Sustainability Declaration On The Chopping Block
Well it finally has come to a head – The scrapping of the Sustainability Declaration Form.
Most agents would probably agree with this decision as it was an un-policed document that had to be displayed, would sometimes be viewed by buyers to help them ascertain the energy efficiency of a home if this was important to them. The problem was that the home seller by law only had to sign the document and not complete any of the information if they did not know or understand it. It was an easy form to fill in with questions about the quantity of energy efficient globes, water taps star ratings, solar power etc etc. Even so it seemed like an extra piece of paperwork that had to be used to complete a property transaction besides the fact it was meaningless in some cases. Quote from REIQblog below.
As was reported in the Sunday Mail, the proposed axing of sustainability declarations in the buying process is welcomed by all REIQ accredited agencies.
The declarations, while good in theory, were flawed from the outset. And the complex nature of the original declaration resulted in it being simplified to such an extent that it became almost meaningless.
Another issue with the declarations was that the data that was collected about home sustainability features was never collated or analysed in any way by the State Government so the vast majority of declarations simply ended up in the filing cabinets of real estate agencies.
Research conducted by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) at the end of 2010 recorded widespread disengagement with the sustainability declaration process from sellers, and even more so, from buyers. Despite this, sellers were legislatively required to complete these forms to their best knowledge prior to the property going to the market.
The QUT research found that despite not being asked directly for the declaration, 43 per cent of agents provided this declaration to potential buyers with the initial property details; 39 per cent advised the declaration was not provided unless requested, with the remaining percentage advising the declaration was provided just prior or at the signing of the contract. This means that almost 40 per cent of the declarations provided by sellers were never presented to a potential buyer and remained only in the hands of the selling agent.
In 2011, there were about 75,000 sales of houses and units in Queensland so if an agent printed just one copy of the declaration for each sale that actually took place that means that – rather ironically – 75,000 extra pieces of paper were wasted in the name of sustainability. Read more…
The replacement for the Sustainability Declaration is apparently going to be NATHERS short for the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme or some variation of a ranking system used to rate the efficiency of homes. This will require licenced assessors which will cost the home seller more when taking their properties to the market. We will have to see what unfolds in relation to this scheme in the future. Leave your thoughts below.
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