Monthly Archives: May 2007

Early Release (Or Stealing?) Of Commission

Posted on May 10, 2007 by | 1 Comment
by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au A solicitor mate of mine, Chris Bridge, recently had two celebrations: thirty years of legal practice and his first (possible) win with Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading. Queensland has no statutory equivalent to Section 27 of Victoria’s Sale of Land Act (for early deposit releases) as mentioned in Peter Mericka’s article “Early Release of Deposit”. Here it is quite uncommon for the parties to...

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Free Appraisals Are Worth What They Cost

Posted on May 4, 2007 by | 0 Comments
It’s known as the “foot in the door”, and it’s been around for decades. Estate agents are always letter-box dropping cards advertising “Free Market Appraisals” or “Find Out What Your Home Is Worth”.It is important for consumers to note that a free appraisal is worth what you pay for it – NOTHING! Remember, there is a huge difference between an “appraisal” and a valuation. Estate agents can (and do) tell home owners what they want...

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Don’t Trust Agents’ Pet Solicitors Or Conveyancers

Posted on May 4, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Tim O’Dwyer Solicitor* A solicitor, recently discharged from bankruptcy, has given an enforceable undertaking to Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading after consistently failing to comply properly with a consumer protection law. He is not the first. The undertaking records that Fair Trading’s Chief Executive “reasonably believes” Gold Coast solicitor Gregory Pointon contravened Section 365B of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act by not declaring to clients his relationships with real estate agents. The...

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Buyers Waiting – So Aren’t You The Buyer’s Agent?

Posted on May 4, 2007 by | 0 Comments
So often in the local paper we see advertisements where estate agents proclaim that they have “buyers waiting”. One Ringwood real estate agency even makes these claims sound genuine by giving a detailed description of the young couple and what they want. The reader is invited to assume that the young couple have approached the estate agent, and will not look at any properties unless they are accompanied by their helpful friend. So the vendor,...

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How The Regulator Went Through Ray White Like A Dose Of Salts

Posted on May 4, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Tim O’Dwyer Solicitor* A year after I lodged a bait-advertising complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the ACCC completed its investigations. And, blow me down, the occasionally-maligned regulator produced an extraordinary result. Undertakings, seeking to ensure compliance with the misleading and deceptive conduct provisions of the Trade Practices Act (“TPA”), were given to the ACCC on behalf of an entire network of franchised real estate offices across Queensland. The ACCC will use...

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Routinely Poor Service From The Real Estate Industry

Posted on May 4, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Ted Skuse Solicitor* Logan lawyer and columnist Tim O’ Dwyer has, for years, been voicing the shortfalls of the standard conveyancing contract and the lack of disclosure sellers are obliged to make, compared to other jurisdictions in our nation. The preparation of contracts and other documents by Real Estate agencies continues to be lamentable. Some of the larger agencies ought to be employing qualified legal drafts-people to settle contractual documents so that minimum standards...

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Never Buy While On Holiday?

Posted on May 4, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Tim O’Dwyer Solicitor* We all need and enjoy holidays away from home. Be very careful about buying real estate while relaxing, warns Tim O’Dwyer. You can’t go too far wrong if you rent your accommodation when you go on holiday. More caution is needed if you are tempted to become a property buyer and then owner in the process. The first rule is: never buy while on holiday. Still, it is very easy, while...

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The Monkeys In The Cage

Posted on May 4, 2007 by | 0 Comments
So often in my dealings with estate agents discussions reach the point where the estate agent justifies a procedure or behaviour with: “I’ve been in this (real estate industry) for a long time, and I know what you can and can’t do” Such a comment always reminds be of the story of “The Monkeys In The Cage”. Here’s how it goes: Five monkeys are put a steel mesh cage. The cage has shower roses mounted...

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…And Take Away The Number You Started With

Posted on May 4, 2007 by | 0 Comments
In an article titled “Determined auction goers defy grand final fever” Kate Nancarrow (The Age, Monday 26 September, 2005 p.4) quotes real estate agent Rodney Morley of TBM Real Estate as saying: We’ve got the perennial problem of what we call ‘agents buying business’. They tell the vendors $500,000 more than we would. It’s nearly our best source of listings – disgruntled vendors who’ve gone to auction with someone else.” What is left unexplored is...

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Guide To Give Agents Stress & Heartache

Posted on May 4, 2007 by | 0 Comments
by Tim O’Dwyer Solicitor* When Queensland’s Fair Trading Minister launched a new publication, Real Estate Realities, she said it was “aimed at saving thousands of home buyers and sellers money, stress and heartache.” Real estate-related complaints, she explained, were the Office of Fair Trading’s second highest complaint category. Hence these wise warnings to buyers: • “…the agent acts for the seller and no matter how approachable, friendly or co-operative they appear, they are not working...

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