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Agents defy auction law

real estate(The Age)
REAL estate agents are selling properties at auction across Melbourne far above advertised prices — despite state laws designed to stamp out the practice.

A survey by The Age of 95 auctions last weekend found that more than 80 per cent went under the hammer at least 10 per cent — and in some cases more than 40 per cent — higher than the prices quoted by agents. Leading agents have cited a strong, rising property market to explain why it is hard to pick prices accurately.

But the data compiled by The Age shows that the problem is endemic, with agents under-estimating final auction prices by an average of more than 20 per cent last weekend.

Among the most dramatic examples last weekend was a two-bedroom house in Niddrie that sold for $395,000 — 46 per cent more than its quoted price of $270,000-plus. Also breaking the 40 per cent barrier was a Richmond home quoted at $360,000-plus, which sold for $520,000. more…

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