If you list a property for sale with an agent, you are engaging that agent to help sell your property. The agent must act in your best interests, including following your lawful instructions and engaging in good estate agency practice.
The agent will charge you a fee for this service, usually in the form of a commission. The commission is negotiable and can either be a percentage of the sale price, a fixed fee or a combination of both. You can also expect to pay an additional cost for advertising associated with marketing your property.
You can expect the agent to:
• advise you about a method of sale
• provide you with a marketing plan and market your property
• give you an estimated selling price or price range based on their experience and skill
• advertise an up-to-date price for the property reflecting rejected offers or changed market conditions (although it is not compulsory for a price to be advertised)
• communicate all verbal and written offers from prospective buyers to you, unless you instruct the agent in writing not to do so
• organise and attend open house and other inspections
• organise and conduct an auction if applicable
• arrange the signing of the contract
• receive and hold the full deposit.
Laws govern the licensing and conduct of agents. These laws prohibit unethical practices such as misrepresentations about property including the price, location, size and dummy bidding at auctions.
Source: Consumer Affairs Victoria