then we are happy to discuss those with you. Contact our property and commercial department manager Christine Martin on 07 5506 8245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.