How Do I Change To A New Real Estate Agent?
A common question about a common occurrence, moving away from your current real estate agent happens for various reasons. Michael Gilbert explains how to best manage this process.
A common question about a common occurrence, moving away from your current real estate agent happens for various reasons. It’s not always related to a bad experience, you may want to simply save money wherever you can, you’re looking for a better deal, decide to use an online platform, want to manage it yourself or are aiming for consistency - by way of moving all properties to the one agent.
Many people think you need to wait until a tenancy finishes to change, the great news is you don’t. The lease is between you and the tenant, this will remain unchanged as you swap to a new agent, and there’s no need for them to sign a new lease agreement either. The management agreement you have with your agent is, just that - between you and the agent.
Whichever umbrella you fall under, it’s not as messy as you think, but preparation is key, mostly because each contract varies slightly with agents even including their own clauses.
Give written notice
The general rule is 28 days notice by way of a written letter or email to your agent. To save confusion, make sure the notice period you’re giving is clear and the date you wish to terminate your agreement is included. A friendly reminder of what you’ll require from them is also a great idea to keep the process clean and fuss-free.
- The lease (and the original lease too if there have been lease renewals)
- Application form
- Condition report
- A signed change of owner bond form
- A tenant ledger showing all tenant payments and paid to date
Let the tenant know
Make sure you give your tenant/s the heads up of the termination date you have decided on to keep the process clear. If you don’t have their contact details to email them, a letter in their letterbox is an easy way to let them know.
Keep on top of your agent
Remind them as the termination date approaches. If you haven't already done so, remind them of the items you’ll need on termination day to ensure they have it all prepared ahead of time.
Collect the list of items from your agent. By this point you have provided this list twice, the complete list of items should be available for you to collect on the termination date you have chosen.
Touch base with your tenant
When termination with your agent is complete, it is now time to give your tenant/s more details on how they pay rent, moving forward. They will also need details for their main point of contact.
Update the bond
A change of owner bond form (name varies from state to state) is needed. The agent will have signed this prior to termination and you will now need to submit it to your states relevant bond authority. You’ll usually receive a confirmation within 2 weeks.
Organise an inspection with your tenant, use this as an opportunity to give your property a thorough check over for any defects or areas that may need repairing and maintenance, as well as take up the chance to build a relationship with your tenant/s.
It’s also important to note
Whoever signed the initial management agreement needs to sign the management termination letter
That one is pretty straightforward, if there is more than one person involved in your management agreement, you all need to sign off on the notice you send to your agent when you let them know you want to terminate your agreement.
Different states = different rules
All of the key steps we’ve listed may vary slightly depending on your state and management agreement. Slight differences can include termination notice period (the amount of notice you need to give your agent when you decide to terminate) as well as the official name of the change of owner bond forms. If you’re unsure on the conditions you're confined to in your own management agreement, start by checking over your own copy of the agreement, particularly for any binding timeframes regarding termination.
Want another option?
If you’re tired of going from one agent to another, there’s a third option: Cubbi
Cubbi streamlines the entire renting process so you don’t need to use an agent at all. Cubbi will guide you through the whole switching process, create a termination letter, send it to your agent and even prepare a ‘getting started’ pack for your tenant. Just send us your management agreement HERE, and we can let you know how much notice you need to give.