The guidelines, which came into effect last week, do away with open-ended estimated price ranges such as "$750,00-plus" or "mid-$700s", replacing them with REIV-approved descriptions such as "$730,000 to $770,000".
A third and highly controversial REIV-approved option is to abandon the price estimate altogether, forcing interested parties to ring the agent for a verbal price estimate.
Many agencies, including middleweight companies such as Jellis Craig and Marshall White, swiftly removed all price estimates for the homes they have for sale by auction after the guidelines were introduced.
"It is simply the REIV pushing the mushroom principle," said buyers’ advocate David Morrell of Morrell & Koran. "It keeps buyers in the dark (in regard to price) and feeds them effluent."
With no firm proof of what an agent is quoting for a property, some real estate industry groups fear prosecuting an agent for underquoting has now become much harder.