The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has implored Ballarat residents to 'do their homework' when selecting a real estate agent, following the closure of a high-profile business this week.
Hayden Real Estate Ballarat closed its door suddenly on Wednesday, after more than 90 years operating in Ballarat. Consumer Affairs Victoria is now investigating.
The Courier's social media was flooded with concerned home owners and prospective buyers, who said they were worried they would not receive their deposits back.
REIV CEO Gil King said it was "always a good idea to talk to family, friends or neighbours" about their experiences when selecting an agent. The closed business was not an REIV member.
"When someone chooses an REIV member, they choose a professional who has completed the required training ... and importantly is required to follow REIV guidelines to always act ethically, honestly and fairly," Mr King said.
The website for Hayden Real Estate Ballarat had already been taken down on Friday, with Google Business stating the business was permanently closed.
The Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz appointed Ross Hamilton as the agent's statutory manager, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers' real estate advisory practice.