Underquoting claims blamed on market strength

Date: 14 September 2013
Claims that estate agents are deliberately underquoting price estimates to attract more bidders at auction are expected to rise as the spring auction season gathers pace.

This weekend there will be more than 1600 auctions across Melbourne and Sydney as clearance rates track above 75 percent, interest rates remain low and appetite for property rises In some cases, accusations of under quoting will be perception rather than reality as competitive bidding pushes up prices beyond expectations leaving many unsuccessful bidders feeling like they have been misled.

Inner Sydney estate agent David Servi of First National Spencer and Servi said agents needed to give buyers the same quote they gave to vendors.

“Where it has been an ethical problem is where agents underquote to the buyer and overquote to the vendor hoping the price will be somewhere in the middle. Often this leaves both sides aggrieved,” he said.

Last year, Consumer Affairs Victoria received 80 complaints relating to under-quoting out of a total of 745 complaints for 2012-13. NSW Fair Trading swooped on 50 Sydney auctions last spring after receiving underquoting complaints and found eight agents had kept inadequate or non-existent sale files to substantiate the estimated prices of 17 properties.

Under the Australian Consumer Law, penalties for misrepresenting the price of a property can be as high as $220,000 for individuals and $1.1 million for corporations.

First National Real Estate Spencer & Servi

Source: Australian Financial Review, 14 Sep 2013
Back to articles Filed under: Media / National|NSW News Tags: david servi, first national real estate spencer & servi, selling, surry hills
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