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New Underquoting Laws Before Parliament

By Laura Anderson

New underquoting laws will change the way agents communicate with their vendors and purchasers. The Bill, to be introduced into parliament this week, will see the implementation of new record keeping requirements and a tougher penalty regime.

“Agents need to be ready for these changes,” REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said.

“With this new legislation comes some complexities, so agents should exercise caution when taking advice.

“We’re already aware of misinformation in the marketplace regarding the new laws. Our advice to agents is to be extremely careful about who you listen to.”

REINSW has worked closely with Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello and NSW Fair Trading over recent months in the drafting process.

“We provided the Minister and Fair Trading with the market and profession’s perspective during the development of the legislation,” Mr McKibbin said.

“Throughout this drafting process we’ve had to keep the details of the Bill confidential, however with the Minister’s announcement we’re now free to discuss the intricacies of the reforms more openly and in detail.

“REINSW is now in the process of developing a training solution, which will be ready for delivery to agents shortly,” Mr McKibbin said.

Reforms to the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 will include the following:

  • Agents will be required to provide evidence of their estimated selling price to the vendor and this estimate must be stated in the agency agreement.
  • When marketing a property an agent must only use the estimated selling price provided in the agency agreement.
  • If a price is quoted in any advertisement or representations about the likely selling price of the property, this amount must be the estimated selling price stated in the agency agreement.
  • Advertisements and representations that say “offers over” or “offers above” or any similar statement will be prohibited.
  • Agents will be required to keep a register of prices quoted on a property whether these are provided to the vendor or prospective purchasers.

In addition to the current penalty of $22,000, agents found guilty of underquoting will also have to forfeit any commission or fees from the sale.

The new laws are expected to commence in early 2016.

Information supplied by www.reinsw.com.au

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