Government to Deregulate the Queensland Real Estate Industry The Honourable Paul Lucas, M.P. is proposing to totally deregulate the property industry in Queensland by removing the prescribed maximum fee agents can charge when selling residential property. Currently, an agent is confined to charging a maximum fee of 5% on the first $18,000 and 2.5% of the balance of the sale price, or anything under this cap which is agreed upon between the parties. The effectiveness of this policy has been evidenced by several real estate companies which promote cut price commissions. This is now to change under the proposed new legislation by removing the cap, thereby enabling an agent to charge whatever is agreed. This will bring Queensland into line with other States. Fears by sellers of higher commissions being charged for normal residential properties is ill founded, as this has not been the case in other states. The benefit to sellers comes from the opportunity to offer a higher fee to an agent should they have a property which is difficult to sell, needs more behind the scenes work in preparing the property for sale, or wanting to offer a bonus for achieving a sale within a specified time frame. The above of course, is up to the Seller. Submissions to the proposed changes have been called for from the Industry by the Government and a joint submission has been lodged by Carter Capner Law & ADL, a company which supplies much of the Industry with the prescribed forms used by Agents. This submission not only relates to the removal of the commission cap, but also addresses the problems with the paperwork associated with a sale. The verbosity of the warning statements, the repetitive nature of the documents and the sheer volume of and procedures to be followed when documents are being signed, creates confusion for not only the Buyers and Sellers, but for the agencies and salespeople. Commonly, Buyers and Sellers bypass the warning statements and only want to check the pertinent ingredients to the contract such as price, terms, building and pest inspection dates etc. before signing. They find everything else far too confusing. Another very important aspect of reducing the paperwork to a reasonable level, is the cost associated with property conveyancing. Lawyers tell me that with simpler documentation, the legal costs associated with property transfers to buyers and sellers will be reduced as there will be a more streamlined process to follow. Furthermore, we haven't discussed the cost to the Industry for all the additional time involved in document production, the environmental cost of paper that is consumed, or the cost and time involved in the complex training required to make sure agents get a very confusing process totally correct. Hopefully common sense will prevail and sensible changes will be made.