Underquoting laws to affect NSW property transactions
Some significant changes to the way in which real estate in Sydney is bought and sold are being introduced at the start of the new year, as the industry aims to clamp down on unscrupulous operators.
Underquoting legislation will apply to all property transactions carried out before or after 1 January 2016, and both agents and consumers alike will need to be aware.
How the changes will affect sellers
If you’re looking to sell property, then your chosen real estate agent won’t be able to underestimate the value of your home. Instead, they must now write down their projected selling price in an agency agreement – this is a contract between you and the agent.
A single price or price range can be noted. However, if they decide to go for a price range, then the difference between the highest and lowest price can be no greater than ten per cent. If the estimate is changed at any point, the agent must let you know and amend the agency agreement accordingly.
The new laws also mean you can instruct your agent not to tell prospective buyers the estimated price. This has been introduced with the intention of levelling out the playing field for everyone putting up their homes for sale.
How the changes will affect buyers
It’s not only sellers who’ll be influenced by the new laws, as buyers will also be affected. As president of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales John Cunningham explains, the way in which properties are marketed will be impacted.
“Agents will need to be clearer in their price guides,” acknowledged Mr Cunningham.
“You will no longer see ‘offers over’ or similar words used in advertising or quoted to buyers.”
Buyers can ask the agent for clarification of their estimated selling price – if they’re able to supply it – as well as an indication of what the seller’s expectations might be. In cases where the seller has instructed their agent not to divulge this information, you may need to carry out your own research into your chosen property.
Choosing a reputable real estate agent
Buying and selling real estate in Sydney doesn’t have to be difficult, and you could find the process is much easier than you think with an experienced agent on your side. Thankfully, these laws have been brought in to target the minority of agents who don’t follow the rules – and there are plenty who do.
Here at Ray White, we have a solid reputation throughout the real estate industry and an impeccable record for securing properly valued sales across the country. Contact us to find out more.