One Real Estate Agent Blows The Whistle On Another

Posted on May 25, 2009 by | 6 Comments

Tim O'Dwyer M.A., LL.B OPINION
by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B
Consumer Advocate

Real Estate Encyclopedia


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.One Real Estate Agent Blows The Whistle On Another

“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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  • http:// says:

    I sincerely hope you managed to put your anger aside and and actually did something constructive to help these people to find a home! NO? Oh well! You did your best!

  • Monika Bonet says:

    This article is so true, as a Principal of an Agency in Glenelg in SA, I have had similar experiences with referrals to other agencies for both sales and property management. In the latter case, we are so short of rentals here in Glenelg that often if we have not got any suitable property to rent, we will refer our tenants looking for property to an advertised rental with another agency… and it often backfires because not all agencies are courteous to tenants looking for property. As agents we have got to all lift our game because we are in a service industry and bad service reflects on the industry as a whole.

    This is a great article that hit home with me.


  • Unfortunately this happens a lot, you really need to know another agency, or infact any business at all before referring somebody to them.

  • http:// says:

    I had a terrible experience with a real estate agent in Mitchell Qld, when I stopped for a coffee and sandwich.
    I casually mentioned that maybe the house I wanted to inspect in the town may not meet the bank valuation in these testing times. I had been told this also by another agent. This woman was not engaged by myself, I already had an agent.
    She was cooking at the griller in a service station and FLEW AT ME, snarling and hissing that she had been selling real estate in the area and no houses had ever fallen over; who told me this, blah, blah, blah.
    Yes, I have complained to her principal, and at the end of the day, I never asked her for advice, is she for REAL!!!!!!!
    What an image for the real estate industry!!!!!!!!

  • http:// says:

    What a successflu rep; “cooking at a griller in a service station”LOL!!! Not only does she have a bad attitude and temper, but she is so successful that she has to rely on a second income. As a sales consultant and previous agency owner with 14 years experience, I have always believed that it should be illegal for real estate consultants to have a second job; this may just get rid of some of the would be if they could be’s and lift the professionalism of our industry.

  • http:// says:

    I was sitting at in a restaurant the other week in Perth and over heard two real estate agents talking about how to steal clients from other agents within an apartment complex. they were also complaining about the cost of real estate advertising with companies such as I was sickened to hear this sort of chat from agents. i know they have to carve out a living as well as anyone else but this made my gut turn.

    so far as advertising is concerned, why dont they try alternatives such as which is free for agents to advertise property? i dont get it, they had the gall to charge me $1,200 for advertising my property on realestate .com and their are other comapnies out their that will give them free advertising. further, there out there planning to rip each other off and who is the overall loser? the buyer and seller. these guys shouldnt be practicing real estate sales.

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