New laws pro­tect buy­ers

Seymour Telegraph - - KIDS SPEAK - New un­der­quot­ing laws have come in to ef­fect, en­sur­ing prospec­tive buy­ers are given clear in­for­ma­tion about house prices.

New un­der­quot­ing laws came into ef­fect on Mon­day that will make house sale prices clearer and more trans­par­ent for would-be buy­ers.

The new laws in­clude re­quire­ments for how es­tate agents es­ti­mate and ad­ver­tise sell­ing prices, mak­ing sure prospec­tive buy­ers are given clear in­for­ma­tion about com­pa­ra­ble and re­cent prop­erty sales in the same area.

Hefty fines of more than $30 000 and loss of sales com­mis­sions are also part of the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s pack­age to de­ter es­tate agents from the prac­tice of un­der­quot­ing.

The new laws, a key part of re­forms to the Es­tate Agents Act 1980, will make es­tate agents more ac­count­able for their con­duct.

A key com­po­nent of the new leg­is­la­tion re­quires agents to pro­vide the sell­ing price of three com­pa­ra­ble prop­er­ties and an in­dica­tive sell­ing price, tak­ing into ac­count the stan­dard and con­di­tion, lo­ca­tion and date of sale.

Other el­e­ments of the new un­der­quot­ing laws in­clude:

a ban on the use of qual­i­fy­ing words such as ‘of­fers above’, ‘from’ or ‘plus’ when ad­ver­tis­ing;

the in­dica­tive sell­ing price in the State­ment of In­for­ma­tion not be­ing below the agent’s es­ti­mate, seller’s ask­ing price, or the amount of a re­jected writ­ten of­fer;

agents will be re­quired to up­date in­ter­net ad­ver­tis­ing within one day if a higher writ­ten of­fer is re­jected by the seller;

a ban on ad­ver­tis­ing sell­ing ranges of more than 10 per cent; and

stronger pow­ers for Con­sumer Af­fairs Vic­to­ria (CAV) in is­su­ing sub­stan­ti­a­tion notices re­quir­ing agents to jus­tify their price es­ti­mates and com­pa­ra­ble prop­er­ties.

‘‘Buy­ing a house is stress­ful enough without hav­ing to deal with these types of un­der­handed tac­tics by real es­tate agents,’’ Con­sumer Af­fairs Min­is­ter Mar­lene Kairouz said.

‘‘Our changes are go­ing to help stamp out un­der­quot­ing and make pric­ing clearer and more trans­par­ent.’’

Forth­com­ing Auc­tion, more in­for­ma­tion to come.. ray­white­sey­


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