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Ok - The way I understand it is that a Professional stays up on the game. They know the latest developments and are active in their field.

Then why would this happen?

House sales in legal jeopardy

Chris Griffith, Consumer Affairs Reporter


MILLIONS of dollars worth of property contracts signed in Queensland in the past two months are flawed.

Seemingly minor errors, including documents being faxed in the wrong order or the wrong sized typefaces used in contracts, could render sales void.

Lawyers have warned that buyers and some sellers could terminate hundreds of contracts signed since December 1.

They say real estate agents and some legal firms have failed to comply with amended Queensland law containing highly detailed requirements for consumer warnings that are issued with contracts.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland has urged its members to carefully check all contracts issued since December 1 to ensure they comply with the amended Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act.

Brisbane property law firm Home Wilkinson Lowry, which represents mainly developers, said 85 per cent of sales contracts that it had seen generated since December were not binding.

HWL partner Jason Warat said these included off-the-plan purchases which could be terminated any time in the period before settlement.

Mr Warat said defective contracts viewed by HWL were worth $20-30 million and involved entire building estates.

"It's been a mess, just a complete mess," he said. "Most of the contracts that we have received are either not binding on the buyer, or not binding on both the buyer and seller."

HWL warned some contracts could be terminated if the purchaser received a better offer or a developer thought they could get better prices.

The new laws were introduced to provide a five-day cooling-off period on property deals and require contracts to be accompanied by a consumer warning and a disclosure statement from the selling agent.

Outlining the new laws, the State Government issued detailed instructions including how contracts should be delivered in person, by mail and fax or e-mail.

They stipulated not only content and the type sizes of warning notices, but also the order in which various documents were to be faxed.

The law requires the mandatory warning statement to be included as the first document after the fax-header.

Complicating the issue is a difference of opinion between the REIQ and ADL Software, a major supplier of forms to the real estate industry.

The two groups vary on their legal interpretation of the amendments.

REIQ chairman Peter McGrath said the new requirements were complex and the industry was over-regulated while ADL owner Alan Liddle said he wouldn't be surprised if 80 per cent of new contracts were defective.

"The whole Act should be scrapped and started over again. It is a disaster," Mr Liddle said.

He said real estate agents not only risked losing sales and commissions through defective contracts, but also being fined, or sued by buyers and/or sellers.

Property lawyer Tim O'Dwyer said he saw contracts daily that were "fundamentally flawed".

Fair Trading Minister Margaret Keech said her office and the Office of Fair Trading had embarked on a comprehensive campaign to advise real estate agents of changes.

She said the amendments were introduced after the REIQ identified concerns about the electronic transfer of contracts and asked the Government to clarify the Act.

With this letter to the editor :rolleyes:

Comment: I have been an agent for 2 years now, and my original REIQ training differs from instructions that we have recently received from a solicitor in relation to the order of the presentation of contracts. How are we supposed to get it right when we have two authorities telling us different things?

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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