House-hunters know the pain all too well. You spend your weekends inspecting properties and finally you think you’ve found your dream home – only to have it sell for $100K more than the asking price.
“It’s super frustrating,” says Melbourne house-hunter Sarah. “What (real estate agents) quote is not realistically what they get sold for.”
Now, the Victorian government is cracking down on real estate agents found to be underquoting property prices. But are new laws enough to stop the “frustrating” practice altogether?
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In a recent crackdown, inspectors accessed the offices of 34 selling agents and examined 1400 sales where the property sold for significantly more than the advertised price, according to Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Twenty warnings were issues and 13 investigations were launched. Meanwhile, one real estate agency was forced to pay more than $300,000 for underquoting 11 properties in 2014 and 2015.
The crackdown comes as real estate advertising laws were introduced in November, similar to reforms that have been in effect in NSW since January 2016. These laws have seen 26 fines issued, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Under the new Victorian laws, agents must provide prospective buyers with a more detailed analysis of what the house is expected to sell for, including three recent comparable sales and the median price for the suburb. Agents will also have to prove, on request, how they figured out the estimated price.