The Role of the Real Estate Agent in Conveyancing
Real estate agents are synonymous with buying and selling properties in conveyancing. However, exactly what role does a real estate agent play in the conveyancing process?
There are two types of real estate agents:
- Buyer’s Agent
- Seller’s Agent
Role of a Buyer’s agent
Buying a property can be a daunting task especially if you are not familiar with the area in which you wish to buy or if you do not reside near that target area.
A buyer’s agent is a qualified property consultant who acts solely for a buyer during the conveyancing process.
The duties of a buyer’s agent include:
- sourcing suitable properties for the buyer
- negotiating with the seller on behalf of the buyer
- conducting background checks on the desired property and area
- bidding on behalf of the buyer at auction (if necessary)
A buyer’s agent is paid by the buyer and must be licensed and certified to act as a buyer’s agent.
Role of a Seller’s Agent
When you decide to sell your property, like most sellers, you may want to use the services of a real estate agent.
Once you are ready to put your property on the market, the role of a seller’s agent includes:
- appraising the property and providing you with advice in relation to the value of your property
- obtaining a listing of the property – this occurs when you formally appoint the agent in writing to act on your behalf
- marketing the property
- seeking out and introducing potential buyers to the property
- offering you advice on current market conditions
- arranging and overseeing prospective buyers viewing the property
- negotiating the terms of the sale once a buyer has been found
- liaising with the both the buyer and the seller and their lawyers to finalise contract documentation
Once an agreement for the sale of a property has been reached between two parties, the seller’s agent will normally:
- draft and arrange execution of a contract of sale for the property but we recommend that you have your lawyer check the contract and any related documentation prepared by the agent before you sign
- liaise with both the buyer and the seller in relation to any issues that arise during the conditional period of the contract – for example, the agent may be able to broker a deal between the buyer and the seller to keep the contract on foot in the event that the buyer obtains an unsatisfactory building and pest report
- oversee any further inspections of the property that the buyer is entitled to perform under the contract during the conveyancing process (for example, building and pest inspections and pre-settlement inspections)
- release the keys to the buyer and the deposit to the seller upon receiving formal notification of settlement of the transaction
If you do decide to use an agent, we recommend speaking with several agents before you choose one. Ask a few agents to inspect your property and provide you with a listing presentation explaining the state of the property market and outlining a plan to market your property.
You can enter into different types of appointments which will affect who can try to sell your property and who is entitled to commission when the property sells. Your real estate agent must outline the different types of appointments for you.
As you can see from the outline of duties listed above, real estate agents play an integral role in the successful outcome of your conveyance. Accordingly, it is essential that you engage an agent that you trust and who communicates openly with you.
For buyers, it is important to remember that a seller’s agent is engaged by, acts on behalf of and is paid by the seller. The seller’s agent has a duty of care to act in the best interest of the seller including negotiating the best possible purchase price for the property.
If you have any questions arising from this article, please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialist conveyancing lawyers by calling us on 07 3106 3016 or emailing us using the form on this page.