May 6, 2017

Auctioneer Tom Roberts (Nelson Alexander) entertains a healthy crowd at 132 Lee St, Carlton North. It was bought after auction for more than $1.1 million.

Victoria’s new quoting laws commenced this week, and there may be a short period of confusion for buyers regarding the quotes during the transition period, with a cross-over of properties listed for sale pre-May 1 and post-May 1.

Moving forward, buyers should expect, when visiting a property, to receive or sight a quoting sheet identifying (in accordance with the REIV price quoting changes and the Estate Agents Amendment (Underquoting) Act 2016):

  • three comparable sales, taking into account the age, condition, size and location of the property;
  • the suburb or town’s median house price; and
  • the indicative selling price, which must be expressed as a single amount or a price range no greater than 10 per cent.

Comparable sales in metropolitan Melbourne must be within a 2km radius of the property and sold within the preceding six months, while comparable sales in regional Victoria must be within a 5km radius and sold within the preceding 18 months. When an agent believes there are fewer than three comparable sales that meet these parameters, they must state so. If the vendor rejects an offer above the estimated selling price, the agent is required to revise all advertising within a prescribed timeframe.

These new laws are a welcomed and overdue change for buyers, but they are only one piece of the puzzle and shouldn’t be relied upon solely when working through how to buy the home. Full due diligence will ensure an informed decision and the best outcome.

Further investigation needed when buying a house with a pool

The Victorian Government announced last week new laws that mean existing pools must be fenced, in compliance with current regulations. This must be done by 2020. Buyers should factor this in when looking to buy a house that features a pool that does not comply.

It will be interesting to see if prospective vendors act now to make their pools compliant in order to address this issue. With cost only one concern, the fencing of some older pools could be very difficult or even impossible in some circumstances. Some vendors may even need to consider filling in their pools.

Like anything, buyers should adopt the proper due diligence when buying a property. This is just another task to add to the list.

For more information, see ‘All Victorian pools will get fences: govt’  from the Herald Sun (4 May 2017).

Auction Highlights:

  • 15 Littlewood Street Hampton (Paul Bond/Samantha Wolany, Hodges) – approx. 766sqm, north-facing rear, well positioned land – $2.513m or $3,280sqm (see report below).
  • 49 Metung Street Balwyn (Danny Fu/Jason Lien – MICM Real Estate Southbank) – large French Provincial-inspired mansion, failed to sell last year after selling in 2011 for $2.82m – $3.7m.
  • 288 Richardson Street Princes Hill (Jason Sharpe/ Vicki Sunbul, Woodards) – tidy single-fronted brick cottage, north-facing rear and off-street parking – $1.55m.

‘Land’ Sales:

  • 82 Highett Road Hampton (Andrew Chisholm/Scott Hamilton, Buxton) – approx. 676sqm, corner block, south-facing rear –$1.615m or $2,389sqm.
  • 32 Wright Street Bentleigh (Trent Collie/Nick Renna, Hocking Stuart) – approx. 766sqm backing on to Allnutt Park, sold in 2014 for $1.49m – $2.05m or $2,676sqm.
  • 18 Warburton Road Camberwell (Chris & Bryan Cain, JA Cain) – approx. 569sqm, facing on to the Anniversary Trail – $1.675m or nearly $3,000sqm.

Off-Market Properties:


  • large renovated family home – Hawthorn location – over $5m
  • single-fronted home requiring renovation – Prahran – $1.4m
  • double-storey townhouse with bedroom downstairs – Camberwell – $2m
  • corner north-facing block – Bentleigh – circa $1.5m
  • renovated period home – Balaclava – circa $1.5m

Auction Spotlights:

36 Cochran Ave Camberwell

Richard James from Jellis Craig worked hard to entice a bid from the crowd in the front courtyard of 36 Cochran Ave Camberwell.

A period facade with modern renovation at the back was on offer here. The sun poked through for the auction, which was held in the landscaped front garden, with up to 100 people watching the action. There were plenty of features for auctioneer Richard James from Jellis Craig to espouse to the audience, but it didn’t seem enough to draw out an offer. After opening with a $3.4m vendor bid, he was forced to up the offer to $3.5m before eventually passing the property in on a $3.6m vendor bid. The property is now for sale for $3.8m.

15 Littlewood St Hampton

Paul Bond from Hodges received spirited bidding at the auction of 15 Littlewood St Hampton.

This home was marketed as offering access to a convenient lifestyle, being close to shops, the beach, trains and a selection of top schools. While the existing Edwardian offered an opportunity to extend and update, the 766sqm north rear site may inspire the new owners to start afresh with a family home or dual occupancy development (STCA). Paul Bond from Hodges had a good-sized crowd spread on both sides of the street to watch proceedings. Bidding commenced at $2.0m and moved swiftly among three bidders to pass reserve and put the property on the market at $2.4m. The final two bidders had to dig deep to outmanoeuvre each other for the home, eventually selling for $2.513m to the applause of the crowd.

Properties we like, scheduled for auction May 27

24 Norwood Avenue Brighton – Barb Gregory/Jason Collie, Marshall White

8a Central Park Road Malvern East – John Morrisby/Genevieve Hoyle, Jellis Craig

89 Armstrong Street Middle Park – Shane Siemers/John Holdsworth, Greg Hocking Holdsworth

29 Oak Street Hawthorn – Richard Winneke/Chloe Quinn, Jellis Craig

Agent comment: As one of the most experienced agents in the Stonnington area, what effect, if any, do you think the underquoting laws recently implemented by the government will have on the selling agents in Melbourne?

Iain Carmichael, Director Jellis Craig Armadale: The new legislation will undoubtedly provide more accurate price quoting for property buyers.

In a bouyant market, auction properties will often realise sale prices that are well above reserve prices; however, agents will now need to be more accurate when indicating likely reserves.

The changes will have little impact on those firms that are currently following best practice service delivery to buyers.

They will, however, shine a spotlight on those firms who feel that they might be able to ‘fudge arrangements’.

As an agency or a salesperson, unless you quote an ESP that reflects the vendors’ expectations/reserve price for the property, you are in breach of the new legislation.