State govn rep blasted by locals
A STATE government representative could not be insulated from the heat of questions blasted at her by angry real estate agents at an information session at Quality Hotel Burnett Riverside yesterday.
About 100 people — mostly real estate agents — attended the meeting about a government-created “sustainability declaration” form that must be filled out by property sellers before their property can be advertised by real estate agents.
Anger erupted during question time, after Department of Infrastructure and Planning representative Michelle Oost finished her presentation.
The timing of the introduction of the forms, on January 1, and the amount real estate agents and home owners could be fined had people firing up. Wide Bay Real Estate agent Grae Shelton said the move would destroy the industry.
“We have no idea how we’re going to fulfil our obligations. If they’d given us a grace period it would be different,” he said.
The meeting was told the final copy of the form should be available on the website from yesterday or early next week.
Sellers can be taken to court by the buyer and fined $2000 for providing false or misleading information, while real estate agents can be fined up to $10,000 if they advertise a property without an attached form.
Ms Oost told the packed meeting that if sellers could not answer a question they should leave it blank, rather than mislead a buyer.
That prompted a real estate agent to ask that if they accepted a signed, blank document, would that be enough to fulfil his obligations and not be fined.
Ms Oost said technically that would satisfy a real estate’s obligations.
Questions on the form include the amount of water a toilet uses in a flush and the R-value of any insulation in the home. Tracey Seymour is considering selling her property next year and she said the form seemed “silly”.
“I’m a bit of a greenie, but we live in a 100-year-old house with no efficient features that I know of,” she said.