underquoting agents

Annoying problem facing homebuyers

PHOTO: Frustrated homebuyers are walking away, market watchers say. Source: Supplied

Potential homebuyers are turning up to auctions with “no chance in hell”, as underquoting agents use a loophole to avoid disclosing prior offers, market watchers way.

Would-be buyers have been left so frustrated chasing properties that end up selling far beyond their reach that they’ve shelved their home ownership aspirations altogether, agents have told NCA NewsWire.

Propertybuyer CEO Rich Harvey said potential Sydney buyers were walking away after being angry and annoyed at being priced out.

“I’m seeing a bit of pushback from the buyers that are going, ‘You know what? I just don’t want to participate in this market, I’ve had enough’,” he said.

Underquoting is the illegal practice of falsely advertising property or indicating it will sell for less than its estimated selling price.

In recent months, Victorian and NSW authorities have fielded dozens of complaints about underquoting as cashed-up buyers try to take advantage of record low rates and government incentives in a heated market in which demand outstrips supply.

Mr Harvey said some agents were naive about underquoting, while others were being caught out by the strength of the market.

“Underquoting definitely raises its head as an issue in this market because it appears as if properties are perhaps being underquoted, whereas it actually might be the market is actually just proving itself very strong and rising rapidly,” he said.

“I’ve seen some stuff go for $500,000, $600,000 over the price guide – and that’s like 20 or even 25 per cent.

“As buyers’ agents, we know which agents price their properties very close to what they’ve sold for, and we know there’s those that are notorious underquoters and we use that to our advantage.

“I’m not going to name names, but there’s still some that will definitely underquote quite deliberately.”

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