I have always thought that it must be such a joy working as a real estate agent. Spending my time viewing a myriad of properties, from enchanting, beautiful and unforgettable ones to those drab and dreary. With lush gardens, picket fences, high ceilings, Victorian finishes to more modern contemporary designs. Then critiquing these spaces, perhaps even opening up a blog or page where I can advise people on real estate issues; sounds like something I could do for the rest of my life. So much fun! In fact, I thought I could wake up and become a realtor overnight. I could even do it for free! Hobbies!! What I didn’t know, though, was that it’s not like eating pie. Particularly in Queensland, it is a legal requirement that a real estate agent obtains a real estate licence from an accredited training organization for them to practice. How shocking was this? After a bit (actually quite a lot) of digging around, I made a load of discoveries and figured that I could walk other people who like me had no idea of such requirements. I will, therefore, go through the details of how to go about getting this document, and what entitlements it can offer you. You might want to take some notes as we go.
Obtaining the permit requires a few basic things from you. First, you need to be above 18 years of age, with valid proof of documentation for this. Then, you should hold the legal right to work in Australia, backed by documentation of this too. One must also successfully complete a property Services Training Package (CPP07) before applying for this permit. A document to indicate this such as a certified certificate is necessary for this. For applicants who are not Australians, a certified copy of your passport would be necessary, as well as a valid visa permitting you to work in Australia. For Australians, possible identity documentation includes your passport, birth certificate, citizenship certificate, or driver’s licence. Your application needs to indicate the location of your business premise. In case you may have more than one of these, you would need to indicate the exact location of each of these.
A few things might disqualify you from applying for this permit, though. One of these is a criminal record, especially if you have a history of serious crimes within the last five years. This is seen as posing a threat to potential users of your services and the government of Queensland is keen to protect its people. Another reason that you may be barred from applying or getting your permit denied is if you are at the time disqualified from holding a registration certificate. For the serious criminal offences, a number of these are listed as those considered grave as documented by Queensland government laws. These are;
- Sexual offences
- Violence record
- Drug-related cases
However, you may be lucky if you only have a petty crime record but this is all at the discretion of the deciding parties.
Further to the crime, additional reasons that may hamper your obtaining of the real estate licence would be if you were deemed unfit to be a company director at any one point. Should you fail to reveal such information on your application, it would still surface in your criminal record check and would therefore still disqualify you. Again, you could be deemed unfit to be a licensee should it be apparent that either you or one of your colleagues is of questionable character. Additionally, if you are insolvent under administration, you would be considered unequipped to be a licence holder.
Some extra information the issuing authority may want to know is whether you have held this licence previously, as well as if your business has gone into liquidation or receivership. If your answer is affirmative for liquidation or receivership, they would want to know in detail the surrounding circumstances, previous measures taken to avoid the liquidation or receivership, assets that were available before then, a creditors report, the money that was paid out in form of dividends if at all, whether any laws were broken during this process, as well as if you were disqualified from being a company director in future.
Application for this document is also particularly expensive. When lodging it, you would need to pay $1,330.90 for a 1-year licence, or $2,494.90 for a 3-year one. Additionally, you will need to pay $38.60 to facilitate your criminal record search. But fret not, should you later decide to withdraw your application, you will receive a refund on your payment. The issuing authority would also refund your money should they refuse you a permit.
Once the application is lodged, the processing time fir the permit lies between four and six weeks. The only deterrent to this might be in case you failed to pay the application fees (either in part or in full), or if your application details were incomplete. In any case, the government would contact you to inform you of such issues.
Now that we’ve seen what it would entail obtaining this licence, let’s assume our application was in order and we have no bad record, and the tide is on our side. What would the real estate licence permit one to do if you successfully got it?
- It would allow you to operate a trust account in the interests of buyers and sellers.
- It would permit you to take potential buyers and clients around to see properties.
- It would allow you to own or oversee a real estate business.
- You could negotiate property prices on behalf of buyers and sellers.
- It would allow you to collect revenue on behalf of sellers.
- It would allow you to make payments on behalf of property buyers.
- You could buy, sell, exchange, rent or exchange houses, land or businesses.
- And advertise properties for sale or rent to potential clients. This includes putting up of signage.
- It would also allow you to scrutinize property for buyers and sellers, and give them valid opinions regarding the properties.
You should, however, note that the Queensland law does not allow you to auction property, despite this licence. Perhaps that would be covered by an entirely different licence. But overall, that would be it to obtain a permit as a real estate agent. I know it looks like a game of snakes and ladders, with lots of “ifs” and “whens”, but the eventual benefits do outweigh the red tape about it. And anytime you doubt this, think about those immaculate lawns, high ceilings, and Victorian finishes that we all live to see. You will remember that it is worth it.
Click on the following links to find the training providers in your area.