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  • 23 May 2016

Government Clamps Down On Underquoting

Real estate agents in Victoria have been under the spotlight, as the government ordered Consumer Affairs to carry out investigations.

The move follows a rise in the number of complaints from the public about underquoting.

The agencies being investigated have not been named but are said to include franchisees from larger real estate agencies and smaller private operations.

During the 2014-15 financial year Consumer Affairs Victoria received 120 complaints of alleged underquoting or price misrepresentation. Complaints have been rising since 2011-12, when just 20 were registered.

Clearly this practice is a growing concern, with new underquoting laws applied to the sale of NSW residential property from January 1 this year. The reforms are designed to stop real estate agents understating property prices.

What that means is that an agent is committing an offence is they state or public a price for a property that is less than their reasonable estimate of the property's likely selling price, contained in the agency agreement with the seller.

Agents committing this offence may face fines of up to $22,000.