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Be wary of SOLD prices on realestate.com

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by Jacque, 23rd Feb, 2007.

  1. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    For those of you who follow real estate prices and rely on the SOLD prices as quoted on sites such as domain.com and realestate.com, a word of warning: DON'T!! THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY ACCURATE.

    I come across the occasional anomaly when searching for clients, and yesterday I found one particular large and well known local real estate agent (who shall remain nameless at this stage) who had every property I looked up (addresses provided on realestate.com) as different from the actual sales price on RPData. I actually stopped checking after the 10th property, as there wasn't one that matched!

    RPData get their information directly from the Valuer Generals office and generally don't put it onto their database until settlement, so their records are accurate (apart from the occasional typo!). It was disturbing, then, to find that this particular agency had "jacked up" the SOLD prices to make themselves appear better. Very worrying, indeed. One property which was proudly advertised as SOLD on realestate.com was for a whopping $170,000 MORE than what it actually sold for.

    Not only are practices like this misleading and deceptive to the general buying public, but also to those purchasers who are considering using agencies such as these to sell. How much easier is it going to be to convince them at a listing presentation, that they're the best agent as, according to the SOLD prices on a major website portal, they're getting better "results" than other agencies?!!!
     
  2. splade

    splade Member

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    so for every suburb you intend to buy in you purchase a rpdata report? the free one seems to be a few years old.
     
  3. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Far better and wiser, in my opinion, to splash out the dollars required (and public reports by companies such as HPG, RP and Residex are quite reasonably priced) and rely on more recent figures. It always amazes me that people are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on properties but are too mean to go and fork out a few hundred bucks (and even less, depending on what reports you buy and the amount of postcodes) to buy comparable sales and other relevant historical data.
     
  4. splade

    splade Member

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    Thanks Jacque,
    Im pretty fresh at investing, so just trying to get a feel for the lengths that other investors go to, and how they get their infomation. Does anyone ever ask to look at a vendors council rate notice to get the valuation? or can you look that up on a web site also?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 23rd Feb, 2007
  5. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Hi Splade

    Council valuation notices aren't going to help you much, unfortunately, as the valuation is only for the land or more commonly known as the UCV (unimproved capital value). Also, since 1996 the UCV's have been unavailable publicly even on databases like RPData, so they are of little use.

    If you want to get an independent valuation done on a property you're interested in purchasing and are not sure of it's true worth, the safest bet is to pay for one by hiring a valuer.
     
  6. splade

    splade Member

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    so i just purchased my first rpdata suburb report and im a bit dissapointed. i was expecting more detail in the report about what type of houses they were, i.e 3 bed 2 bath double carport etc. all i got was a purchase price, land size and that it was a house/land/commercial... is this the best research information available or is there somewhere better i can source this kind of thing?

    Thanks
     
  7. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Hi Splade

    If you can't identify enough details in the report then you need to begin to keep tabs on properties for sale that subsequently sell in the area you're looking. Time consuming but necessary to gain a real feel for what properties are worth. Start collecting or shortlisting properties (hard copy and net listings) and track their progress. I would imagine that SA print the SOLD results in the weekend papers like they do in most other states?
    If so, begin to keep them and highlight the relevant sales.

    The only other way to obtain more data (and features can be limited such as no. of beds, baths etc depending on when the property last sold) that is more detailed is to subscribe to RPData. Depending on how much you're prepared to spend on your property "education" this may or may not be an option for you. Subscription isn't cheap (plus you have to pay for training) but there are some investors and home buyers who actually take out this option.
     
  8. splade

    splade Member

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    So the prices printed in the papers can be trusted or are they the same as what gets published on realestate.com? Also the properties im interested in at the moment are in vic. does vic have laws regarding disclosure of sales data? I read some stuff on rpdata that gave me that idea. is it worth more to get the property report for the last 10 years so i can see what the owner paid for it?

    Thanks for you responses
     
  9. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Be careful of house price statistics posted in the newspaper ... the recent feature in Sydney had quite a few errors in it - apparently the data supplied by APM was seriously flawed for some areas.

    I'm currently waiting on permission to reproduce an article by one of the local real estate agents (who I know has accurate data - since they sold most of the properties here !!) which explains what APM got wrong in the data.

    Note that I'm referring to statistical data here, not actual sales prices (although the statistics come from the sales prices - but it's the way it is calculated and the fact that some of the data is incorrect that causes the problems).
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    It is generally not in the agents interest to publish the correct sale price on REA.com.au... The original listed price is there for all to see, so a sale price $50,000 less than list can show the agent in a bad light........... don't you think ?

    Cheers
     
  11. splade

    splade Member

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    I think that if they post a price under the guise that it was the sold price then it should be the correct sold price. otherwise dont post it at all. it is misleading and deceitful and REA's shouldnt be allowed to do it. I would go as far as to say they are conning the innocent people buying property. isnt it illegal to con and scam people out of money?? which is what they are doing if they publish prices that are higher than they really are and someone that believes the price was correct thinks they have to pay that much and so does. it should be banned or have big disclaimers that it isnt accurate!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 28th Feb, 2007
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    By the time you can prove the agent was not publishing the correct data (3-4 months when the lands department gets updated and RPdata is updated) then everyone has forgotten about that property anyways...

    The lag in time helps the agents no end.

    Cheers
     
  13. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Exactly and this is my beef. Though there are disclaimers on the realestate.com site, I'm sure they're not happy at all about agents using their portal to spread false information.

    Wayne: Of course the REA doesn't "appear" as good if they get a price under the listed one. However, in protecting their reputations they have so much to lose by going the other way and deceiving the general public.
     
  14. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    The lag time may well serve to "help" them but to buyers and possible sellers, agents that mislead the public are still engaging in deception.
     
  15. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    As a follow up to this story, despite my official complaint to realestate.com and their subsequent promise to follow up with the offending RE agency they are still MISQUOTING higher prices on this site.

    I also notice Jenman is on some current affair programme this week about a similar issue- if anyone is watching or has seen it, I wouldn't mind a rundown myself.
     
  16. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    Hi Jacque,

    Complaining to REA.com.au is absolutely pointless. They are firmly in the back pockets of agents. You need to complain to the office of Fair Trading, the Real Estate institute in your State, your local member, and just about anyone who will listen.

    If anyone is in QLD... Use these details..

    Brian Bauer
    Commissioner for Fair Trading Queensland
    GPO Box 3111
    Brisbane QLD 4001
    Fax: 07 3246 1589

    The Hon. Margaret Keech MP
    Minister for Fair Trading Queensland
    GPO Box 1141
    Brisbane QLD 4001
    Fax: 07 3229 0434

    The Hon. Phillip Ruddock MP
    Attorney General
    Central Office - Robert Garran Offices
    National Circuit
    Barton ACT 2600
    Fax: 02 6250 5900

    All of them HAVE to reply to you.

    You may also like to have a look at this, that I was told about only today.


    Putfile - Zeroagents Anthony interview with David and Kym 9AMshow

    There is mention of under and overquoting on that.

    Thanks

    Wayne
     
  17. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Thanks Wayne

    I must admit that it certainly appears to be the case, given the lack of feedback from the quality control workers on this site.

    When I have the spare time I will take it further to the Dept of Fair Trading- mind you, they have a lot of hoops to jump through as well which sometimes can prove fruitless.

    Will keep you posted as to how I go anyway- I just detest misleading and fraudulent behaviour like this that directly affects consumers, in any industry.
     
  18. crc_error

    crc_error The Rule of 72

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    just shows you how dirty these realestate agents are..

    I recon today tonight would be interested in this.
     
  19. Here_To_Learn

    Here_To_Learn Well-Known Member

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    Maybe this would be a good story for the 6:30pm current affairs slot ? :eek:
     
  20. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    I contacted OFT and then put a complaint in and will be informed of the outcome, so I now await the result- I'm not really anticipating much, but at least I feel better for reporting them.