Contract Switching & Lies At Ranges First National RE

Posted on August 26, 2008 by | 4 Comments

Peter Mericka B.A., LL.BOPINION
by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B
Real Estate Lawyer
Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria
Director Lawyers Real Estate Pty Ltd

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Hot on the heels of the contract switchers at Barry Plant Real Estate Croydon comes Ranges First National Real Estate of Belgrave. But things get much worse when the switching of contracts is compounded with lies and threats as part of an attempted cover-up.Jim Conder - Ranges First National Real Estate - Belgrave

The contract switch

As usual (see other postings on contract switching), we told the Ranges First National Real Estate not to use the REIV Contract Note in our client’s sale, as we had prepared a full Contract of Sale for this purpose. And as often happens in contract switching cases, the first we knew of the switch was when the estate agent sent us an REIV Contract Note attached to the Section 32 Vendors Statement.Rik Rushton - General Manager - Ranges First National Real Estate - Belgrave

I immediately sent a fax to Ranges First National Real Estate, addressed to sales consultant Jim Conder, and estate agency director Rik Rushton, asking for an explanation. Here is the explanation Jim Conder left for me by voicemail:

“Peter it’s Jim Conder from Ranges First National, I know you’ve sent us a fax in regards to the contract note.  There was no deception in using that, what’s happened is that the page in regards to not using a contract note was faxed to us and put in our file, the section 32 we had emailed and uploaded that, so what’s happened is we’ve got the section 32 prior to the fax, and given that to the clients, and obviously that fax has been put in our main file, and you’ll notice that the contract was written up the very next day.  So, it’s just obviously that fax did not come to my attention until that’s obviously been drawn up.  I’m happy to have it written up by both parties if that’s an issue, but there was no-one hiding anything or not wanting to use it.  It’s just that the fax has gone into one section, and the emailed section 32 has gone into another…”

OK, apparently poor office management had meant that an important fax from the vendor’s lawyer had been filed without being read. I accepted this. However, Conder’s explanation that he had received only the Section 32 did not ring true. The Contract of Sale and the Section 32 had been sent in a single PDF document, so it was not possible for Conder to have received only the Section 32. I concluded that Conder was telling porkies!

ASIDE: As disgraced US President Richard Nixon discovered, bad behaviour is one thing, but it’s the lies and the cover-up that can really compound a problem.

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  • http:// says:

    yahoo it is about time this lot got featured on this blogg I have been waiting for something about them and it made my day for what they did to me good job

  • Hi P*d Off,

    If you have story to tell about something that happened to you try our Forum. Just go the “Home” page (under Navigation in the column to the right) or

  • http:// says:

    Dear Sir,

    What is going on here with all this switching of contracts and telling of lies. Is there no authority to which these rogues can be reported? Is there no rule of law to be applied in order to prevent this despicable conduct?

    Where is the Real Estate Institute of Victoria? Is it not their role to be reigning in these characters?

    Where is the Law Institute of Victoria? Where is the ACCC and the Office of Fair Trading?

    Should the police get involved if none of these other bodies are interested? What the hell is going on here?

  • Hi Interested Observer,

    You’re right, your comment has not been posted. This is because comments that purport to have been made by lawyers or other industry professionals, particularly with the kind of content yours had, cannot be anonymous.

    You must properly identify yourself, as otherwise your commnet lacks credibility. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “On the internet nobody knows you’re a dog”.

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