Underquoting claims sees hockingstuart Richmond office in Consumers Affairs Victoria court proceedings

Underquoting claims sees hockingstuart Richmond office in Consumers Affairs Victoria court proceedings
Underquoting claims sees hockingstuart Richmond office in Consumers Affairs Victoria court proceedings

The hockingstuart head office is currently working through allegations made by Consumer Affairs Victoria concerning its Richmond franchised office conduct in regard to auction price guidance.

"We are not in a position to discuss the specific details until further progress has been made," the estate agency has advised.

Hockingstuart in Richmond has been taken to court over its auction practices, accused of underquoting on 11 properties in 2014 and 2015, the Channel 7 News reporter Laurel Irving reported.

The properties were in Richmond and one in Kew. According to court documents, a detached Victorian in Mary Street, Richmond; a two-bedroom apartment in Coppin Street, Richmond; a two-bedroom apartment in Docker Street, Richmond were pinpointed.There was also an Edwardian home in Barkers Road, Kew.

The agency said under the current law, while vendors may seek the advice of agents, they are not required to disclose their reserve to agents until the day of auction.

"It can be higher than the advertised price if the interest is strong." the agency noted.

hockingstuart advised it was "a global issue" for the real estate industry.

"hockingstuart head office is willing to work with Consumer Affairs Victoria on a solution that will ensure accurate pricing across the industry as a whole.

"Our head office takes its responsibility to prospective buyers seriously.

"We have a range of measures in place to ensure accurate pricing of our portfolio of properties across the group, including undertaking annual audits at each office and providing regular, rigorous training to new and existing offices.

"Furthermore, we actively encourage vendors to advertise their properties with a price guide to ensure transparency for buyers and sellers alike."

The agency lawyers told the hearing that there had been a "dynamic market."

The agency recently, in unrelated matters, lost its chief executive, Nigel O'Neil, described as a passionate leader with over 25 years experience in growing and developing businesses.

The hockingstuart CEO, Nigel O'Neil was at the helm for eight years.

hockingstuart was the first Victorian real estate agency to present its properties for sale in a magazine format. hockingstuart's red magazine currently has a weekly distribution of 15,000 copies. 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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