25 January 2017, 11.56am
Village Real Estate is a leading real estate agency based in the inner west of Melbourne with offices in Seddon and Newport. Recently, Village Real Estate were investigated by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) for underquoting the advertised price of a property and were found to have breached Consumer Law. The Director of CAV will soon release details on their findings and of the Enforceable Undertaking offered by Village Real Estate to the Director of CAV in remediation of the matter.
Marty Rankin, as a Director of Village Real Estate has spoken candidly about the Company’s incident of underquoting. Village Real Estate have resolved to implement significant changes in line with the new forthcoming regulations in addition to instilling company best practice policies to amend the whole property pricing process – not only to improve transparency to their sellers and buyers, but the industry and the public as a whole.
“As we have stated in previous media releases and across our social and professional networking platforms on 19th January 2017 (refer to: http://www.villagere.com.au/village-blog) and (www.facebook.com/villagere), we hold ourselves accountable for our actions.” said Mr Rankin. “We are not proud of the incident and our priority since has been to develop processes which embrace the new statutory requirements but also go above and beyond. Our revised pricing model will reflect our commitment to ensuring that our actions are completely ethical and transparent” (refer to: www.villagere.com.au/quoting-policy).
“Village Real Estate will estimate and quote price ranges based on comparable property sales. The comparable sales used will have regard to the standard and condition of the subject property and its location in addition to other important factors.” advised Marty Rankin.
“Quote ranges will be displayed and quoted as a single figure or a price range. The price range will never exceed a maximum range of 10% and in fact, where the range in the sale price of the comparable sales used is less than 10% difference between the upper and lower sale price, we will use these figures as our quote range. An example of this would be where the lower comparable sale is $600,000 and the higher comparable sale is $628,000, then our quote range will be $600,000 to $628,000 and not the maximum 10% quote range of $600,000 to $660,000. Additionally, we will no longer be using terms such as ‘plus’ or ‘in excess of’ in quoting a price range either.”
“Village Real Estate will also prepare and make available, a statement of information for every property listed for sale which will include the comparable sales and relevant information including photos, land maps and floorplans (where available) used in determining the estimated selling range of the listed property, an indicative selling price and the median sale price of the suburb which will be available for viewing on the property advertisements online and at our open for inspections and auctions.”
“Ultimately, if representatives of the Industry cease trying to compete with other agents to irresponsibly promote properties with misleading price ranges, then all buyers and sellers will enjoy a more open and honest transaction. Our property quote ranges are built on real market data, expert knowledge and a guarantee that our advertised and quoted pricing estimates will be in direct correlation with the seller’s expectations.” said Mr Rankin.
“As agents, we are all responsible to provide a fair and honest real estate service. Our industry suffers from a lot of negative public sentiment and we haven’t helped this perception with our recent actions. But our business is driven to learn, improve and in turn challenge our competitors to do the same.” Mr Rankin said.
“We are excited about the future of Real Estate and I’m keen to start the discussion about the changes we are making.”
To learn more about the Village Real Estate pricing model or to discuss the upcoming Consumer Affairs Victoria findings, please contact Marty Rankin at [email protected] or call 0421 605 271.