A conflict of interest with an agent happens when they or someone connected to them wants to buy the property they are selling for you, or when they or someone connected to them has a financial interest in the property you are wanting to buy.
Conflict of interest extends to a wide range of people, including an agent’s colleagues, employees and certain relatives.
If this happens, there are certain things the agent must do.
Conflict of interest for buyers
If an agent is selling a property or business in which they, or someone connected to them, has a financial interest then the agent must tell you this in writing
Conflict of interest for sellers
If an agent working for you under an agency agreement – or someone connected to them professionally or personally – offers to buy your property, there are certain things that they must do. These things are designed to protect you the seller.
We also recommend that the agent no longer acts for you and another agent from the real estate agency represents you . It is important that you have someone independent working for you to sell your property – this is the service you are paying for.
If there is a conflict of interest, the agent must do the following before asking you to sign the sale and purchase agreement:
The agent must get your informed consent and will ask you to sign a consent form.
Informed consent means you understand what the conflict of interest is and its potential impact on you. The agent must explain all this to you.
Before you sign the consent form make sure you are in a position to give informed consent and understand what it may mean for you.
Signing the form means you give your consent to your property being sold to the agent or someone connected to them. You should consult your lawyer for advice on this.
The agent must provide you with a valuation of the property by an independent registered valuer
This must be provided at the agent’s expense and is different to the appraisal of the value of your property that they have already provided.
If you decide to sign the consent form before receiving the independent valuation
The agent must indicate a provisional valuation of the property on the consent form and then give you the independent valuation within 14 days of you signing the consent form.
If the independent valuation is greater than the provisional valuation provided by the agent
You can then cancel the contract for the sale of your property (the sale and purchase agreement).
For more information, see our conflict of interest information sheet (.pdf 193KB).