Beware When The REIV Offers Legal Advice

Posted on May 4, 2007 by | 0 Comments

Chief executive office of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), Mr. Enzo Raimondo demonstrates the problem of estate agents offering consumers what amounts to legal advice, and getting it very wrong.

First, let us establish the fact that if an official of the REIV makes a statement that he knows is incorrect, it may amount to misleading and deceptive conduct. If the statement is made in the belief that it is correct, and is fact wrong, then the competence of the official must be questioned.

In this case Mr. Raimondo, in the new “Domain” lift-out real estate section of The Age (Saturday 1 October, 2005 p.4), incorrectly informs consumers that it is crucial to understand the meaning of key terms (of the contract) and to not the precise terms of settlement,

”because once you’ve signed a contract, all those terms pertaining to price, deposit, time of settlement and special conditions are binding.”

The truth of the matter is that none of these things are “binding” on the purchaser at all, despite his or her signing of the contract, unless the vendor accepts the purchaser’s offer. Until the vendor accepts the offer, the purchaser is entitled to withdraw the offer at any time. In addition, a “cooling off” right may apply.

Why doesn’t Mr. Raimondo advise consumers to seek legal advice from someone who knows what they are talking about? We have emailed Mr. Raimondo and invited him to comment.

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