NSW Purchasers: read on about disclosure of property reports by real estate agents

We have previously written about proposed changes requiring real estate agents to maintain a written record of any report that they are aware of which has been carried out on a property for sale.

The new regulations came into force on 15 August 2016.

Under the new Regulations, real estate agents selling residential property are required to maintain a record of reports of certain inspections carried out on the property and in respect of strata properties, financial certificates also.  The agent must disclose these reports to any person requesting a copy of the sale contract.

Inspections and certificates to be kept by agents

Agents are only required to maintain and disclose the existence of any report of which they are reasonably aware.  Records are kept of the following:

  • a building inspection;
  • a pest inspection;
  • strata: an inspection of the strata records (s 108);
  • strata: a financial certificate issued in respect of the owners corporation (s 109 certificate);
  • community schemes: an inspection of documents relating to the property under s 26 of the Community Land Management Act 1989.

Details to be kept on the record

A licensee is only required to make a record of any particulars that can reasonably be obtained.  The record must include:

  • the date on which the property or documents were inspected;
  • who the requesting party is for the report e.g. the client, a prospective purchaser or the licensee;
  • contact details of the person who prepared the report (name, business address and phone number);
  • whether the report is available for re-purchase by any prospective purchaser requesting a copy of the contract for sale;
  • whether the person who prepared the report holds current professional indemnity insurance.

This represents a significant shift in the way in which properties will be marketed and may offer costs savings to purchasers.  At minimum, we believe it will place all prospective purchasers on an even footing in respect of the information gleaned from agents.  If you are interested in a property and need help with the conveyancing or guidance on some of the due diligence needed to be done prior to exchange of contracts, contact us by clicking on the link below or giving us a call.