Law Society urges vendors to use agents

Vendors who try and sell property themselves can often be worse off financially than if they used an agent, the Law Society of NSW has claimed.

The Law Society of NSW, which is providing consumers with a series of guides on the buying and selling process, said agents were best placed to help vendors navigate the sale of their most prized asset.

President of the Law Society of NSW, Justin Dowd, said it’s important that vendors understand their legal obligations when buying or selling a property.

“Making a mistake or misunderstanding the legal requirements when buying or selling property can have a significant impact on your finances and lifestyle,” Mr Dowd said.

“Buying or selling a home is often the biggest financial decision we’ll ever make, especially in a city like Sydney, where property prices can be astronomical.

“It is therefore important that if you are thinking of buying or selling a property you should get in touch with a solicitor as soon as possible so that they can talk you through the process and advise you on how to proceed,” he said.
The Law Society of NSW claimed that selling a property without the help of an agent can end up being more expensive in the long run.

“What we’re finding is that people who want to embark on it themselves to try to cut costs end up, sometimes, creating more expenses in the clean up afterwards,” Mr Dowd told Real Estate Business.

The society has released two documents, one for buying and one for selling.

“We believe it will be useful for agents to give their clients the document … especially the selling document, as it outlines what to expect from their agents and the selling process in general.”

Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) CEO, Tim McKibbin, said the guides would help buyers and sellers to understand the sometimes confusing property transaction process.

“Buying or selling a property is not an everyday occurrence for most people, which makes these guides a welcome addition,” he said.

“Clear and concise, they will assist people to understand their legal obligations and explain key areas of buying and selling like the differences between an auction and private treaty, stamp duty and other taxes.

“They will also provide information about different types of ownership, such as strata title, and what happens at settlement.

The two free guides published online give consumers information on the key requirements for buying and selling a home in NSW.

The Law Society of NSW’s comments come not long after the launch of a new ‘For Sale by Owner’ type website, which earned the ire of many agents who read the article.

Speaking with Real Estate Business in August, CEO and founder of intouch Group, Paul Ryan, said the service – intouch Real Estate – provides an alternative that many buyers and sellers might consider using.

“We didn’t wake up and say ‘this is what we’re going to do’,” he said, after reading the comments posted by agents on Real Estate Business’ website.

“We did a lot of research, and consumers have identified the lack of transparency in real estate transactions. Right or wrong, that’s their perception.”

Article by Steven Cross, Real Estate Business

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