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VIC How to Get Real Estate Agents Advertising Fees Back?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by cpry10, 6 June 2016.

  1. cpry10

    cpry10 Member

    5 June 2016
    Likes Received:
    We placed out property up for auction with an agent that quoted and estimated selling price of $1,300,000 on the auction authority form. During the 5 week campaign, the real estate agents led us to believe that all was on track and interest was above average. On the day of the Auction, they emailed us to say that in fact we should now consider selling at the price of $750,000. Almost half the initial quoted price. We did not sell.

    According to Australian consumer law over quoting an estimated price on a contract is illegal. This is governed by consumer affairs Victoria which basically run the show like North Korea. We were told they will not tell us anything about what the outcome of their investigation is. Great help for the consumer!

    We paid the agent $16500 to advertise our property at the price they quoted in the contract. The advertising failed miserably because the estimate was wrong, and they were negligent in providing us with false and misleading information. We paid for a service under false pretences and we want our adverting fee back.

    Anyone had any experience with how to do this. I have been told vcat, but how successful will I be?

    This is illegal, and we want them held responsible, like another company that falsely represents a product or service. What can we do?
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Guest

    Hi cpry10, obviously its impossible to say with any certainty whether or not you will be successful in bringing an action against the real estate agents for the recover of your advertising fees. However, yes VCAT would be a good option as it is a forum designed for parties to appear without legal representation - significantly reducing the cost.

    Based on what you have described, you have suffered loss (in the form of advertising fees) as a result of false or misleading representations by your real estate agents. The questions for the court will be whether or not the real estate agents did over quote the estimated price on the contract and whether you have suffered loss as a result of that quote. As you are aware real estate agents must not misrepresent the sale price of a property and the advertised price must be fair and reasonable and reflect the current market value. The estimated selling price should be a price that a 'willing but not anxious' buyer is prepared to pay, and must be realistic, up to date and a price at which the estate agent genuinely believes the property may sell. In addition if anything happens during a marketing campaign which may affect the sale price, the advertised price must be updated.

    I would get personalised legal advice about your situation - so that someone can look over all of the information and circumstances surrounding the misrepresentation including reviewing all of your contracts with the estate agent. You would likely need to obtain expert valuation evidence of what a reasonable sale price should have been at that particular time based on information at hand.

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