There are many loopholes closing in the realm of real estate and conveyancing to make your transactions safer and more transparent.
As I’ve covered through these articles, the Verification Of Identity procedures are bringing peace of mind to more property owners and managers while fighting against fraud.
But a recent Property Observer article about ‘under quoting’ in real estate caught my eye this week and I’d like to explain it and show how we fight against its equivalent problem in the conveyancing world.
The full quid on under valuing
The article in question, Should all states follow the Real Estate Institute of South Australia’s Underquoting Advisory Panel?, raises interesting points about how our state and industry is working to give greater protection to consumers while cleaning up shady practices.
In short, under-quoting in real estate is where agents ‘under quote’ the likely sale price when advertising the property for sale, to lull property buyers who might have no ability to afford the property but whose presence, especially at auction, could help push the price higher through extra bidding activity.
It is difficult to police and to make complaints stick, which is why the local industry is introducing moves to clamp down on the problem.
Do conveyancers under quote?
Unfortunately, we do hear of conveyancers in South Australia under-quoting their fees or just quoting a ‘conveyancing fee’ up front.
We hear stories of how some conveyancers have quoted a conveyancing fee to their client but then charged them a:
- mortgagee liaison fee
- admin fee
- change of ownership fee
- Verification of Identity fee
- file storage fee
As you can imagine, these shady practices hook clients in with a low price up front and then skewer them with a total invoice a lot more expensive than they had ever budgeted for!
The Eckermann Steinert Conveyancers way
At Eckermann Steinert Conveyancers, we always quote our full fees.
These fees INCLUDE a conveyancing fee, a disbursement or admin fee and a VOI fee (if applicable).
There are no surprise fees from our side of the deal once statements are prepared close to the settlement date, we always charge as quoted (unless there has been a substantial change to the transaction that has required work outside of what was initially quoted).
We believe our transparency is what has helped us build a loyal base of clients and we urge all practitioners in conveyancing and the real estate industry as a whole to stand with us against deceptive practices and to see the ultimate value of being honest up front; trust, loyalty and repeat business.