Agents in NSW have been warned that time is running out for them to familiarise themselves with new underquoting rules.
The state government said agents need to educate themselves of their responsibilities under new laws, which were legislated in October and take effect in less than eight weeks.
“From 1 January 2016, agents will be required to provide their reasonable evidence-based estimated selling price to the vendor, update their estimate if it is no longer reasonable and to not advertise or make representations to buyers that are less than this estimate,” the government said.
“If found to have breached the new underquoting laws, agents will face stronger penalties, including fines of up to $22,000, and risk losing their commission.
“These changes ensure certainty and protection for buyers, for vendors and for agents, with clearer and more transparent definitions of what underquoting is, meaning that agents are not unfairly targeted.”
Minister for Better Regulation Victor Dominello said the agents he has been meeting with have prepared themselves for the new rules.
“These new laws target those agents who are doing the wrong thing and further protect those good, local, honest agents who don’t engage in underquoting,” he said.
The NSW government said its new underquoting regime delivers on a promise it made ahead of the March election to crack down on underquoting if it was returned to power.
“Astonishingly, there have been no successful prosecutions related to underquoting made under this act in 13 years, so this reform is long overdue,” the government said.