Penalties threat may raise house sale costs

The cost of selling a house faces new pressure with WA's first real estate union threatening to push for penalty rates for weekend and after-hours work.

Australian Property Services Association says it will push for penalties to replace commission-based payments in a coming industry review if local employers do not join a national registration system.

APSA said it supported commission-based payments through its registration system, which operated in three States, but it would instead lobby for a move to traditional award conditions unless it was adopted nationally.

WA is the only State refusing to discuss the matter, claiming it is simply the union's attempt to have its own income stream.

The system involves a fee up to $180 per real estate agent, most of which is paid to the union. The union then monitors the contract to ensure employers meet legal requirements.

APSA assistant secretary Barry Gannon said the union found cases of non-compliance in States where registration operated, with some cases going through courts in Queensland and NSW.

"(If WA does not sign up) we believe the only way to protect the interests of workers in the industry is to push for the award conditions across Australia," he said. But the Real Estate Institute of WA said agents' rights were protected.

Assistant secretary Hayden Groves said there was no need for WA employers to pay APSA to monitor contracts, especially because the association did not have members in WA.

APSA gained the right to cover WA as a union just over two months ago. It claims to cover 70 per cent of agents nationally.

The West Australian

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