Online petition for mandatory reserve price publishing launched

Online petition for mandatory reserve price publishing launched
Online petition for mandatory reserve price publishing launched

A new petition has been created through popular website Change.org to stamp out underquoting and dummy bidding within the industry. How? By legally requiring the publishing of the reserve price in advance.

Created by EPS Property Search’s Patrick Bright, and author of The Insider’s Guide To Saving Thousands At Auction, he explains that after much feedback on his recent column, which you can read on Property Observer, he decided it was time to do something formal.

“Too many buyers have felt the frustration both financially and emotionally when turning up to an auction only to find the reserve price set higher than the price-guide when in fact they should be one and the same,” said Bright.

“I have decided to get serious and campaign for real change in the “for sale by auction process” by asking the Minister responsible to make it a legal requirement to publish the reserve price seven days prior to any auction.”

Calling underquoting a cruel practice and a waste of people’s time and money, he explained that the petition looks to stamp it out.

The petition, addressed to the New South Wales Minister for Fair Trading, is titled “NSW Government: Make it compulsory to advertise auction reserve prices to stamp out underquoting and dummy bidding.”

The newly created petition already has 67 signatures, however is searching for 1,000.

His plan is for the reserve prices to be published seven days ahead of auction.

This is what will be received by Minister Stuart Ayres:

To: The Honourable Stuart Ayres MP, NSW Minister for Fair Trading
Despite being a breach of the Act, underquoting is rife. It is a major issue in the NSW real estate industry leaving thousands of prospective buyers frustrated, disappointed and unnecessarily out of pocket every week.

The fact is price guides are more often than not significantly below the price a selling agent knows a property is likely to sell at and well below what the vendor would actually accept.

Efforts to crack down on this practice to date have essentially failed.

We ask that you amend the current legislation and make it compulsory to publish the reserve price seven days out from a property auction in the interests of stamping out underquoting and dummy bidding.

Comments on the article are also quite interesting. Anelie Crighton says that “The real estate industry is already heavily weighted in favour of vendors - this simple policy would at least give buyers a clear and accurate guide to whether they can afford a property for sale, without harming vendor interests.”

This comes as Queensland is looking to legislate against publishing price guides for auction to help stop underquoting - an action that has been slammed by many industry members, and has been the subject of another petition recently.

The majority of Property Observer poll respondents wanted to see the reserve prices published.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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