"Coercion will be rife" under new Queensland price guide laws: REBAA

"Coercion will be rife" under new Queensland price guide laws: REBAA

The proposal to ban auction price guides in Queensland, which has in part been described as a decision to help stamp out the problem of underquoting, has been slammed by the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) who claim that not only will this action not stop the problem, but it could also deter buyers from bidding at auction.

REBAA spokesperson Scott McGeever said that the auction process is skewed in favour of real estate agents and the vendors, and changing this law will not change the status quo.

The Queensland laws, which are expected to be passed within coming weeks, has left McGeever questioning the decisions.

“The Queensland government has had the opportunity to make a real change in favour of home buyers but instead buyers will remain in the dark and coercion will be rife,” he said.

“The allowance of web-based price guides does nothing to provide clarity for would-be buyers, many of whom are already spending thousands of dollars on building and pest inspections for properties which aren’t really within their range.”

He noted that internet price guides are just a small component of the auction process, with this proposed solution to leave buyers vulnerable to selling agents who will use this to their advantage.

“Some real estate data sites allow owners, or those who own in the local area, to change price estimates for properties listed online, allowing for manipulation to occur,” he said.

“Buyers are often already uncertain about auction environments and with either less or manipulated information at hand this could reduce their bidding confidence even further.”

REBAA is the latest body to voice their opposition to the changes, joining the ranks of the REINSW, John McGrath and a number of news organisations, however there are still a number of those supporting the proposed changes.

Another solution to the underquoting may be to publish the reserve prices prior to the auction. An online petition for this change in New South Wales is circulating, launched by buyer’s agent Patrick Bright, and has seen vocal support from SQM Research’s Louis Christopher. Meanwhile, observer Terry Ryder, based in Queensland, has also been vocal on the issue of the Queensland price guide ban, telling those who dislike the ban that they can only blame themselves.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

Price Guides Queensland

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