26 September 2023

CAV keeping watch on property prices

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Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) plans to keep a wary eye on the real estate industry for signs of underquoting as the State reopens and property sales ramp up.

In a statement, the Regulator said property prices had climbed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which made it more important than ever that buyers, sellers and agents understood the obligations that came with selling property.

“Victoria’s underquoting laws require agents to fulfil specific requirements related to advertising and promoting the properties they sell,” CAV said.

“Providing the transparency required by the laws helps to ensure that home buyers don’t spend significant time and money chasing properties outside their price range,” it said.

“Under the laws, agents must not advertise a property 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.”

CAV said agents must also provide a Statement of Information, which helped prospective buyers make informed decisions about the property.

The Regulator said it had issued more than $300,000 worth of infringement notices for breaches of the State’s underquoting laws since May this year.

It said agents who did the wrong thing faced penalties of more than $33,000 and the loss of sales commissions.

“Agents can also face penalties under the Australian Consumer Law of up to $10 million for corporations and $500,000 for individuals,” Consumer Affairs Victoria said.

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