Cracking Down On Rogue Real Estate Agents

The Andrews Labor Government is cracking down on rogue real estate agents with 39 infringement notices worth almost $200,000 issued during the last financial year.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz said these fines are being used to immediately put a stop to agents underquoting.

Consumer Affairs Victoria inspectors have issued 39 infringements worth almost $200,000 to estate agents during the 2018-19 financial year.

New underquoting laws introduced by the Labor Government in 2017 have seen 145 notices issued to estate agents, requiring them to produce relevant documents for Consumer Affairs Victoria to review compliance.

Agents that provide unreasonable estimates risk penalties of more than $33,000 and the loss of their sale commissions.

As part of the new underquoting laws, agents are required to prepare a Statement of Information for each residential property they are selling.

Consumer Affairs Victoria undertook a review of the Statement of Information and supporting documentation, consulting with industry after a year of use and have now revised the forms and guidelines to ensure more transparency for potential buyers.

The Statement of Information has been modified to allow agents to more accurately specify the type of property the median sale price relates to, with a ‘property type’ text box rather than only a choice of house or unit. The statement must also now include the date on which it was prepared.

Additionally, the guidelines for agents have been amended to clarify when fewer than three comparable properties can be listed. For more information about the changes see consumer.vic.gov.au/underquoting

These changes will come into effect from Monday 16 September.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz

“These fines send a strong message to all estate agents that underquoting won’t be tolerated and fines will be issued immediately if it happens.”

“Victorians deserve to know what a house is actually expected to sell for, rather than wasting time and energy on a house that is outside of their range.”

“Changes to the statement of information will make information clearer for consumers and easier for estate agents to use.”