Estate agents face crackdown on 'misleading' price adverts

The Victorian state government has announced plans to clamp down on real estate agents who "dupe" house hunters with misleading price valuations.

According to the Herald Sun, real estate agents in the state will be banned from using "price-plus" advertisements that lead to under-quoting.

It means that terms like "$500,000-plus" will be prohibited as agents will instead be required to publish an expected selling range, such as $500,000-$550,000.

The newspaper said that the move follows criticism of authorities for only prosecuting a handful of agents despite hundreds of under-quoting claims in recent years – a problem which has affected other states as well.

Australian house buyers can save money and secure the best deals by choosing to compare home loans in search of the most affordable options. Commenting on the under-quoting issue, Victoria's consumer affairs minister Tony Robinson said the new laws, to be introduced if the state government is re-elected, would provide more certainty over prices and property values.

"By strengthening our existing real estate pricing laws that outlaw misleading advertising, we will create more confidence in the industry," he said.

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