Honest Real Estate Agent Banned
There are many honest real estate agents in the industry. So why was this particular real estate agent banned?
Greg Cooper, director of Cooper Newman Real Estate, attempted to buy a full page ad in his local Leader newspaper.
The underquoting fine handed down to Hocking Stuart Richmond was widely reported by the media. Therefore Mr Cooper considered it appropriate to increase the awareness of the concept of underquoting to customers in his local area.
Here is the banned underquoting ad which Mr Cooper attempted to lodge with Leader newspapers:
What’s wrong with underquoting?
Well, that’s the easy question. As stated in the Federal Court recently when handing down a fine of $330,000 to a high profile Melbourne agency, “it creates the illusion of a bargain”. Buyers are “lured in”. It was found to be misleading or deceptive conduct.
The outcome is that buyers waste time and money looking at houses they never really have a chance of buying. This is, of course, frequently frustrating and in many instances, heartbreaking.
Why do they do it?
Because by “creating the illusion of a bargain”, it attracts more buyer interest. This, it is argued to the sellers by the agents, will generate more interest and increase competition. Whilst this is flawed thinking, many sellers fall for this line, and cooperate with this illegal activity.
Which agents are doing it?
This is the more difficult question. If we named names, prior to a successful prosecution, we would likely be sued. So, a simple alternative: check out the auction results yourself for the next week or two, and check the result on either realestate.com.au or similar sources on Monday. It is possible for a competent agent to be out by 5-10%. If the difference is 20-30%, questions of competency or honesty can genuinely be raised. Either report this to Consumer Affairs or take up the matter directly with the agent concerned. Only such direct action will stop this ugly and cynical practice.
Cooper Newman etc.
Why was the agent banned from advertising?
The New Daily asked the newspaper group why the ad was refused and whether it had anything to do with the revenue the company made from real estate advertising.
The spokesperson denied it was because of News Corp’s reliance on real estate revenue, and denied Mr Cooper’s real estate agency was indefinitely banned from advertising, but failed to provide a reason for the rejection.
Pathetic that News Corp is so reliant on real estate agents that it won’t run a paid ad criticising under-quoting: https://t.co/hAgeUfamAk
— Stephen Mayne (@MayneReport) October 20, 2016
In an interview with ABC 774 radio Mr Cooper said Leader newspapers were unable to accept further real estate advertisements from Cooper Newman Real Estate.
“Underquoting is a dishonest practice”, contented Mr Cooper, “and the vast majority of agents do it because they have been taught that way”.
New Victorian underquoting laws “easy to get around”
The new Victorian underquoting legislation will be “easy to get around and cover up” by rogue real estate agents asserted Mr Cooper.
Cooper Newman Real Estate does not have an alternative local newspaper to advertise in, so will continue to rely on the Internet to advertise properties for sale.
How does your local real estate agency rank for price quoting accuracy?