Preparation of advertising material. This includes the preparation of a marketing schedule, copywriting, meeting photographers etc. However, it is permissible for the agent to recover costs incurred for copywriters, photographers and advertising consultants who are appointed to prepare the advertising material. Conducting open for inspections Section 219 of the Property Occupations Act, states the agents cannot charge a fee for a document that they are legally required, and obligated, to produce. Property Occupations Act 2014 Part 11 General contraventions and evidentiary matters Section 219 Offence to charge fee for providing documents etc. (1) A licensee or real estate salesperson must not charge a fee for the provision, preparation or completion of a document for a transaction relating to, or arising out of, the performance of a licensee’s activities. Maximum penalty —200 penalty units or 1 year’s imprisonment. (2) Subsection (1) does not limit the Legal Profession Act 2007, section 24 or 25.
© REIQ v18 August 2017 90 CPPDSM4012A Although the Property Occupations Act is specific in concerning the activities which an agent may undertake and the services an agent is expected to perform in return for the payment of commission, it clearly does not include certain specialist activities that an agent may be asked to perform outside their normal duties. An agent and the seller may come to an agreement for payment of provision of certain services. This agreement must always be in writing and agreed to before the transaction or service has taken place. Under these circumstances, the agreed fee is purely a contractual arrangement. Agents should not divide activities which are properly within the prescribed descriptions into artificial categories in order that higher fees may be charged. If the activity is, according to custom and usage, normally part of a prescribed service or transaction, it would be impermissible to charge for it simply because it may be described in some way intended to create the impression that it is a separate service or transaction. Some areas where a separate arrangement for payment of professional fees may be considered include: The co-ordination of a marketing campaign where the agent is expected to appoint and supervise advertising agents, copywriters, photographers and public relations activities Co-ordinating with the marketing agency, where the agent is responsible for liaising with and co-ordinating other agents on behalf of the seller Specific market research, market analysis, advice and information on behalf of a seller. A CMA is not considered a market analysis or research Preparation of a detailed marketing strategy, feasibility reports and studies [6.4] Charges A charge is a cost incurred by agents while performing duties on behalf of their sellers.