by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B
Real Estate Lawyer
Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria
Director Lawyers Real Estate Pty Ltd
Is it any wonder that the REIV (Real Estate Institute of Victoria) misleads, misguides and misinforms its members when its own CEO Enzo Raimondo fails to understand the role of the real estate agent in a sale transaction?
In his regular propaganda piece in the Domain section of The Age newspaper, Enzo Raimondo tells consumers that when negotiating for the purchase of real estate “…the agent will act as a go-between.“ (“Negotiating Hurdles” p.3 Domain, The Age 4 July, 2009)
In the very next sentence Raimondo then tells consumers, “When negotiating, keep in mind the agent acts for the seller, not the buyer.“
This is followed by, “Buyers can use a buyer’s agent to help with the negotiation process.“
The article concludes with “…obtain legal advice before signing any documents.“
So, according the the CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), the negotiation process involves a real estate agent who represents the vendor, a real estate agent who represents the purchaser, and a real estate agent who acts as the mediator, or “go-between” during the negotiations.
One could imagine a purchaser being coached by Mr. Raimondo on how she should go about purchasing a home in Victoria; perhaps it would go something like this:
Enzo Raimondo – The Role Of The Go-Between
Raimondo: “Hello Ms.Lee, let me explain how real estate negotiations are conducted in Victoria. This is Mr. Sharkey, and he represents the vendor of the property you hope to buy.”
Sharkey: “Remember, I represent the vendor, not you.”
Ms. Lee: “Oh, I thought the real estate agent is supposed to help me to prepare my offer, to write special conditions for me and the like. Who will represent me then?”
Sharkey: “I’ll represent you as well as representing the vendor, I do it all the time. I have prepared plenty of offers for purchasers and I always use REIV special conditions when I prepare purchasers’ offers, and…OWWW!”
Raimondo apologises to Sharkey for accidentally stamping on his foot, turns to Ms. Lee, and says,
“What Mr. Sharkey means is that part of his role as the vendor’s real estate agent and representative is to act as a “go-between”, assisting both you and the vendor in the negotiation process.”
Ms. Lee: I don’t understand this role of “go-between”. If Mr. Sharkey represents the vendor, and is working for the vendor, and is not going to assist me, what is this “go-between” role?
Raimondo thinks for a few moments, then replies:
“As a “go-between”, Mr. Sharkey will help you and the vendor to negotiate a successful outcome.”
Sharkey: “That’s right, the job of the “go-between” is to get the sale all wrapped up and…OWWW! Stop doing that Enzo.”
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