This was our very first posting on the Australian Real Estate Blog, almost a year ago. We reproduce it for two reasons. First, the problem has become worse. Second, a recent experience suggests that the holding deposit is being used to penalise purchasers, and creates an opportunity for theft.
The estate agent telephoned me and explained, “We don’t put any offers to vendors unless we have a holding deposit of at least $500.”
I was forced to explain to the estate agent that her demand for a holding deposit in the circumstances was improper, unprofessional, and highly illegal.
The estate agent quickly backed down, and submitted my client’s offer without any further nonsense.