A real estate agent or salesperson cannot act for a vendor unless authorised to do so by both parties signing a written Sales Agency Agreement (Agreement) that complies with Section 20 of the Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994.
Before entering into an Agreement, the agent must provide the vendor with a Form R1 - a Government prescribed written guide that explains the vendor’s rights and obligations under such an Agreement.
The Agreement must outline all the necessary details for the salesperson to sell the property, including, among other things:
The property details
The full names of the vendor and agent
The agent’s registration number (agents must be registered with Consumer and Business Services)
The agent’s genuine estimate of the selling price of the property (the estimate should be substantiated by comparative sales data contained in the Agreement or attached to the Agreement
The selling price sought by or acceptable to the vendor as a single figure
The method of sale
The duration of the Agreement (which must not exceed 90 days)
The rights of the vendor to terminate the Agreement
Inclusions and exclusions of the sale
Commission or agency fees
Signatures of both parties and the date of signing of the Agreement
The salesperson must give the vendor a copy of the Agreement immediately upon signing. Make sure you retain this as it is an important written record of the contract you have agreed to.
Any variations to the Sales Agency Agreement must be in writing and signed and dated by both parties. A copy of the variations must be provided to the vendor immediately upon signing.
Sole Agency Agreement
It is usual in South Australia to appoint a real estate agent to sell your property by way of a Sole Agency Agreement. This means that whilst you have a signed Agreement with one agent, you cannot sign with another agent, nor can another agent approach you to sell your property. Under current legislation, an Agreement for residential sales in South Australia cannot extend beyond 90 days. If your Agreement expires and the property has not sold, you have the right to renew with the same agent or, alternatively, seek the services of another agent.
If you decide to end an Agreement during the 90 day term, it is strongly recommended that you seek independent professional legal advice before doing so. There may be penalties for withdrawing from the Agreement before the end date.