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Agents shy away from property quoting

17 August 2009 Reporter

Melbourne’s inner-east real estate agency Jellis Craig has said it will no longer make quotes on property values.

In a statement on the Jellis Craig website, the agent said that the resurgent market was to blame for the announcement.

“We have found that over the last two months demand has strengthened considerably leading to prices at auctions regularly outstripping both our and the vendors expectations,” the statement read.

“The estimated selling price struck six weeks before the auction is not proving an accurate guide and we have therefore decided to remove them from advertisements until the market settles.”

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Real Estate agency Marshall White, has not quoted prices for the past three years.

The agency’s director Sean Cussell believes quoting is a difficult means of promoting a property.

“You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” he told The Australian Financial Review.

“If you over quote the property you are almost guaranteed it will not sell, and if you quote accurately you should get good competition.

“If you underquote the property, you’re going against the law which you do not want to do. However, by underquoting properties you tend to get more competition, which means you get a better price for your vendor.”

Last month, the Consumer Affairs Victoria unearthed 20 suspected cases of underquoting following a raid of real estate agencies in the northern and western suburbs.

Under the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission underquoting guidelines, which will come into effect from January 2010,  agents can be fined $1.1 million and vendors $220,000 if found guilty of the practice.

Agents shy away from property quoting
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