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Disclosure of monetary kickback

7 August 2014
REINSW has recently been notified that a ‘reward’ is being offered by for the service of providing data regarding property sales.

After the property website recently increased its fees and charges, REA Group released an updated Service Agreement. That agreement entitles agents who sign up to the ‘Highlight All Package’ to receive a payment of 7.5% of their total spend, excluding subscription costs, if they provide with sold listings and sold prices for at least 80% of advertised listings.

REA Group is informing agents that the ‘reward’ is not a rebate and the payment is not in respect of any vendor paid advertising (i.e. on property listings), which is the type of rebate that requires disclosure by the agent under the legislation.

REINSW has considered the offer by and is not convinced that agents do not have an obligation of disclosure with respect to the ‘reward’.

“REINSW has had the benefit of reviewing and analysing the Service Agreement, including the ‘reward’ program offered by, in regards to agents’ disclosure obligations under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 and the Regulation,” Mr McKibbin said.

“For abundant caution, REINSW has formed the view that making full disclosure of the benefits received from is the appropriate and preferred course of action,” he said.