Signing Agency Agreements | Garth Brown


Some points to keep in mind when it comes to selling your home.

Remember it’s important to be informed every step of the way.

You may want to move into a bigger home and need to sell your current one – what questions should you ask an agent?

Below are ten questions you should ask a potential agent when they visit your home:

  1. What sort of buyer is likely to be attracted to my property?
  2. Do they have experience selling similar homes?
  3. What is the best method of sale for my property – Auction or private treaty?
  4. How long will it approximately take to market and sell your property?
  5. Are there any additional fees to pay if they do not sell my property?
  6. How many properties have they sold in your suburb or in nearby areas?
  7. How long is the listing agreement for?
  8. Do they have systems in place to keep in constant contact with me during the sale process?
  9. Why should I list with them over any other agent?
  10. What are the Advertising costs – these can be negotiated?


If you are considering selling your home – how many agents should you 
talk to?

There is no set formula for how many agents you should talk to. However, the right agent will offer guidance and advice to ensure your real estate experience is a good one.

Your agent should be:

  • Local – it is important that your agent is local to the area.
  • Enthusiastic – is your agent excited about, and committed to, selling your home?
  • Prepared – your agent should have a clear plan as to how they’ll market your property, and current knowledge of regulations and procedures in your state.
  • Communicative – your agent should keep you informed every step of the way. Check whether the real estate agent offers an internet tool so that you can log on anytime, anywhere and check the progress of your sale.
  • A strong negotiator – this is the key to getting the price you want for your property. Be cautious of an agent who’s willing to ‘lower’ their commission to be your agent. If they’re willing to sacrifice their commission, they could be just as willing to ‘lower’ the price of the property.

A property transaction works both ways. You need to be able to work with your real estate agent closely.

If you have confidence in your agent, and your relationship is amicable, your sale should be smooth and successful.


TIP –  if you decide to change Agents at the end of the Agency Period “PLEASE PLEASE” make sure you terminate their services in writing, otherwise there could be claims for double Commission, generally a clause in the Agency Agreement known as “A continuing Agency if the Agreement is not terminated in writing” – this is another newsletter on its own.

Our Office had an experience three years ago at Cronulla where a Vendor Client had a Prospective Purchaser come through the property during an Open Home with the first Agent, changed Agents (did not terminate the Agency agreement in writing) and subsequently the same Purchaser came through the second Agent and brought the property.

We were aware of the situation and included an indemnity clause in the Contract at exchange whereby the second Agent would cover any claims from the first Agent.


Here is a maxim that should be applied to all contracts… Beware of verbal agreements – put everything in writing’

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Some of these “Continuing Agency Clauses – where not terminated in writing” – I am of the professional opinion, if you have the time and money to pursue Legal Action, could be overturned by the Contracts Review Act 1984 or Trade Practices Act under unfair and unconscionable conduct provisions.

Remember; the Agency Agreement is a Contract between Vendor and the Agent.

If there is a dispute the umpire is the Agency Agreement.

These are usually pro forma Agreements and you can adjust the agreement by crossing out and adding to the document in writing – providing both parties agree, initial and PLEASE before signing read the agreement very carefully particularly regarding the Advertising charges, Commission rate, how long the Agency runs for and GST clauses.

NB – keep an eye out for the “Continuing Agency Clause – if agreement is not terminated in writing”


DO NOT sign anything until the verbal representation from the Agent is evidenced in writing in the Agency agreement where you initial the change, and keep a copy.

We have a client at the moment who signed an Agency agreement relied upon what the Agent was explaining to him, did not check the changes in the agreement.

Later in the mail our Vendor Client received 16 (he was told 10) week exclusive agency and the commission was 3% not the agreed 2% of the Sale Price.


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Garth Brown is the Founder and Director of Brown and Brown Conveyancers one of Sydney’s leading Conveyancing Firms. With 20 years experience as a practicing Conveyancer he has assisted hundreds of Clients to navigate through the maze of conveyancing issues when buying and selling property. Visit

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