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Property advertising

Some private treaty sales are marketed to buyers with an ‘offers over’ price tag.

If you use an 'offers over' price tag, it should carry the minimum amount the vendor is willing to accept to sell the property.

If you represent a property as being for sale at a specified price, while knowing the vendor will not sell the property for that price, it is a false or misleading representation about the price payable for the property.

The vendor’s minimum selling price is the list price they have noted on the Property Occupations Act 2014 appointment form (form 6).

Making false or misleading representations about the sale of land and property is an offence under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The maximum penalties are:

  • for a corporation breach of the ACL, whichever is greater of
    • $10 million
    • 3 times the value of the benefit received
    • 10% of annual turnover in the preceding 12 months (where the benefit cannot be calculated)
  • for an individual a breach of the ACL, up to $500,000 per breach.

Making a false or misleading representation about the price payable for property is prohibited because it gives buyers a false impression about what price a seller will accept for a property.

As a licensed property agent, you must not engage in misleading or deceptive conduct with prospective buyers or sellers.

Similarly, if a seller outlines how they want to advertise a property on an agent’s appointment form, it would also be considered a false or misleading representation if the agent knows the details they provide are not correct. It is the agent's responsibility to make the seller aware of the law.

Example of false or misleading representations

Examples of correct and false or misleading price representation. Correct: the Form 6 extract specifies a list price of $450,000 and the sample advertisments invites offers over $450,000. Misleading: the form 6 extract specifies a list price of $500,000 and the sample advertisments invites offers over $475,000.