July 6, 2008

In a recent development, some solicitors are requesting agents to sign an acknowledgement to confirm that PAMDA requirements have been observed in relation to the presentation and signing of the contract. You don’t have to sign.

Solicitors now have a new responsibility under the Queensland Law Society Conveyancing Protocol to advise buyers whether or not it appears that the PAMDA requirements have been met.

So the “Agent’s Acknowledgement” is a creative invention to help lawyers perform the new work they must do. If you sign it, the lawyers’ job is made easier but could work against you if some irregularity turns up later. An “Agent’s Acknowledgement” asks the agent to confirm:

  • the requirements for preparing and submitting the proposed contract to the buyer were complied with;
  • the buyer’s attention was drawn to the Warning Statement and contract either verbally or in the covering letter addressed to the buyer; and
  • the buyer signed the Warning Statement before signing the contract.

These are all things that diligent agents do and which are required to be done by PAMDA. You may receive an “agent acknowledgement” from the solicitor for either the buyer or the seller. A seller’s solicitor is likely to request it to cover their client in case there is an allegation by the buyer of PAMDA non-compliance.

Either way, you are not obliged to sign the acknowledgement.

Signing such an acknowledgement might also be a breach of your professional indemnity insurance policy.

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