"Crackdown" Still Leaves A Loophole

Posted on May 1, 2007 by | 0 Comments

Tim O'Dwyer M.B., LL.Bby Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au

Queensland’s Beattie Government has once again claimed to have toughened up its real estate laws. This time it is to “combat” the practice of estate agents’ misrepresenting residential property selling prices to gain listings.

Fair Trading Minister Margaret Keech said the “crackdown” was one of a number of consumer protections resulting from a review of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000, and targeted “those rogue real estate agents and auctioneers who indulge in the practice of over-quoting residential property prices”.

“Their objective,” she said, “is to secure listings by over-quoting the potential market value of a property to sellers to secure a listing”.

Mrs Keech said misleading sellers and buyers by over-quoting the market price of property “promoted” not only unfair competition against ethical agents but also unrealistic expectations by sellers about the selling price of their properties.

The government’s amending legislation would, according to the Minister, address this conduct by “requiring real estate agents and auctioneers to substantiate any price or reserve price quotation by giving their vendor a document called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).”

…but was the Minister aware that this radical new law was just as loop-holed as much of the Beattie government’s previous efforts to protect real estate consumers?


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