There has been a lot of talk in the media and amongst agents about the new Underquoting laws coming into effect on 1st May. Consumer Affairs are in the process of rolling out educational seminars around Victoria which is focussed on educating real estate agents about the new laws so that everyone has the opportunity to do the right thing.
Here are the main points as outlined by Consumer Affairs (Metro Melb):
- The new laws affect properties that are signed up on an Authority on or after 1st Properties listed prior to this will not be affected by these new laws.
- Agents must provide sellers with 3 comparable sales that are comparable in size and condition.
- The comparable sales must be within 2km of the property and must have been sold within the last 6 months.
- If there is nothing comparable (a very unique property) – then this must be noted clearly in the file.
- The marketing price must be a fixed number or a range no more than 10%. Words or symbols such as plus, above, etc are not permitted.
- The bottom of the range, or the fixed price must not be lower than the bottom of the range quoted on authority (ie based on comparable sales) and must not be lower than the price the owner has said is their minimum. Please note that most agents do not ask sellers for their minimum sale price. This is often not decided until offers are presented to the seller.
- All properties advertised for sale will need to have the same 3 comparable sales provided to the seller and buyers. Online, all properties will need to have the details of the 3 comparable sales noted. The Median house price of the suburb will also need to be noted on advertisements online. And this information also needs to be made available at open homes or given to buyers upon request within 2 days (it will all be available online so I don’t think there will be too many requests).
- Agents will be able to market properties as “Contact Agent” – but keep in mind they will also need to provide those 3 comparable sales so it should still give buyers a clear understanding of where the Estimated Selling Range is.
Hopefully this helps you understand the main points of the new laws and how they will affect properties being advertised.
If you have any real estate questions or would like to discuss the selling or leasing of your property please do not hesitate to contact me on 0408 585 319.