The following changes to real estate regulation took effect on 1 March 2012, as a result of amendments to the Estate Agents (Contracts) Regulations 2008 and Sale of Land Act 1962.
Cooling-off rights for property buyers
A buyer's three-day cooling-off period on a sale of land contract is no longer affected if they have received legal advice about the contract before signing it.
Previously, buyers were not entitled to cool off if they had received independent advice from a legal practitioner before signing the contract.
Standard form contract for the sale of land
The standard form contract for the sale of land has been updated. The changes focus on the recent introduction of the Personal Property Securities Register and improving the usability of the contract.
Copies of the updated contract are available from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (members only) and the Law Institute of Victoria.
Deposits for off-the-plan sales of land
All deposits for off-the-plan sales of land must be held in trust by a legal practitioner, conveyancer or estate agent. This ensures that if any money is misappropriated, the buyer has access to a statutory compensation scheme.
Previously, developers and buyers could hold money in a joint account.