Underquoting estate agent blitz launched by NSW Fair Trading

Underquoting estate agent blitz launched by NSW Fair Trading
Underquoting estate agent blitz launched by NSW Fair Trading

Estate agents have been told an underquoting audit program will be conducted by NSW Fair Trading commencing today, Monday 7 March lasting for two weeks.

The program will target agents in both Sydney metropolitan and regional locations.

The inspectors will be looking at published advertisements and the Estimated Selling Price contained within agency agreements.  

They will also review and consider the evidence utilised in developing the estimated selling price.

The department has viewed the industry as coping well with the new laws and overall compliance. 

But in the first seven weeks since the laws were introduced on the 1 January 2016, Fair Trading received 68 complaints relating to underquoting. 

"Complaints are from named individuals, anonymous complainants and other real estate agents," a department spokesperson said.

To coincide with the new underquoting laws starting, Fair Trading ran a public awareness campaign to raise awareness and understanding among NSW real estate agents and consumers seeking to buy and sell residential property in NSW.

The campaign advertisements were run throughout January 2016 directing people to underquoting information on the Fair Trading website.

Fair Trading’s online display advertising delivered almost 1 million impressions.

A Facebook campaign was run concurrently with the digital advertising and generated more than 685,000 impressions. 

Fair Trading has information tailored specifically to support agents specifically, a publication was produced – Underquoting guidelines for residential property, including a checklist to help agents with their obligations.  

Also, the mandatory fact sheet, which agents need to supply to sellers when entering into an agency agreement to sell their home, was updated to refer to the new underquoting laws. 

Fair Trading has conducted 119 agent education lessons following a review of more than 5000 advertisements. 

Fair Trading also issued two trader education letters for failing to comply with an undertaking to update advertisements. 

"Fair Trading will take action in regards to any future or ongoing contravention, which can include penalty infringement notices, and civil pecuniary penalties."

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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Underquoting NSW

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