Auction blitz: inspectors check if the price is right

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State government inspectors are interviewing bidders who attended several auctions in Sydney on the weekend to see if any were the victim of under-quoting.

Teams of uniformed officers from NSW Fair Trading arrived unannounced at 20 auctions across the inner west on Saturday to check that agents were abiding by auction rules that prevent under-quoting, dummy bidding and over-pricing to vendors.

The Minister for Fair Trading, Anthony Roberts, said the weekend blitz had been in response to a rise in complaints to his department about the illegal practices of some agents in relation to selling at auction.

“Fair Trading are out and about this auction season as we’re seeing an increase in complaints in response to under-quoting,” he told Channel Seven.
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Most real estate agents were doing the right thing but his department would continue to “weed out the maverick players who persist on dodging around the laws”, he said.

It is believed one agent from the weekend is being investigated for possible breaches of the Property Stock and Business Agents Act, which states that “agents must not falsely understate the estimated selling price of the property when marketing” it. If they do they can be fined up to $22,000.

Investigators were now interviewing bidders at the auctions to see if the prices quoted to them by agents were “within an acceptable range”, a media release from NSW Fair Trading said.

The weekend raids came after Fair Trading inspectors swooped on the offices of 18 other agents in the inner west, south-west and northern suburbs last month and found that more than one-third of them had failed to keep proper records of the estimated selling prices of properties. Two of those eight were being further investigated for allegedly making false or misleading statements about the estimated value of a property.

One agent who had inspectors turn up to her auction on Saturday, said there was no warning of their arrival and she was told each auction was chosen at random.

The officers asked to see the list of registered bidders and checked what the price guide was before bidding started, the agent said.

“Some agents give such inaccurate price guides. Because of some of them the public are so critical of agents. I’ve never had a problem though, my quotes are always accurate.”

But the agent admitted that accurate quoting was often difficult to do in a rising market, where a price guide could change before the auction.

Simply call 02 49 657299 for your free market appraisal or house valuation or rental appraisal today

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Global Property have seen a huge rush in buyer enquiry since the middle of October !!

Sale Prices have been quite bullish and we have a positive outlook for the market going forward.

There is high demand for family homes in Newcastle & lake Macquarie.

Now may be the best time to sell your home?

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