Tony Robinson’s nicely timed election proposal to ban ‘price-plus’ advertising cajoles purchasers into believing real steps are being made in their favour. However, no matter what Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) proposes, they cannot manipulate a selling agent to assist a prospective purchaser.
Selling agents are contractually obliged to work in the best interests of the vendor. The vendor is paying the selling agent to get a premium price for their property and whilst they won’t go out of their way to openly mislead a buyer, any advice relating to the likely sale price will be bias towards the vendor and conservative at best. In an auction campaign, quotes are nearly always below ‘expectation’ – this is no different to any other commercially advertised auction campaign. The alternative would be starting with the highest price and working down until a purchaser agrees! Furthermore, what Tony Robinson doesn’t explain, is that while $700,000-plus is no longer okay, $700,000-$900,000 is!