"THE BAILLIEU government is proposing laws that would reduce regulation of real estate agents - whose representative body is arguing for more regulation - specifically to stop agents' family members from buying vendors' houses.The laws regulating when and how estate agents can buy a property they are meant to be selling changed at the start of this year. But other revisions now being considered by State Parliament would further whittle away at protection for vendors. Vendors selling a property to their agent are now required to get independent advice about the transaction from a lawyer or accountant. Before January, the laws were even tougher, requiring approval from Consumer Affairs Victoria for a sale to occur.
Under the new law, agents will still be barred from gaining a beneficial interest in a property they are commissioned to sell. But there will be exemptions and those sales will not have third-party oversight, the policy director of the Consumer Action Law Centre, Gerard Brody, said."
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