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Advert regulator rejects guide prices complaint

The advertising regulator has rejected a complaint that the listed ‘guide prices’ on an property auction catalogue were mis-leading.

The complaint had been levied against Cottons Chartered Surveyors, a Birmingham-based company.

The issues centred around the company’s catalogue for its property auction last May. The complainant argued that as properties typically sold for 25 per cent more than the minimum of the guide price ranges these  figures were mis-leading.

Cottons said that their auction catalogues contained clear definitions of both their guide and reserve prices.

The company said while they did their “utmost” to provide an accurate guide price –  based on all factors affecting a property, and the seller’s genuine minimum price expectations – it could not predict the effect of various factors on the eventual sale price achieved at auction.

This could include competitive bidding on the day, lack of due diligence from potential buyers or interest from parties with special interests, such as those who might own a neighbouring property or be tenants in occupation.

The ASA dismissed the complaint. It said: “Because we noted that Cottons defined guide prices and reserve prices prominently in their catalogues, and that reserve prices always fell within the range of the state guide prices, and that they provided evidence to substantiate their procedures, we concluded that the guide prices were not misleading.”



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