The Real Estate Agents Authority (the Authority) is proposing to introduce a new continuing education framework for all real estate licensees in New Zealand. These requirements will come into effect on 1 January 2012.
The content below has been provided by the Real Estate Agents Authority
The framework proposes that all licensees complete a set number of hours of education over a one year period. It recognizes industry-based education licensees already undertake, but also sets new targets and asks them to do specific education that reinforces their knowledge about complying with the Act, Regulations and Rules.
Over the past 12 months we have talked with licensees, REINZ, the REALITO and the Ministry of Justice about the framework and have developed a modern, flexible and responsive approach that recognizes proactive compliance and builds on new entry standards that came into effect in 2010.
The Authority will consider all submissions and will seek Ministerial approval for the new framework in late August 2011. The report prepared for the Associate Minister of Justice will be released publicly on our website. A notice will appear in the New Zealand Gazette by late November 2011 and the new rule will apply from 1 January 2012. Continuing education will then need to be completed from 2012 onwards.
Below are some key points about what we are proposing.
• Continuing education requirements will apply to all licensees who have an active licence; this includes those licensees who have chosen to suspend their licence.
• The framework recognizes education licensees already undertake which is largely industry-based, but also expects them to undertake specific education to reinforce their knowledge about complying with the Act, Regulations and Rules.
• Basic requirements will be that over one year, all licensees will need to successfully complete at least 10 hours of verifiable education (this is in relation to complying with the Act, Regulations and Rules) and 10 hours of non-verifiable education (this includes conferences, in house training, personal professional development and other industry-based training).
• The Authority may also require other aspects of education to be undertaken that are in addition to the 10+10 hours mentioned above.
• The Authority will establish and chair an advisory group made up of representatives invited from consumers, the industry, and industry groups as well as an industry-based education expert. This group will provide an avenue for all stakeholders to provide the Authority with their views on issues that may require specific education.
• Any organisation, including real estate agencies, will be able to apply to the Authority to be approved as a provider of continuing education to the real estate industry. These organisations will need to meet a range of criteria in order to become an approved provider.
• Continuing education will become a prerequisite for licence renewal. Individuals who have suspended their license must satisfy the Registrar they have completed any continuing education requirements before their licence will be revived.
Chief Executive Officer/Registrar
More information is available on the Authority’s website including details on how to make a submission.
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June 01 2011 | Real Estate Industry News | No Comments »
Having come to the decision that you’re going to sell your property, the next step is to either list your property with a Licensed Real Estate Agent, or if you’ve the time and resources take on the Agent’s role yourself and try to sell privately.
Listing with an Agent
When listing with an Agent, the Real Estate Agents Act Professional Conduct and Client Care Rules (2009) clearly outlines the minimum standard of conduct to which Agents must adhere prior, during and following the listing day. While it appears to many sellers as an enormous amount of paperwork, it’s done in the interests first and foremost of the consumer.
The following is a brief outline of what the Agent has to comply with in order to list any land or business:
- The Agent will meet with the Client at the property in order to conduct the initial stages of an appraisal which includes recording all relevant details about the property
- Research the local market and establish a likely selling range
- Provide the Client with the completed written appraisal which realistically reflects current market conditions, and is supported by comparable information on sales of similar land in similar locations
- Prior to inviting the Client to sign the Agency Agreement, the Agent must explain to the prospective Client in writing;
- The conditions under which commission must be paid, how it’s calculated, including an estimated cost (this is an actual dollar amount) of commission payable by the client which will be based on the previously mentioned appraisal
- How the Agent proposes to market the property, including any additional expenses that will be incurred on behalf of the Client. The Client isn’t obliged to agree to such additional expenses
- Details and disclosure of any discounts, rebates and commissions which the Agent may receive
- Explain to the Client the Agent’s in-house procedures for dealing with complaints and disputes as well as making them aware of the REAA’s complaints process and how to access it
- Explain that if they choose, the Client can access further information on Agency agreements and contractual documents from the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA).
- The Agent must also ensure that the Client is aware that they can, and may need to seek legal, technical, or other advice and information and allow the Client time to do so prior to signing an Agency Agreement
If it’s a residential property, there are some further compliance conditions:
- The Agent is required to provide the client with an approved guide (New Zealand Residential Property Agency Agreements Guide) before an agency agreement is signed
- The Agent is required to explain to the Client that they have the right to cancel a Sole Agency Agreement by 5 pm on the next working day
- Furthermore, that a Sole Agency Agreement in respect of residential property can be cancelled 90 days after the Agreement is signed
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May 17 2011 | The Professional Business Broker and Uncategorized and Waikato Rural Real Estate Agent | No Comments »
While it’s commonplace in New Zealand for the Seller to contract the Real Estate Agent and in doing so commit to paying the success fee, the Law of Agency is not always clearly understood by the public; or for that matter by some real estate Salespeople.
When a Salesperson is representing a property, they are acting under Agency and their fiduciary duty belongs to the Principal (Client/Seller) paying for their services. As such, the Agent (Salesperson) has an obligation to carry out the responsibilities entrusted to them with the utmost degree of good faith, integrity, truthfulness, loyalty and exclusive service of the Principal’s interest.
There is an obligation imposed upon the Agent that they must act reasonably in order to avoid negligent handling of the Principal’s interests and not to favour anyone else’s interest over the Principal.
If you as a Buyer should then contact me about a property I’m representing and ask questions like “will they negotiate” or “what will they accept” as the Seller’s Agent it’s my duty to tell you that “they’ll accept the asking price”. I’m not trying to be unhelpful; simply the Seller has contracted the Agent to sell the property at the price they have chosen under the listing agreement. Consequently, my duty to counsel is to the Seller, not to you as the potential Buyer.
If on the other hand, I’m working as a Buyer’s Agent (that is the Buyer will be paying the success fee), I can then counsel the Buyer as my fiduciary duty is to them. In order to work as a Buyer’s Agent we’ll first need to formalise the arrangement with a written agreement outlining the nature of the relationship and by the way, unlike Lotto, there’s no double dipping!
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April 26 2011 | Buying Rural Waikato Real Estate and Selling Rural Waikato Real Estate | No Comments »
While it’s astonishing to consider how much real estate information is now readily available online compared to only a few short years ago, it can be difficult to sift the relevant from the irrelevant and consequently we run the risk of paralysis by analysis.
Zoodle, it's all about property
If you are in the process of looking for a new property, then make sure that Zoodle is on your list of useful tools. According to Zoodle you can find out everything about New Zealand property, including a home’s value, local house prices, neighborhood statistics, schools, maps and much more. If you’re even further in your research, you may choose to buy the Certificate of Title belonging to the property you’ve identified.
Zoodle provide several types of property reports including among others:
- Basic Property Report (free)
- Local Sales Report ($24.95)
- Home Valuer Report ($49.95)
- Comprehensive Property Report ($69.95)
If you’re confused to which will be most suitable follow this link to A Guide to Buying Property Reports.
As an Agent, we include a direct link to Zoodle from our current listings (eg 43 Mangauika Road) to enable buyers to further their due diligence. Because we sell property throughout the Waikato and down quiet country lanes, the mapping facility is particularly useful.
April 25 2011 | Buying Rural Waikato Real Estate and Selling Rural Waikato Real Estate and Waikato Rural Real Estate Agent | No Comments »
Photos sell real estate, therefore the photos we use to market property should be amazing not mediocre. Professionally taken photography is one of the most important factors when promoting a property and if your salesperson is suggesting anything less then you need to be seriously questioning their judgement.
While anyone can take a reasonable photo with their camera or iPhone, these tools have serious limitations such as an inability to take commercial quality photos. A quick look on any real estate site shows many examples of inferior real estate photography which is potentially costing the seller both time and money. Or even worse, the property is listed online without a photo but that’s a whole different story.
Teresa Boardman, a USA Realtor and Columnist for Inman News offers some great tips on how real estate salespeople can improve their photography here: Take better listing photos or don’t take them at all. If you’re a salesperson or a seller, read her article which includes the following tips:
Photography tips for listing agents
You will need: A camera, a towel, a table or sturdy flat surface, a hammer, a phone and a room that needs to be photographed.
1. Remove camera from case.
2. Remove battery from camera and put it in your pocket.
3. Place towel on flat surface.
4. Place camera on top of towel.
5. Fold towel over camera until it is completely covered.
6. Pick up the hammer and hit the camera at least 10 times. When the camera is flat you have hit it enough times.
7. Use the phone to call a photographer.
8. Carefully pick up the towel and keep it folded and toss it in the trash (this part may take some practice).
9. Take the battery to a recycling center.
If these steps are followed I promise that the end result will be better property photos.
Comparative to other marketing costs, professionally taken photography is more than affordable and as a seller you need to think more how to make money through the sale of your property than how to save money.
March 18 2011 | Buying Rural Waikato Real Estate and Selling Rural Waikato Real Estate | No Comments »
As we are involved with the sale of large rural property in the Waipa and Otorohanga Districts, buyers often query whether or not the property can be further subdivided. The query generally has two motivations; the first being because the buyers are considering ways to further capitalise on the property investment in the future and the second being that the buyers may not want the entire farm but merely a portion of it.
Can it be subdivided?
Prior to subdividing a property, resource consent must be granted. Below we’ve outlined the key processes that are required in order to get the resource consent and subsequent new lot titles.
Outline of the Subdivision Process
- Initially the property owner will meet with their Surveyor and Solicitor to discuss the subdivision process and conduct planning meetings. The property owner will give details of their overall objectives and will take advice from the Surveyor and Solicitor.
- The Surveyor will then apply to the District Council for Resource Consent on the owner’s behalf. When the Consent is granted, the Solicitor will check the conditions imposed to ensure that through meeting the conditions, the process will still achieve the subdivision objectives. Exactly what conditions are imposed will depend on the property itself and whether or not the subdivision is a permitted activity under the district plan. A Resource Consent lasts for five years from the date of issue.
- By reference to the Consent and their professional knowledge, the Surveyor will compile a list of any required works needed to develop the subdivision infrastructure. Such works will include the development of roads and supply of utilities (eg telecommunications, gas, fresh water reticulation and waste water disposal).
- The Surveyor will then complete the detailed survey plan of the proposed lots and apply to the District Council for approval of the plan. Upon approval of the survey plan the Council will issue a Section 223 Certificate.
- The next stage is for the Surveyor to submit the Council approved survey plan and Section 223 Certificate to LINZ (Land Information New Zealand) for LINZ survey approval.
- The conditions imposed by the Resource Consent must be complied with; in these days of user pays, one of the conditions will be payment of a ‘development contribution’ to the District Council. As well, it will be necessary to carry out earthworks to create the roads, drains, and install the utilities mentioned above.
- Concurrent to this activity, the Solicitor will prepare the legal documentation needed to obtain the new titles. The documentation will take account of any covenants, easements and consent notices required under the Resource Consent conditions.
- When the Consent conditions have been complied with, the Surveyor will apply to the District Council for a Section 224 (c) Certificate. The Council will issue this Certificate once they have confirmation from their inspectors that the work is compliant with the Consent conditions.
- The Solicitor then deposits the Section 224 (c) Certificate, the approved survey plans and any other legal documentation required with LINZ which then issues the new titles.
Subdividing a property can be a complex (and costly) process and it is advisable during the early planning meetings to confirm the time frames needed for each stage as well as obtaining quotes for all work.
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February 16 2011 | Waikato Rural Real Estate Agent | No Comments »
Improvements have been made to the search functionality of the Real Estate Agents Authority public register of Licensees. The purpose of the register is to enable you to make an informed decision when choosing an agent, branch manager, salesperson (a licensee), or real estate company by enabling you to:
Real Estate Agents Authority
- check whether a person is a licensed agent, branch manager or salesperson or whether a company is licensed
- find out how to contact the agent, branch manager, salesperson or company
- check the history of the person’s or company’s licence
- know whether a real estate agent, branch manager, salesperson or company has been disciplined within the last three years.
When a search is done on a company it is now possible to display all the licensees associated with that company. Note however that the register shows only companies that hold a license, meaning you cannot do a search on a branch office of a company. All the licensees from each branch office are listed on the company record.
For example, you can search for an individual licensee (salesperson, branch manager or agent) using the FIND A LICENSEE search tab, alternatively, if you’re unsure of the individuals at a company but are considering the company itself, search using the FIND A REAL ESTATE COMPANY tab.
It’s also possible to search by franchise group, although this function appears to have a few teething problems as when experimenting with some groups, the search yielded zero results (Century 21 and L J Hooker for example showed zero results).
January 18 2011 | Real Estate Industry News | No Comments »
Today, the Business Broker Blog turns 3 years old and what an interesting 3 years it has been. When I started I was based on the Coromandel Peninsula specializing in the sale of hospitality businesses such as motels and lodges. Now I’m based in the Waipa and selling farms and lifestyle property.
The industry has undergone massive adjustments including the recession and resulting downturn in the number of property sales each year and the introduction of the 2008 Real Estate Agents Act. New salespeople have entered, but many more have left having found the necessary adjustments all too hard.
Looking back at some of my earlier articles I came across the post I wrote for the blog’s 1st birthday wherein I said:
“Blogging has been a great experience for me in many ways including learning the weekly discipline of adding to the existing blog content – fortunately Business Broking as a subject provides me with ample topics to explore. To add to the base topics I draw further from my day to day involvement with buyers, sellers and other professionals who are typically involved in the process of selling/buying a business. These contacts and acquaintances are often what trigger a blog article”.
This statement is as true today as it was two years ago.
I’m not sure if I’m more disciplined than then, however I now write three blogs and see them as absolutely crucial to our marketing strategy. The other two are the Rural Agent blog which more closely reflects our day to day activity and is also on the Realestate.co.nz platform plus the Rural Report which is a blog I do for the Straight Furrow and again has a rural theme. It was directly through blogging that I was invited to write for the Straight Furrow, who also publishes my articles in the print edition of the newspaper.
An example of how we use the blogs; they form the basis for our monthly newsletter which I’ve set to pick up the feeds automatically from the various blogs. We are receiving extremely positive feedback from our subscribers who appreciate the openness and transparency that we provide.
Other examples of the increasing exposure and profiling that we’ve received include being featured in the Waikato Times and on Interest.co.nz. Again, this is as a direct result of blogging.
As of today, on this particular blog I’ve posted 145 articles in 8 categories and at the present time the most popular posts/pages are:
- Debunking Real Estate Myths
- Tips on Buying a Motel in New Zealand
Huge thanks go to Alistair Helm, Kerry Kissane and the rest of the team at Realestate.co.nz Ltd who have provided firstly the platform upon which the blog sits and unlimited ongoing support, training and encouragement.
I’ve many more plans to develop the blog further and as always am open to comments, feedback and suggestions.
January 07 2011 | Real Estate Industry News and Waikato Rural Real Estate Agent | 8 Comments »
While drafting a Sale and Purchase Agreement today it became apparent that the time of year had the potential to interfere in an otherwise straightforward contract. Settlement is due to take place five working days subsequent to the unconditional date which for much of the year would mean a week later.
In this example however, should the Agreement become unconditional in the week leading up to Christmas (say from the 20th to 24th December), the five working days until settlement will be extended over the Christmas and New Year period to allow for statutory holidays and others.
The definition of a ‘Working Day’ in the Eight Edition of the Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate notes that it is any day of the week other than:
(a) Saturday, Sunday, Waitangi Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, the Sovereign’s Birthday, and Labour Day, and
(b) a day in the period commencing on the 24th day of December in any year and ending on the 5th day of January in the following year, both days inclusive and
(c) the day observed as the anniversary of any province in which the property is situated.
(d) A working day shall be deemed to commence at 9.00 am and to terminate at 5.00 p.m.
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December 07 2010 | Buying Rural Waikato Real Estate and Selling Rural Waikato Real Estate and Waikato Rural Real Estate Agent | No Comments »
The Real Estate Agent Authority has confirmed that it will be raising the annual levies for a real estate license to $690 (exc l GST), furthermore the application fee for a new license fee will be raised to $295 (excl GST). REAA’s budget is funded by approximately 13,000 licensees, a number which is likely to decrease if the challenging economic conditions continue.
Agent to Agent Complaints
As licensees, we could do ourselves a favour by finding a more constructive way to deal with the trivial ‘agent to agent’ complaints which are finding their way into the REAA system and costing us all. As an example, I have heard of a complaint being made by a licensee about another licensee because they parked their car partially on a yellow line. Surely there is a better way to resolve these petty grumbles.
Please find below the news release from REAA to license holders.
Between 11 and 31 October 2010, the Authority consulted with real estate licensees, consumers and other interested parties on the proposed licence levies for 2011.
We received over 4,700 submissions and wish to thank everyone who took the time to make a submission.
We were pleased with the number of submissions received, a number of which provided useful commentary and constructive proposals that the Authority is now considering.
The submissions noted that some licensees are experiencing financial difficulty as a result of challenging economic conditions, the Canterbury earthquake and a downturn in property transactions.
As a result of this industry feedback and our commitment to keeping costs for the industry sustainably low, the Authority has worked to reduce the 2011 levies from the initially proposed $760 (excl. GST) to $690 (excl. GST). This is made up of an operational levy of $657 (excl. GST) and a disciplinary levy of $33 (excl. GST).
These levies reflect what it costs to perform our legislative functions and obligations including the operation of an efficient licensing regime and an effective complaints and disciplinary process.
In 2011, we will be introducing new fees for licensees who request specific services to be performed by the Registrar. These fees mean that licensees will only pay for these additional services if they use them. These fees are:
||Application to suspend a licence fee:
||$95.00 (excl. GST)
||Annual suspension fee:
||$95.00 (excl. GST)
||The annual suspension fee applies to anyone wishing to retain a suspended licence subsequent to the first year of suspension (and for every following year).
The application fee for a new licence will increase from $95 (excl. GST) to $295 (excl. GST) to better reflect the actual cost of processing and approving a new licence.
Further information on fees and levies and a consultation summary report are available from the Authority’s website.
Chief Executive/Registrar (Acting)
December 03 2010 | Real Estate Industry News | No Comments »