Real estate agents

Finding the right agent is key to ensuring your property experience is a positive one

Real estate agents

Real estate agents


A real estate agent is defined under the Real Estate & Business Agent’s Act as “… a person whose business…is to act as an agent for consideration…in respect of a real estate transaction…”

A sales representative is an employee of the real estate agent. The sales representative can only conduct a transaction on behalf of the real estate agent.

A real estate agent holds a higher level of qualification, normally a Diploma, and holds a Triennial Certificate that enables them to trade.

It can be confusing as colloquially people often refer to real estate practitioners as “agents” in general terms despite the clear distinction between “agent” and “sales representative”.


Prior to entering into a Selling Agency Agreement it is important you understand the level of service the agent will be providing for the agreed selling fee.

While it is reasonable to expect that sellers will be price sensitive, it is very important to understand what you will be receiving for the agreed fee.

Ask questions about the marketing that will be undertaken like, who will be conducting the promotion of the property (the agent you are dealing with or one of the team members?), the frequency of home opens, and the level of feedback from the agent.

It is also important to understand the agent’s view of the market price of the property and how that has been obtained.

While a high price sounds attractive, if your property is priced above market value then it is unlikely to sell and the marketing and promotion could be a waste of money.


A buyer's agent is a real estate agent that represents the buyer.

Their role includes:

  • Identifying the buyer’s requirements.
  • Identifying suitable properties that may or may not be currently for sale.
  • Researching previous sales price statistics for the selected properties.
  • Determining all matters relevant to possible transactions e.g. title searches, the legality of structures and the legality of the use of the property.
  • Drafting any special conditions to a proposed contract.
  • Arranging inspections.
  • Conducting negotiations for the selected property.
  • Obtaining the property at the lowest possible price.
  • Accurately defining the subject matter of the sale i.e. what is included in the sale.
  • Preparing the Offer and Acceptance and drafting any appropriate special conditions.
  • Presenting a written offer and negotiating sale price.
  • Explaining the Contract for the Sale of Land by Offer and Acceptance and the Joint Form of General Conditions for the Sale of Land.
  • Explaining the effect of any variations to the Contract that may be requested by the seller or the buyer e.g. extensions of time for finance approval or settlement.
  • Monitoring the contract from sale to settlement, especially the satisfaction of any special conditions.
  • Arranging and attending the pre-settlement inspection.
  • Liaising with the settlement agent/solicitor and other parties to facilitate settlement.


This will depend upon the arrangement with your agent, but generally not. The standard selling agency agreement from REIWA does not have a cooling off period. 

Entering into a selling agency agreement with your preferred real estate agent is not usually a spur-of-the-moment decision. Rather, prospective sellers have normally made a definitive decision to sell and have researched the various agents who are best placed to assist in the sales process.

Selling agency agreements have an agreed time period, however the seller has the right to withdraw their property from the market at any time. If the seller provides this instruction, the agent would cease marketing the property for sale.

Withdrawing the property from the market does not terminate the selling agency agreement, rather it just places the agreement on hold until the seller is ready. It’s important to note that withdrawing the property from the market does not provide the seller with the right to enter into a selling agency agreement with another agent until the initial agreement has terminated.

Once your property is listed with an agent, the agent immediately engages in a strategic marketing process so that your property hits the market with the greatest impact to ensure the property sells at the highest price on the best possible terms and conditions in the shortest possible time.

We recommend you list your property ‘For sale’ only when you are ready to sell and you have selected your preferred agent.


There are a number of benefits to using a buyer's agent to act in your best interests when finding a home or an investment property.

A good buyer's agent will save you time and money because they will complete all the market research for you, recommend the best properties that suit your requirements and negotiate the purchase on your behalf. They will represent you to the selling agent and negotiate both the price and the conditions on your contract.

A good buyer's agent will also be able to provide expert advice and information about specialist issues such as zoning areas, school catchments and renovating or development options.

Furthermore, a buyer's agent will complete adequate due diligence prior to purchase, which means you can have peace of mind that you’re acquiring a sound property.


The agent needs to be informed about all the information you know about the property.

If you know that something does not work eg a bathroom exhaust fan or an improvement to the property that does not have council approval, then you must inform the agent.

The agent will have an obligation to relay all relevant information to prospective buyers prior to them entering into a contract.

The agent will include relevant information in the contract so that there can be no misunderstandings e.g. the dishwasher is not included in the sale of the property.


A sales representative is a person who has been authorised by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, after achieving the required educational requirements, to conduct real estate transactions on behalf of a real estate agent.


A real estate agent is a person who has received a licence from the Department of Commerce Consumer Protection to enter into various contractual relationships for real estate transactions on behalf of another person.

An act of the Western Australian Parliament- the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 (the Act) makes provisions with respect to the regulation and supervision of certain persons acting in respect of real estate transactions or certain business transactions.

These real estate transactions include:

  • Introducing buyers to owners who wish to sell property.
  • Introducing property to buyers who wish to purchase property.
  • Management of property that is available to lease.
  • Preparing the contracts.

Only people who have received a licence can assist in the buying selling and management of property that they do not own.

To be granted a licence a person must have:

  • Completed formal educational requirements whereby the duties and obligations of the Act are fully understood.
  • Be of good character and repute and be a fit and proper person to hold a licence.
  • Have attained the age of 18 years.
  • Possess sufficient material and financial resources to enable the agent to comply with the requirements of the Act.


Under common law the duties of an agent include:

  • To perform obligations under the agency contract and follow instructions that are lawful and are not unreasonable.
  • To perform duties with due care and skill.
  • To act in good faith in the principal's interest.
  • Not to divulge confidential information acquired in the course of the agency appointment.
  • To keep their client's money separate from the agent’s money and to account to the principal for monies received or expended on the principal's behalf.


Yes, in the same way that you can authorise a real estate agent to represent you in the sale of a property, a real estate agent can represent you in the purchase of a property.

The primary purpose of retaining an agent would be for his/her negotiation skills thereby purchasing the property at the lowest possible price.

You would agree to a fee with the associated level of service that is required.

The real estate agent would not normally receive a fee from the seller.


The service of a real estate agent will be dependent upon the type of agency appointment.

The types of agency appointment are;

  • Acting on behalf of a seller
  • Acting on behalf of a buyer
  • Acting on behalf of an owner

The services of an agent acting on behalf of a seller may include:

  • Inspecting the property.
  • Providing a market appraisal.
  • Researching comparative sales evidence.
  • Research the Certificate of Title and any documents relating to encumbrances.
  • Provision of a marketing plan that would consider the price, the most suitable type of promotion and the attributes of the property.
  • Recommend ways to optimise the appeal of the property.
  • Recommend the most appropriate types of advertising.
  • Determine and research any existing tenancy arrangements.
  • Target buyers and how to reach that target market.
  • Negotiate the purchase price and conditions of sale.

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