After receiving glowing support from my clients and colleagues, it was now time to take decisive action by requesting to the NSW Minister- The Hon. Virginia JUDGE, BEd MP that urgent amendments to real estate laws in NSW be introduced in parliament.
What follows is my letter to the Minister, written after my reading of the following article which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Watchdog raids real estate agents
July 29, 2009
Consumer Affairs Victoria has conducted a blitz of more than 60 Melbourne real estate agents’ office looking for evidence of misleading price advertising.
During the unannounced visits, which occurred yesterday, the watchdog looked through files on about 1000 recent property transactions in search of suspicious activity.
“Our inspectors collected information relating to the estimated selling price established by the agent, the vendors’ price, the advertised price, the final sale price and other information for analysis,” said Consumer Affairs director Claire Noone.
CAV visited offices in Brunswick, Clifton Hill, Coburg, Craigieburn, Essendon, Pascoe Vale, Point Cook and Werribee to give it a broad picture of the Victorian real estate market.
“Any agent engaging in dubious practices will be thoroughly investigated,” Ms Noone said.
The blitz happened on the same day Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens warned of the possibility of a housing price bubble, spurred in part by low interest rates and the expansion of the first-home owners’ grant.
CAV staged a similar blitz of the inner south-east suburbs in April, seizing more than 160 completed sales files.
And monitoring by CAV during the 2008-09 financial year resulted in five civil proceedings and two criminal prosecutions for underquoting by an agent.
One real estate agent was forced to pay a $20,000 fine against because of his conviction.
I make this urgent request, that you consider having legislation passed through parliament, for all seller’s of properties, to have a building/pest inspection and an independent valuation done, before their home is listed for sale.
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