New Victorian underquoting laws commence on 1 May 2017.
Under the new laws, all estate agents and agents’ representatives selling residential property in Victoria will be required to:
- set a reasonable estimated selling price
- consider the three most comparable property sales to the property for sale when setting their estimated selling price
- prepare a Statement of Information, in the approved form, for prospective buyers that includes the indicative selling price for the property for sale, the details of three most comparable property sales and the median suburb price
- not use qualifying words or symbols to descrive the advertised price for a property for sale (if a price is included in the advertisemt) and
- update advertised prices if the estimated selling price is revised.
Further details of the new laws are avalible on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website, where you can also download the dollowing documents and forms that will help agents comply with the new requirements:
- guidelines for seletcing comparable property sales – residential property
- determination of the Melbourne metropolitan area
- five approved statements of Information for:
- a single residential property located in the Melbourne metropolitan area
- a single residential property located outside the Melbourne metropolitan area
- multiple residential properties located in the Melbourne metropolitan area
- multiple residential properties located outside the Melbourne metropolitan area
- internet advertising for a single residential property located within or outside the Melbourne metropolitan area
- a fact sheet with answers to questions that estate agents and agents’ representatives have raised about the new laws.
The penalty for not complying with the new laws will be up to 200 penalty units (or $31,000) for each offence (the value of a penalty unit increases on July 1st every year). However, for the most serious offences – for example, advertising below the estimated selling price – the courts will gave the ability to order the forfeiture of an agents commission to the Victorian Property Fund.
The new laws are set out in the Estate Agents Amendment (Underquoting) Act 2016, which is available at legislation.vic.gov.au under the heading ‘Victorian Statute book’. On 1 May 2017, the new laws will be incorporated into the Estate Agents Act 1980.