To sell a home in New South Wales, an agent must have a real estate agent’s licence issued by NSW Fair Trading. Before the agent can market your property, they must sign a contract with you, called an `agency agreement´. An agency agreement is a legally binding contract and it is important that you read and understand it. When you sign up with an agent, you enter into a legally binding contract. You have a cooling-off period of 1 day starting from when you sign the agreement. You can cancel the agreement in this time if you are not happy with it.
You have the right to negotiate with the agent about the terms and conditions of the agreement and to ask for any legally permitted changes to be made. Alterations made to the agreement need to be signed by all parties, except if the agent revises their estimated selling price for your property.
The amounts charged by agents are not set by law. You can negotiate with the agent about the amounts of any commissions, fees or other expenses that you may be required to pay. The agency agreement may require you to pay the agent for certain expenses in relation to the sale of your home, such as advertising, auctioneer’s fee, or any other services the agent may arrange for you, such as cleaning, decorating or landscaping. The agency agreement must state the amounts or estimated amounts of any such commissions or discounts and from whom they are received.
The agency agreement usually has a specified period during which the agreement cannot be ended unless you and the agent both agree. The length of any fixed term is negotiated between you and the agent, there is no minimum or maximum set term. The fixed term will depend on how long you and the agent think it will take to sell the property. If the fixed term is longer than 90 days, you can give the agent 30 days’ written notice to end the agreement after 90 days. Of course, if the fixed term has less than 30 days left to run, you can just give notice to end the agreement at the end of the fixed term – check your agreement to see how much notice you need to give.