Agents can opt to use voluntary standard clauses in their residential agency agreements. These clauses were developed by us and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) in response to industry requests for clearer guidelines around commission and agency agreements.
We recommend that all agents selling residential property use these clauses and we are advising vendors to only enter into residential agency agreements with real estate agents who use the recommended standard clauses in their agency agreements.
Benefits of the residential standard clauses
The clauses provide certainty about:
- when an agency ends, and
- when a commission needs to be paid.
- consumers are protected from the risk of being asked to pay commissions to two agents
- reduced risk of commission-related disagreements between agencies
- reduced risk of complaints to us or REINZ.
Features of the residential standard clauses
For sole agency agreements, the standard clauses set out that:
- the sole agency agreement will automatically expire after 90 days if no end date is specified
- an agent can only claim a commission if a sale and purchase agreement is signed during the term of the agency agreement
For general agency agreements, the standard clauses set out that:
- agreements can be cancelled on seven days’ written notice
- an agent can only claim a commission if a sale and purchase agreement is signed during the term of the general agency agreement and where:
- the agent has been instrumental in bringing about the sale and purchase agreement , or
- the sale and purchase agreement is signed with someone introduced by the agent
For both sole and general agency agreements, the sale and purchase agreement must eventually become unconditional. The agent can still claim a commission even if the sale and purchase agreement becomes unconditional after the agency agreement has ended.
If a seller sells privately to someone introduced to the property by an agent
If the seller cancels a general or sole agency agreement and then sells privately to someone the agent has previously introduced to the property, the agent can claim a commission, but only if the sale is made within six months of the contract ending.
Get a copy of the residential standard clauses
Let us know you are using the residential standard clauses
Let us know when your agency is using the standard clauses in their residential agency agreements. Your agency's name will then be included in the list of participating agencies on this website.
To let us know just complete the following form (this needs to be done by the agency owner, branch manager or someone able to sign on behalf of your agency):
Agencies using the residential standard clauses
For a list of agencies who have committed to using the standard clauses in their agency agreements see our list of participating agencies
[.pdf 1022KB]. This list is updated weekly.
Using the standard clauses does not imply any REAA endorsement of the agent or their practices.