Proposed price guide laws won’t apply to web

Online marketing will not be affected by plans to abolish price guides for auctions in Queensland under the proposed Property Occupations Bill.

Last month, industry figures from around the country slammed the proposed laws, which were labelled a "step back from transparency".

However, an exception for the legislation will apply to online listing portals.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) CEO Anton Kardash told Real Estate Business he supported the proposed exception for web search listings because it did not amount to a price guide.

“It would be very much business as usual, allowing agents to upload listings the way they always have while retaining the consumer’s ability to access that information online,” he said.

“This is a common sense solution to ensure agents can get an auction listing in front of buyers, without creating a price guide environment.

“It’s what buyers, sellers and agents are all used to and it effectively reiterates the current law and existing industry practice.”

Director of Place Estate Agents Paul Curtain said that the legislation is simply setting what is already general practice into concrete.

“A majority of real estate agents in Queensland currently do not quote price guides for auctions, so the changes to the legislation – if passed by parliament – will not mark a huge change to the status quo.

“We have worked hard and come a long way as an industry in Queensland over the past 10 years, particularly in terms of professionalism,” he said.

“On the whole we believe the bill – and all the changes in it – has been well received by the marketplace. Most of the members of the REIQ are supportive of the bill as a whole, as are a majority of real estate agents, and indeed even consumers.”

Last month, NSW stakeholders slammed the decision. However, Michael Davoren, managing director of RE/MAX Australia, said they should be looking at themselves before pointing fingers.

“While I accept that real estate practitioners and commentators from other jurisdictions can express an opinion on Queensland real estate, their own systems are far from perfect with cases of overquoting and underquoting regularly brought to public and legal attention," he said.

“The bill will not deny buyers the capacity to search on real estate portals and find properties in their price range. However, any search parameter based on an auction property price range is a search tool only and should not be taken as the real estate agent’s pricing guide or opinion.”

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