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The Real Estate Agents Authority is tightening up its code of conduct for real estate agents.
From April 8 next year, the code will require agents to explain to clients when an agency agreement ends; recommend to all parties that they get legal advice before signing agency or sale and purchase agreements and explain to a prospective client that how they choose to sell their property can impact on the benefits the agent receives.
And a new rule is designed to help protect sellers from the risk of paying two commissions and new rules for buyers’ agents.
Amendments include changing the requirements for disclosure of defects to have a more consistent test on whether agents should know about a hidden or underlying defect clarifying the need for evidence or expert advice when seeking confirmation from a client that there are no hidden or underlying defects; and ensuring agencies not only have in-house complaints procedures but that these are kept up to date.
Real Estate Agents Authority chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith said the current code of conduct was working well. “However, after three years, it is time for it to be updated so that it continues to protect buyers and sellers and improve standards in the real estate industry.”
The Professional Conduct and Client Care Practice Rules (code of conduct) set the minimum standards required of agents and are used as a reference point for discipline. They govern 12,500 real estate agents. “The new code has been developed in consultation with the industry, consumers and the wider public,” Mr Lampen-Smith said.
“These are positive changes for both the industry and consumers. The new code of conduct, along with continuing education, helps ensure a professional industry and informed buyers and sellers. We are excited to be taking this next step in improving industry standards.”
More information about the new Code of Conduct and what has changed can be found on at www.reaa.govt.nz/page/new-code-conduct-2012/new-code-conduct-2012