Property problems: Fast sale to agent could be against the rules

Tuesday 10 August 2004

Q. We recently listed our property for sale with a real estate agent and the agent recommended a sale by auction as we said that we needed a fast sale. The marketing campaign was very negative and the agent disclosed that we wanted a fast sale. We believe that this prejudiced us.

We set a reserve before the auction based on independent valuation advice we had received. At the

By The Landlord

auction there was only one bidder and the bid fell well short of the reserve set. The auctioneer convinced us to lower the reserve to the bid price and then sold under the hammer and signed a contract on our behalf.

After the auction we received a letter asking us to consent to the sale of the property to a real estate agent. This was not disclosed to us by the auctioneer or the agency at the time of the auction. We are disappointed at the actions of the agent and with the result of the auction. Do we have any rights in respect of this issue that is now being disclosed to us?

A. There are two issues which arise from the situation you have described: the agent's failure to disclose that the sale was to another real estate agent, and the agent's conduct of the marketing campaign.

First, the Real Estate Agents Act 1976 requires a real estate agent to obtain the written consent of the vendor (prior to entering into the contract) if a partner or employee of the agent, or an officer of the real estate agency, is involved in purchasing the property the agent has been commissioned to sell.

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