REINSW's Malcolm Gunning supports early publishing of reserve prices

REINSW's Malcolm Gunning supports early publishing of reserve prices
REINSW's Malcolm Gunning supports early publishing of reserve prices

Discussing the issue of the potential price guidance ban in Queensland, the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales president Malcolm Gunning expressed his support for a recent petition for agents to publish reserve prices a week out from auction.

The petition, from EPS Property Search's Patrick Bright, looks to increase transparency by requiring real estate agents to publish the reserve prices to the public.

Gunning told Property Observer that he doesn't support the banning of price guides in Queensland, believing that they're "trying to exonerate the responsibility of under or over quoting". Just today, Property Observer reported that the Real Estate Buyers Association of Australia believe that coercion will be rife if the changes go through.

With Brisbane labelled one of the upcoming investment hotspots, he also expressed concern for buyers in New South Wales and other states and territories who would be heading to the south-east Queensland suburbs for purchasing, unaware of what prices could be attained, where a local might be more familiar.

"In NSW, the institute uspports the agent giving an indication. Agents are dumb when they [underquote]and have no confidence in their ability," said Gunning.

In fact, he pointed to education being the real issue for New South Wales instances of underquoting.

"We think the problem is that in New South Wales the level of entry into real estate is the lowest in Australia and we think that [when agents underquote it is] reflective of agents not being confident in themselves."

He noted that in the last 18 months it has been difficult for agents, particularly those with little confidence in appraising a property, to provide an accurate price guide, with buyers getting desperate to purchase and chasing the properties beyond market expectations.

However, he said, the agent should be able to give a purchaser an indication of the vendors expectation, and perhaps mention the level of competition. If a buyer wants to compete at auction with other bidders, then this is their decision, however they should not be competing with a reserve price set higher than expectation.

Gunning expressed his support of John McGrath, who has been actively against removing the price guidance.

Despite the opposition, however, it might go through.

"The REIQ are supporting it, and they’re a strong organisation, so I think the government might pass it," he said.

He also told Property Observer that he has recently spoken with the Office of Fair Trading who have said that underquoting is not as high on their agenda as looking to knock out dodgy Registered Training Organisations.

"There are a lot of training organisations offering sub-standard training, we’re trying to lift the standard of the industry. We’re getting people coming in with just a week of training," he said.

He noted that the better agents who do not fall into underquoting tend to be those with higher levels of education.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

Underquoting Price Guides New South Wales Reserve Price Reinsw

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