I have recently approached the NSW Government Minister for the Office of Fair Trading to raise concerns over the lack of full transparency with when it comes to agent/buyer, and agent/agent discussions over the disclosure of sales results. In “Will Underquoting Ever Actually Stop?” Sasha De Bilde states:
Whilst it is all good and well that the Office of Fair Trading has brought in major changes to what agents can say when it comes to the marketing of a property, in reality, nothing has actually changed. Not the fault of the OFT, obviously something had to be done, but the changes have made no real impact into the actual problem… ‘Under-quoting’.
Whilst an agent can no longer say “offers over” or put a ‘+’ symbol after a price, the truth is, the agents that were most guilty of doing it before are still doing it now – in a slightly different way.
I totally agree with Sasha. The total market is entitled to have a better understanding of the actual dollar values properties are being sold for at the time of sale, rather than waiting 3 months to get the information via the Lands Title Office when the information is out of mind and out of date.
Some agents could be using blanket non-disclosure of nearly all of their property sales as a potential cover up of underquoting. While on the subject – when it comes to reporting of sales many agents are advising the public and buyers when asked the question “what did that property sell for?” with a response along the lines of “that information is confidential” or “the vendor has requested non disclosure of the sale price”. That has to be absolute rubbish as only about 2-3% of vendors have ever requested non-disclosure of the sale price with my sales. I took the liberty and personally checked the validity of other agent’s claims of non-disclosure with vendors of other agent’s sales. The vendor’s response was they had no knowledge of that arrangement or ever gave those instructions to their agent.
I have been in sales for 37 years and with some authority can say good sales people are more than willing to tell of their sales success results.
The last word on the subject:
This week I received a direct marketing piece in my letterbox from a large franchise agent who was proudly advertising the fact she sold a property over reserve by $360K. Well sorry, but one has to ask the question: Isn’t that a case of underquoting?
Or does the agent not have a clue on what they are doing? With a sale price of just over the $2.M mark and other recent sales in the area to support that sale price, well it does appear to be over the 10% range the office of Fair trading allows agents to quote in. Can agents get it that wrong? I will let you be the judge.
Andrew Bruce & Samia Malouf
Riverview Realty is a boutique agency focused on achieving the maximum price, with a client engagement that is above the industry standard. We call it the “Ultimate Experience” which forms part of our unique selling proposition.
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