Q: I’m frustrated by real estate agents who don’t advertise properties for a specific price. I’m tired of playing the “offers over” game – I just want to find a suitable home and know whether it’s one I can afford, without having to play guessing games. Karen, Port Macquarie.
- Karen you are not alone on this issue; in fact, widespread frustration has led to NSW Fair Trading stepping in to review real estate marketing techniques and pricing practices.
The good news is that reforms are underway, requiring agents to be specific when giving price guides. This should spell an end to imprecise or unclear statements such as “offers over”. Importantly, agents will also be prevented from including any price in advertising that is less than the estimated selling price stated in the Sales Agency Agreement with the vendor.
While these reforms are primarily designed to assist prospective buyers, my feeling is they will also protect sellers from techniques that disguise the likely selling price and unfairly raise expectations.
Public awareness of these reforms will result in more support for the agents doing the right thing, and a more comfortable and transparent way to buy and sell property. This clarity is a good thing, particularly as it is the biggest financial transaction in most people’s lives.
In the meantime, Karen, try to be direct with your questioning – ask the agent, “What will it cost me to own this property?” and good luck with your home hunt.
Greg Trembath is Principal/Licensee at Greg Trembath Real Estate. Licensed Real Estate Agent – Licensed Auctioneer.