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Agencies asked to "substantiate" quoted selling prices
Released 21 February 2011

Seven real estate agencies in NSW are being investigated for suspected underquoting at auctions.   

NSW Fair Trading has asked the agents to "substantiate" the selling prices quoted to prospective buyers after the agents were singled out in an operation last November. 

A further four separate allegations of underquoting have been lodged by consumers.

A spokeswoman for NSW Fair Trading said the real estate agencies were still being investigated and she would not disclose further details.

"Fair Trading [is] ... seeking justification of the prices quoted," she said. 

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin believes that underquoting is not endemic in the industry.

Mr McKibbin said agents were far more aware of the implication of engaging in this "illegal and unethical" practice.

An agent can be fined up to $22,000 from breaching laws relating to underquoting.

No agent has been prosecuted in the past three years, but Fair Trading has issued penalty notices.