By Rob Oxley

22 January 2018

It has been 8 months since the State Government incorporated the Underquoting Laws into the Estate Agents Act 1980 (Vic).

During that period Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV), the Regulatory Body that governs real estate agents, has investigated numerous claims of possible breaches of underquoting laws and many real estate agents have been found wanting in terms of overall compliance.

Given the legislation’s strict requirements and that most breaches attract a 200 penalty unit payment (which presently equates to over $31,000.00), it is worthwhile noting some key aspects of the Underquoting Laws.

One key requirement for a residential agent prior to being appointed is to provide the prospective vendor client with a reasonable estimate of the selling price of the property either as:

  • a single amount; or
  • a range (where the difference between the upper and lower limits does not exceed 10%).

The estimate provided must be based on the sale price of 3 comparable properties sold within the preceding 6 to 18 months, depending on the location of the property to be sold .

On appointment, a Statement of Information must be made available to any prospective purchaser and displayed at any inspection of property. The Statement of Information must be in the prescribed form and:

  • include an indicative selling price for the residential property (again, to be expressed as a single amount or a price range – with the lower limit of that range not being less than the single amount or lower limit contained in the engagement signed by the vendor);
  • contain a medium selling price for residential property sold in the same suburb during a period of not less than 3 months and not more than 12 months before the Statement is prepared;
  • specify the type of property the medium selling price relates to; and
  • include the addresses, sale price and dates of sales of the 3 comparable properties which the agent took into account to determine the estimate of the selling price.

The Statement of Information must be updated at any time where the price in the Statement is less than:

  • the price proposed in any written offer to purchase the property which an agent knows, or “could reasonably be expected to know”, that was rejected by the vendor ; or
  • an amount the vendor has informed his/her agent that he/she would accept as the selling price.

In either scenario, steps must be taken within one business day to update the Statement of Information and any advertising material relating to the Property which contains the old indicative selling price. Again, failing to do so could result in a substantial penalty.

Whilst the Laws refer to the concept of a “written offer” – the question must be asked, what exactly constitutes a written offer?

Agents will know that written offers (and expressions of interest) come in various forms, even via text message. Offers can also be conditional on finance or other events occurring. It is important to obtain advice from a lawyer to work out what an agent must do to comply with the Underquoting Laws concerning offers.

If we have learnt anything over the last 8 months it is that the Underquoting Laws are here to stay and could become even more rigorous into the future.


If you have any questions in relation to the Underquoting Laws please contact a member of our Property Team or Litigation Team.

Related Articles

View All
Property & Development

Option Deeds: What are they and Potential Risks

Contracts of Sale are utilised by the parties to record their agreement to sell and/or buy a property Depending on the...
Read More
Property & Development / Real Estate Agents

Nominating a new purchaser – 3 big things to think about

Some of the questions which you will need to answer when, or even before, you nominate a new purchaser are: How is GST...
Read More
Property & Development / Mortgages, Loans & Finance / Real Estate Agents

What is the Homebuyer Fund?

The Fund allow individuals the opportunity to own their own home that previously has always been out of reach The Fund...
Read More
Litigation & Dispute Resolution / Property & Development

Interstate Landlords in Victoria – new arrangements in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

One of the hassles for residential landlords who own property in Victoria but live interstate has been the lack of...
Read More
Property & Development / Real Estate Agents

Recording: TLFC Law Lunchtime Briefing: 2021 Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme

If you were unable to attend this session, you are welcome to watch the recording at your convenience...
Read More
Property & Development / Commercial Contracts & Agreements / Small to Medium Enterprises

COVID-19 Clauses in Contracts of Sale

The uncertainty and instability of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, as Melbourne endures lockdown 60 and other parts of...
Read More
Property & Development

It’s Groundhog Day: COVID-19 and the new CTRS legislation

It’s a bit like Groundhog Day down here in Victoria: another day, another lockdown Another year, another Commercial...
Read More
Leasing & Lease Disputes / Property & Development / Real Estate Agents

COVID-19 and the new Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme

A global pandemic, an economy forced into hibernation, and repeated, extended, and somewhat unpredictable lockdowns…...
Read More
Property & Development

TLFC Law Property Team: Finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards 2021

Tisher Liner FC Law is proud to announce that once again our Property Law Team has been shortlisted as a finalist in...
Read More
Property & Development / Real Estate Agents

TLFC Law Lunchtime Briefing: Post Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (CTRS) – what’s next?

If you were unable to attend this session, you are welcome to watch the recording at your convenience Passcode:...
Read More
Property & Development

Further announcements concerning the Victorian budget for 2021-2022. What are they?

The State Government has now released further announcements concerning the Victorian budget for 2021-2022 in...
Read More
Property & Development

2021/2022 Victorian budget, overview on how the changes to taxes will affect the property market

Land Tax Increases to land tax will be raised for properties worth more than $18 million from 1 January 2022 Land tax...
Read More