The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) plans to introduce a new code of conduct for agents that will prohibit them from using misleading advertising methods including the phrases ‘price plus’ and ‘in excess of'.
Under the new code agents would be required to advertise a property with a single price, a price range of up to 15per cent or publish no price at all.
While the rules will only apply to REIV members, those who go against the code of conduct could face hefty fines and/or expulsion from the Institute.
A spokesperson from the REIV told Real Estate Business that the vast majority of agents do the right thing when it comes to pricing.
“While there are always one or two exceptions to the rule, we developed this code not to weed out the dodgy agents but to benefit consumers and help them make the right choice when it comes to buying their property,” the spokesperson said.
According to a spot audit conducted by Consumer Affairs Victoria, only 5 per cent of all problems associated with real estate agents involve pricing issues.
The proposed code is expected to be submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for review and authorisation this week, a process that could take upwards of six months.
Affected parties will be given the chance to speak out for or against the proposed changes.