Avoid delays when you renew
Renewing a real estate licence or salesperson certificate comes up regularly on the to-do list of many people working in the property industry, and one of the most frequently asked questions about this is how can the process be expedited.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) wants to let busy property professionals get on with their day-to-day work by helping the renewal process go as smoothly and quickly as possible, so my first piece of advice is to lodge your renewal application online.
The OFT has provided this service for salespeople since 2015, and now 85% of these are completed within 24 hours.
The OFT recently expanded this online service to include individual agents licence renewals and I’m pleased to report there has been a steady take up of this service.
The standard processing time for renewals is four to six weeks, but since online renewals for individual agents has been available, the time taken to complete these has been trending down. Over the last two months, the average time to issue an individual agent renewal has been just under 2.5 weeks.
Our online renewal process is really easy. To start all you need is your licence or certificate number and you’ll be prompted to create a QGov account. Your online lodgement is received by the OFT on the same day, reducing delays.
My next piece of advice is that, whether you decide to lodge the application online or manually, you can still help improve the timeliness of your renewal’s processing by following a few steps.
Make sure you pay the correct fee
You may be surprised, but we regularly see applications where agents and salespeople have paid incorrect fees. The amount due depends on whether the renewal is for one year or three years, whether the application is received by the OFT before or after the due date, and whether or not a criminal history fee is required.
One of the reasons renewals lodged online are able to be processed so much faster is that the online system calculates the correct fee for you. When the correct fee is received with your renewal we can start processing it immediately, it doesn’t sit on hold while our officers contact you to obtain the correct payment.
Make sure you lodge on time
If you’re planning to mail your renewal in, I recommend you have your application completed and posted at least two weeks before your expiry date. The post is not always reliable and if the application is received late by the OFT you’ll be required to pay a higher fee to have your licence or registration restored rather than renewed.
When your renewal is received before the due date it won’t need to be held up while our officers contact you to obtain payment of the additional restoration fee.
Make sure you fully complete the form
A common error that causes delay in the processing of renewals is incomplete forms. If you want to avoid delays take the time to double-check your form before you send it in.
For manually lodged real estate licence renewals, the two most common mistakes we see are leaving signatures off the form and forgetting to tick the box which identifies whether or not you operate a trust account. All agents are required to answer this question and if you tick ‘no’ you are required to include a statutory declaration with specific wording along with your renewal application.
Lodging your renewal online helps you avoid these errors, and the subsequent delays these can cause to the processing of your form, as the online process has built-in prompts.
Further information on the renewal application process, including a link to the online forms, is available via the OFT website at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.