Auction spies zero in on real estate agents

James Thomas

Covert officers have been attending real estate auctions for months with a focus on exposing under-quoting, dummy bidding and deceptive conduct.

Alan, a covert investigator for Fair Trading, is looking for dummy bidding and under-quoting.

In two months, Fair Trading has issued $18,150 in fines.

"There are not a lot of dodgy real estate agents, there are just some very bad ones, Minister for Fair Trading," Matthew Mason-Cox said.

Bryan and Enid had a property to sell, but their problem was finding a decent agent.

They placed their trust in the wrong hands and their property did not sell.

"We had about three or four contracts on it and they all fell through," Enid said.

Open Agent promises to take the pain out of finding a good agent. Photo: 7News

Until they stumbled across a website which ranks the best agents.

Open Agent promises to take the pain out of finding a good agent.

"We look at all the sales data we can get our hands on and we compile it to serve recommendations up to you," Open Agents Zoe Pointon said.

Enid and Bryan used the service and got results.

"Jared sold it in 48 to 50 days or something," Bryan said.

If Open Agents introduce you to an agent who ends up selling the house successfully, the agent will pay them a fee.

It isn't just sellers looking for help.

Purchasers afraid of falling victim to tricks like under-quoting use buyers agents too.

The industry assures under-quoting is a thing of the past.