Understanding Underquoting | New Taskforce to Ensure Fair Property Market

Happy family in front of they newly bought home

The Victorian Government has established a dedicated taskforce focused on unfair practices in the property market, including underquoting and ensuring all Victorians have fair and easier access to purchasing a property.

At a time when households are struggling with cost-of-living pressures, the taskforce will work to ensure property prices are fairly and honestly advertised to protect buyers’ time and money when they need it most.

The new property market taskforce will begin work immediately with targeted compliance activities against underquoting, including increased monitoring of sales campaigns and inspections by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

The taskforce will aim to ensure estate agents comply with their obligations and are doing the right thing, while ensuring Victorians have the accurate pricing information they need while househunting. Underquoting was identified as a key concern by the Victorian property market review, the findings of which are currently being considered by the Government.

Significant penalties, including fines of more than $36,000, apply for underquoting, and it is essential that you understand and comply with your obligations under Victoria’s underquoting laws.

Underquoting occurs when a property is advertised at a price below the estimated selling price, the seller’s asking price, or a price that has been rejected as too low by the seller.

Under Victorian’s underquoting laws, selling agents must:

  • Ensure their price estimates are ‘reasonable’, even if there haven’t been three sales within 2 kilometres in the last six months (for a property in Metro Melbourne) or within 5 kilometres in the previous 18 months (for a property in regional Victoria)
  • Provide prospective buyers with a Statement of Information about the property for sale
  • Put forward all pre-auction offers to the seller and update the advertised price if it’s lower than an offer rejected on price.

When a property sells for more than the price for which it was initially advertised, this does not always mean that underquoting has taken place. Sometimes a property will sell for more than originally indicated. This can happen when a number of interested buyers compete against each other to buy a property and, in doing so, push up the property’s sale price.

Take time to read the full article to guide you on how to understand property prices and learn when a property is underquoted: https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/buying-and-selling-property/understanding-property-prices-and-underquoting-for-buyers

Source: www.consumer.vic.gov.au

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