Real estate agency

Name and shame under-quoters, says estate agency boss

This is a difficult problem for the police. Underpricing can take many forms, from advertising properties with lower guides at a price the seller has rejected, to a lack of genuine reference to recent comparable sales, to advertising a property at a lower than the price at which the agent informed the seller that he was likely to sell. It can also be difficult to prove.

A Fair Trading source said the agency only issues fines – called penalty notices – and cannot make them public, in the same way fine violators are not publicly called.

But many industry professionals say undercutting is a big problem in Sydney, where in the two years to June house prices exceeded the capital’s average gain of 21.1% with a 24-year jump. .5%. During the same period, Fair Trading issued 60 penalty notices.

The real estate services industry isn’t broken, but it’s under a lot of pressure.

— Chris Duggan, Chair of Expert Group on Real Estate Services

Buyers’ solicitor Paul Mulligan said NSW Fair Trading could do more and the newly appointed commissioner was able to ensure this.

“We would like the new Property Services Commissioner to enforce monitoring guidelines, enforce understatement and ensure that Fair Trading staff follow up on complaints and investigations,” Mr Mulligan said.

“They are very bad at doing it.”

Undercutting benefits agents by expanding their sales lists of potential buyers and flattering their results with bids that greatly exceed published price guides. But this misleads many people into believing that they have a realistic chance of buying a property that is out of their reach.

Mr Minns, who takes office next month, will be tasked with looking at fair trade and how he tackles undercutting would be a good starting point for him, said Chris Duggan, the group’s chairman. experts on state real estate services.

“The real estate services sector is not broken, but it is under severe pressure, especially with real estate still in crisis,” Mr. Duggan said.

“[Tackling underquoting responses] could be a quick way to reassure consumers that someone is on the beat for them. The industry also needs this level of transparency to be able to correct bad behavior if it is a problem.

NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said Mr Minns would be responsible for recommending how to improve relations between the government and the property services industry.

“The Property Services Commissioner has been engaged to improve relations between the property industry and the regulator Fair Trading. It will also make recommendations to government on how best to support agents, property service professionals and consumers,” Mr Anderson said.

“The New South Wales Government takes allegations of undervaluation very seriously, but recognizes that this is a complex issue in the context of today’s boiling property market.”

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