There are some big changes in store when it comes to property law and conveyancing in Queensland. On top of PEXA, or electronic conveyancing, that is due to commence in the next six months, the Queensland Government has passed new legislation which radically overhauls the way residential properties are bought and sold in Queensland.
The Property Occupations Act 2014 was passed by the Government earlier this year and is set to commence before the end of the year. It will replace the now repealed Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000, commonly known as PAMDA. The aim of the new legislation is to remove some of the red tape that surrounds the transfer of residential property in Queensland.
Our lawyers have put together a quick FAQ to help you understand how some of these changes may affect you once they come into play.
Will I still receive a cooling off period when buying a residential property?
Yes, the current five day cooling off period will continue to apply when you purchase a property, except where the purchase is made at an auction, or two days following the auction if you were a registered bidder.
There are some circumstances where the cooling off period will not apply if you are a ‘sophisticated buyer’ meaning a publically listed company or a buyer purchasing a large number of lots in a development.
Can I waive the cooling off period?
The cooling off period can be waived if you so choose, but doing so will be much easier. Currently only your lawyer can waive your rights to the cooling off period, but under the new legislation you will be able to do this by simply giving a notice to the Seller.
What happens if I decide to terminate the Contract during the cooling off period?
This area of the legislation remains unchanged whereby if you decide to terminate the Contract during the five day cooling off period then the Seller will be able to charge you a penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price of the property.
If I am selling my property how will the new legislation affect me?
One of the major changes being implemented by the new legislation is the deregulation of the Real Estate Agents commission. Currently when you sell a residential property there is a limit on the amount of commission that can be charge by your real estate agent. This amount is 5% of the first $18,000 and 2.5% of the balance of the sale price of the property. Under the new legislation this limit is removed and your Agent can charge as much commission as they like. Obviously this will mean greater competition between Agents and you will have to negotiate with your Agent for a better deal.
The principle behind this change is for this increased competition between Agents to result in discounting for sellers as Agencies fight for market share.
Another change that will affect you as a seller is that the amount of commission your Agent is receiving will no longer be disclosed to the Buyer on the Contract of Sale.