Buyers now ‘protected’ from underquoting

Queensland’s property market has benefited from the decision to ban auction price guides eight months ago, one real estate boss believes.

Andrew Bell, chief executive of Ray White Surfers Paradise, said Queensland took a step forward when it banned agents from using price guides on 1 December last year.

Mr Bell said that most agents genuinely try to provide accurate assessments, but in many cases the market is too unpredictable.

“Markets like Sydney and even the Gold Coast are moving too quickly for an agent to be able to give an accurate guide 100 per cent of the time – and not all agents have the necessary qualifications to accurately value a property’s worth,” he said.

“Providing misinformation is worse than providing no information at all – that’s why this is the best system to be in place.

“Thankfully for Queensland consumers, they are protected from underquoting whether by genuine error or bait-pricing.”

Mr Bell said underquoting has a big impact on consumers who are in the process of making what is usually the biggest investment of their lives.

“It’s the job of a real estate agent to get the best possible price for their seller, but they shouldn’t be misleading buyers in the process,” he said.

“Some agents have defended their erroneous estimates by saying that in a rising market, it’s difficult to estimate the sale price of a property. That is precisely why the practice of price guides is flawed.”

[Related: Is underquoting a serious problem or a media beat-up?]

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