by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B
Some agents seem to delight in making it difficult for novice home-buyers, as the story below reveals. The whistle-blowing agent here was not known to me and his detailed account arrived completely unsolicited. I subsequently phoned him and suggested that, for what it might be worth, he should personally report the whole matter to the Office of Fair Trading. But don’t hold your breath, I added.
“Your article The Battle Of Multiple Offers has motivated me to forward details of my recent experience of unprofessional behaviour.
I am the principal of an agency on the Gold Coast. I have been selling real estate on the Gold Coast for the past 13 years.
As real estate agents, I believe we are often prone to disassociate ourselves from experiences of unethical and unprofessional conduct by our peers, due in part to the “lame duck” perception of our regulating body. But more importantly to the fact that we are loath to take on the confrontation of a tribunal hearing and also recognise that some of our own office procedures and administration may very well be proven to be less than perfect.
Last Wednesday, I received an enquiry from a lady about a home we had advertised in a real estate magazine. I advised her that the property had been sold. In further conversation with her, I discovered that she and her husband were first home-buyers and approved for finance up to $300,000. They were finding it almost impossible to purchase a property on the Gold Coast for themselves and their two children.
I informed her we currently had nothing suitable for her on our books, but made a commitment that I would endeavour to find this family a property within their budget.
Within a couple of days, I contacted the wife by phone about a property listed at $259,000 by another Coast agency. I advised her to contact that agency direct, as I did not see how a shared commission would be in her best interest. She promptly phoned the agency, was given the address of the property and completed a “drive-by”.
The subsequent anguish and humiliation inflicted upon this lady and her husband after her next contact with that agency is an indictment of our industry and I find myself unavoidably seeking redress on their behalf…”
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