Enjoy 10% OFF your first listing. Receive your personal promo code: Signup Now. Remaining.

Limited time offer. Enjoy 10% OFF your first listing. Receive your personal promo code here: Signup Now

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

The PropertyNow Blog

Underquoting: 5 tips to avoid becoming a victim

Despite tougher laws and greater restrictions, underquoting is still very much alive in Australia.

Underquoting happens when a property is advertised at a lower price than what the vendor is willing to consider. It’s a sales tactic used by real estate agents to draw in buyers – and, yes, it’s illegal. You only have to read the headlines to learn that underquoting still has its nasty grips within some real estate agencies – especially in Victoria, with several currently facing charges for breaching laws.

One of the problems is, underquoting can be difficult to prove. Real estate agents often use the excuse that a property received higher demand than they expected, or the vendor changed their mind and upped their reserve at the last minute.

How can you protect yourself as a buyer? Well, you’re not completely powerless. Here’s what we recommend:

Do your own research.

Stay informed about market prices and you won’t need to rely so heavily on what the real estate agent tells you. Pay attention to other sales in the area you want to buy in and make a note of what properties sell for. Soon, you’ll start to recognise when an advertised price range is on the low side. And follow market reports and industry news through respected resources like Your Investment Property, realestate.com.au and Domain.  PropertyNow also provides free property reports which include an estimate value, property history, and information on comparable properties sold and for sale – request yours from our homepage!

Become familiar with a real estate agent’s obligations.

Under federal, state and territory laws, real estate agents are bound by certain ethics and obligations. Educate yourself about your right as a buyer and you’ll quickly spot illegal selling tactics by agents.

Report misconduct.

If you strongly believe an agent is underquoting, keep a record of the price range you’ve been quoted and lodge a complaint to your relevant state Fair Trading or Consumer Affairs department. Each state applies different laws and systems and whether action will be taken depends on how serious the breach is.

Consider hiring a buyer’s advocate.

If you’re feeling especially unconfident about the sales process, you may choose to hire a buyer’s advocate who understands the market and how to negotiate the sales process.  Buyer’s advocates usually offer different levels of service, from sourcing properties and negotiating purchase to just bidding at auction.

Don’t be a victim. Become a part of the solution.

You need to recognise that real estate agents represent the vendor – not you. Their obligation is to get the highest price for their vendor and, just like any sales driven industry, they will apply sales tactics to achieve this. This doesn’t excuse them from using illegal practices. Laws are in place to protect buyers. Understand these laws, and you’ll know when things are being taken too far.

The good news is government departments are cracking down on underquoting, implementing tougher laws and penalties and conducting random inspections of real estate agencies.

Agent Handing Over the Keys in Front of Business Offi

How to sell commercial property without a realtor: A comprehensive guide

Anyone who says it isn’t easy to learn how to sell a commercial property without a realtor is selling something...

Realtor with sale signboard

Selling a house online? Our easy step-by-step guide shows you how.

Learn everything you need to know about selling your house online in just 5 simple steps Selling a house can...

A 5-step approach to selling a house without an agent to get the best return

Why spend tens of thousands on agent commissions? Selling a house without an agent is steadily gaining momentum among sellers...

a woman pointing to a floorplan on her laptop's screen

6 Impacting Factors That Bring Property Value Down

Property prices around the world rise and fall in cycles, impacted by influences such as the economy, interest rates, and...

Showcase your home through a 3D virtual house tour

When it’s difficult for buyers and tenants to view your property in person, why not let them view it from...

a man and a woman happily getting the keys from an agent

Cooling-off periods for property: 4 things you should know

Property tends to be one of our greatest investments. As a result, buying property is a huge decision – especially...

a hand holding a pink ceramic pig

3 Things You Should Fix Before Selling Your Home

When it’s time to sell, you want to maximise your property’s sale potential. But do you know the one thing...

a man and a woman getting the keys to their new home

Property Settlement: What Happens and What Should You Do?

When selling your home, settlement day is the end of a chapter and the start of a new chapter. You’re...

a cube-shaped modern house in red, black, and white colours

The hidden fees for selling a house

When selling property, many people use their final sales price as their determining success factor, forgetting to detract all the...