Price guide ban now in place for Queensland auctions

Price guide ban now in place for Queensland auctions
Price guide ban now in place for Queensland auctions

Queensland’s new real estate laws are now in place, despite much pushback from property industry members across the country.

The Queensland Property Occupations Act, passed through Parliament in May, will bring many changes to the property scene in Queensland. Most notably, price guides for properties going to auction are now outlawed.

Not only were the Real Estate Institutes head-to-head over the issue, but estate agent John McGrath called it “dark days” for the industry.

Harcourts Queensland chief auctioneer Mitch Peereboom doesn’t expect any great changes to his role.

The price guide obviously is the biggest issue, but ultimately in my role the impact of the price guide will be minimal because auction’s about having no price and the buyers determining the market place,” said Peereboom.

“The seller gets the transparency and determination from the buyers and the buyers get transparency as they are able to come forth with their best offer of what they believe the property is worth without any inhibiting from the seller in terms of what they are looking for.”

In fact, he notes that more buyers will inspect because there is no market price.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s CEO Antonia Mercorella said that the rules are about cutting red tape, simplifying transactions and increasing transparency. The REIQ has been supportive of the laws.

“It’s been a long time coming, but it’s been worth the wait for these new laws,” Mercorella said.

“They’re specifically tailored to the realities of the modern real estate profession and will make life much easier for agents and consumers. The laws eliminate a lot of costly paperwork that’s been hampering agents and they feature practical reforms which will simplify real estate transactions in Queensland.”

She pointed to other key changes including the replacement of seven separate agent appointment forms with one, removing requirement for the agents to disclose to a buyer the commission they are receiving from the seller, extending the statutory limit on lengths of appointments for a sole exclusive agency from 60 days to 90 days, deregulating maximum commissions for sales and property management, and losing the requirement for a separate Form 30 Warning Statement.

Online auctioning platform ExchangeHouse has also called the new laws beneficial for the industry, with director Mark Jamieson saying that the government "clearly" wants to limit subjective and opinionated price guides and information that could mislead.

"It is possible for real estate agents to provide objective, meaningful and accurate information to buyers, within the new act’s guidelines. It is all about the auction process and framework," said Jamieson.

“Our innovative online auction methodology requires the vendor to set a reserve price for their property upfront. The reserve is never disclosed to the market and is used to determine where bidding will start which is a first for the industry. Agents no longer need to provide a price guide under the ExchangeHouse method. Buyers can confidently inspect properties knowing where bidding is due to start well before bidding opens," he said.

“This method will bring greater transparency and efficiency around the property transaction process for agents, sellers and buyers. We believe it works within the new legislation and achieves the government’s goals of reducing red tape and misguided information.”

Other industry experts notably speaking out against the ban include News Corp commentator Andrew Winter (who has called it 'madness’), the Real Estate Buyer's Association of Australia and REINSW' Malcolm Gunning.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

Auctions Price Guides Queensland


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