Queensland's price guide bans don't go far enough, what we need is real transparency

Queensland's price guide bans don't go far enough, what we need is real transparency
Queensland's price guide bans don't go far enough, what we need is real transparency

GUEST OBSERVATION

According to news reports it looks like the ban on price guides for properties up for auction in Queensland will go ahead when Parliament sits in May - with one minor amendment.

Vendors and selling agents will still be able to categorise the property in a price bracket for buyers searching on real estate websites. 

How will it affect the auction climate in Queensland?  Not much - auctions aren't as popular there and price guides have always been frowned upon.  But the debate has captured the attention of the major players in Sydney and Melbourne where auctions are the sales method of choice for many. A change such as this in these markets would dramatically alter the real estate landscape and make auctions less popular - a result many in the industry don't want despite the flaws in the current process. 

Underquoting is a cruel, misleading and deceptive practice that needs to be stamped out for good.

This is why I believe so many industry players have been so outspoken against the proposed changes. Their main claim has been that "buyers want pricing information". Yes, they are on the right track - buyers do want pricing information - however, they have left off the most important words in that statement which I believe to be "honest and transparent". 

The Queensland government's position can be summed up as "no price guides are better than phoney ones", and I have to agree.

Underquoting, or bait advertising as it’s also known, is a cruel, misleading and deceptive practice that needs to be stamped out for good.  

However, I believe the Queensland government is set to miss the mark here. They have the opportunity to make a real change for the better with the eyes of Australia's real estate industry watching.

Instead what is proposed is a half measure that doesn't really address the lack of transparency issue.

Naturally I much prefer my idea of making it mandatory to publish auction reserve prices seven days prior to auction as I've outlined in previous blogs.  I believe my proposed changes would achieve a much better outcome for both the buyers and sellers.  Further my proposed changes would more than likely make auctions more popular with buyers due to this transparency.  If they are more popular with buyers they will be more popular with sellers, so everybody wins. 

In just a few weeks my ‘publish auction reserve prices’ petition has had hundreds of comments supporting the idea, but I believe it needs more support before the Minister is likely to look at the proposal - if you haven't already please take three minutes to read it and support it if you agree.   

Please let anyone you know who has recently purchased a property or who is currently searching for one know about it so they can also have their say! 

Patrick Bright is the founder of Sydney-based buyer’s agency EPS Property Search.

Patrick is the author of four best-selling real estate books known as “The Insider’s Guide to Buying Real Estate Series.”

This article first appeared on www.epspropertysearch.com.au.

Patrick Bright

Patrick Bright

Patrick Bright is a real estate author and founder of Sydney-based buyer’s agency EPS Property Search.

Tags: 
Price Guides Queensland Patrick Bright

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