PHOTO: Melbourne real estate agency

A Melbourne real estate agency and its director have been hit with an almost $900,000 fine for underquoting and other offences.

Hoskins Maroondah in Melbourne’s east and director Brent Peters have been ordered to pay $899,550 which included compensation to vendors, by the Federal Court.

“This outcome sends a strong message to rogue estate agents – misleading sales practices will not be tolerated,” Consumer Affairs director Sam Jenkin said of the decision.

Two vendors were told their properties would sell for less than the agency actually believed they would. This meant the agents could claim “incentivised commissions” when the properties sold at a higher price.

“Underquoting is plainly unfair for prospective buyers, and as we’ve seen with this outcome, it can also be unfair for vendors too.” Mr Jenkin said.

The vendors were awarded $17,550 and $12,000 in compensation by the court.