The Australian Real Estate Blog was started in 2005 to provide consumers with the information they need to navigate through the deceptions, tricks and sharp practices associated with the sale of real estate in Australia. Subscribers include not only consumers, but also lawyers, conveyancers, real estate agents, and a variety of other real estate professionals.


  • John Laidler says:

    Is there a web site that provides vendors with a place to record poor behaviour by real estate agents?

    We have just terminated an agent after an unsuccessful for sale campaign. She was asked to remove the property from her web site. She has removed it from “for sale” and now shows it as “sold” …this appears to me as being unethical.

  • Susan says:

    Could we have your email address, so we can send video content relevant to your site?

  • Chris Pearson says:

    Hi…trying to find any article or commentary regarding unrealistic finance clauses on vacant land through property developers. Eg Land not titling for 6 months yet unconditional finance is demanded in 14 days which will expire as lenders cannot hold approvals by law for this period of time – leaving purchasers exposed if bank policy changes or their own circumstances change.

    Any thoughts or opinions?

  • King K says:

    MCO, given our experience, was our most unprofessional experience when dealing with Real Estate agencies.

  • Jen says:

    Yes, I can’t agree more. MCO terrible.

  • Nance says:

    What can we do if the real estate is delaying final inspection cleaning and claims from our bond. I would like to complain about the real estate agent behaviour and the bad tenant so that all landloards are aware about them.

    • Peter Mericka says:

      The avenue of complaint is with the agency principal, and then if there is resolution, to Consumer Affairs Victoria (assuming that you’re in Victoria).

      • Comp says:

        I went to the principal. He gave her a complete different versions. The reply I received from her was not helpful. The latest agent was Brendon he went on holiday as soon as he acquired the listing handed over to a Weasle who did nothing bought a person to the house not related to the sale. A friend of the neighbors. I can’t find an honest agent that will work for me. Need your help pls

  • Jo says:


    We have a gross mismanagement case against a real estate agent. Basically, she took the finger off the pulse. One tenant, in particular, skipped payments for 3 months and we lost almost $4,000 in rent when she did a runner (not to mention the putrid state in which she left the property). Melissa always had an ‘outstanding’ story to tell us so we took her word in good faith. She also did not inspect properties as per policy and allowed pets when we had a strict ‘no pets’ policy in place.

    Personally, Melissa presents as a fine human, but professionally is all fake. We feel deeply hurt and humiliated by her actions. It will take us a while to recover from this hit.

    Hope you had a lovely Christmas with your family, Melissa. We spent the 4 weeks cleaning up the place, without our family. Good riddance!!!

  • Johann says:

    Can anyone advice here on what I should do (as an agent) when I was manhandled and treated unprofessionally by another managing agent?

  • Sharon Haddon says:

    We’ve recently vacated a rental property managed by McDonalds R/E Keysborough Vic. We met with the owners to view property & they were completely happy with the condition of their home but had to battle with agent to process our bond refund after continually receiving untruthful excuses from them.

  • CS says:

    I am a landlord. My estate agent obviously has not been doing their job. They asked for repair work that even the tenant did not ask for. They do not get warranty certificate from traders they arranged to perform repair work. They forgot about outstanding repair for 3 months and I have to remind previous discussions. The agent is getting so powerful that I can only name them after I find another agent to look after my rental property in the city.

    What advice can anyone provide?

  • sophiec says:

    My husband signed an exclusive authority form to sell our property without having this form explained to him, nor the terms within it and without consulting with me. Even after I texted to ask that he consult with me first having had discussions with agents myself (yes mistake # 1 – and yes – the house is solely in his name, mistake #2).
    The couple weeks prior, I had been speaking with agents myself and one of them suggested we run 2 week private viewing program, without signing up with any agent, to test their “Real Buyers” story. I gave a verbal commitment to allow this, but needed to consult with my husband first.

    We spoke to the agent with the exclusive authority and she authorised with him the same as she explained to me in a separate phone conversation that same afternoon. That on the basis “of her long term business relationship and property management currently in place with my husband” she verbally offered a 2 week waiver period of the exclusive agreement. During this period she allowed me to honour my commitment to the other 2 agents to bring their buyers through as a VIP view. She also brought her buyers through in that period. This cemented the acceptance of her waiver – RIGHT?…. WRONG!
    One of the other agents came to the table with a solid offer and deposit form a couple who viewed the home twice in the first week. We had no S32 at this stage. We accepted this on the proviso we had a S32 within 14days. At this stage we didn’t realise what we signed was a legal binding contract “awaiting the S32”. Nevertheless we were happy with the offer.

    We contacted the agent with the exclusivity/waiver allowance to advise we had a real offer. At this stage I asked for the ‘waiver’ in writing. She declined and started challenging she never allowed the waiver. She just allowed agents to bring their buyers through. And, help me understand…what is the purpose of that??
    In short, the offer was accepted within the 14 day ‘waiver’ period, but also 10days prior to her buyer’s offer.
    For her allowance of the waiver (on the basis of her relationship with my husband), her effort and her time, we actually offered to pay her $5K. She declined saying she could not accept this. Not protocol.
    She now claims she is entitled to her commission.
    We spoke and agreed we will meet to discuss the process and a solution. I texted and called to suggest 2 timeslots to meet. She did’t reply. 3 days later I text again to remind and ask for suitable time to meet. Again no reply. 2 days later I text to say I hadn’t heard back so if I didn’t again I will take it that the matter is closed.
    I then get a reply to say, the matter “is with her solicitor” and I “will get a letter from them shortly”.

    So I now write this a preliminary to advise people to sign a general from and safeguard yourself when you are not certain with which agent to proceed. And get things in writing ALWAYS from the beginning. This agent went about things in a deceptive way and became spiteful and greedy when faced with true pressure and competition.
    Not fair on us, nor the other agents and their buyers. But I have it all documented and with her herself participating in the VIP process, a clear indication she offered the waiver. She should just be professional and honour her word. If I get this solicitor letter I will post the company name so you are aware of which agent to protect yourselves from when it comes to ‘their word’.

    • Peter Mericka says:

      Unfortunately we won’t be able to publish the name of the agent or the agency. Real estate agents rely on consumers not obtaining legal advice. However, if anything comes between an estate agent and their commission they go directly to their lawyer (who is often a “pet” to whom they refer clients for conveyancing). This is why real estate agent usually win. The hapless consumer knows little about the law, and does not have the stomach or finances for court action. The real estate agent on the other hand has access to agent-friendly lawyers and the chance to win a huge amount of money. At the very least the estate agent can expect the consumer to settle our of court, even if it is for a reduced amount. My advice is to report the matter immediately to Consumer Affairs Victoria, but be prepared for them to tell you that there is little that they can do.

      The lesson that Sophie has already mentioned is that consumers need to obtain legal advice on these horrible Exclusive Sale Authority documents before they sign, and cross out some of the nastier provisions.

      • sophiec says:

        Thank you Peter.
        They have in fact now sought legal action and we are in the process of battling this.
        They are not willing to negotiate differently.
        A process for us but fingers crossed we don’t end up paying 2 commissions

        • Please keep us up to date with what happens, so that we can make others aware. Good luck with it.

          • Comp says:

            3 different agent I hired who seems to stall the sale at neighbors instructions as their friends are using the house like a hotel room. Am on a pension 4 days went to Sydney 3000 klw of electricity was used and my hot water is on solar power. So what does that tell you.

  • kittoa says:

    An agent continually takes tenants bonds on the pretence that there “being dust on a ledge” etc. I took my case to the tribunal when the same agent back-dated my rent and then took all by bond money alleging that I was in arrears when I vacated when in fact I was paid in advance. At the first hearing my complaint was thrown out by a very biased tribunal member, but I appealed and the ruling was reversed. The agent is now refusing to return my money . Who do I appeal to, to have the ruling enforced, and how can the agency be fined for such continual rampart dishonest behaviour.

  • Catriona Lapsley says:

    I am struggling to get my bonds for 2 commercial leases back. The leases finished at the end of June. I have not been notified that there were any issues. I was then informed that I would get my bond back once a new lease had been signed even though they had made no effort to contact the people interested in taking on the lease. I was then told that I could expect the bonds back by mid-August, then the end of August and I am still waiting. I have tried to resolve this with both the agent and the agency he works for who are just as unhelpful. They lie, bully and act as if they are above the law and this is from one of the top 5 real estate agents in the country.

  • Sharna Lawson says:

    My real estate agent took $38000 deposit, then found out he was hiding large cladding order on property, I terminated the contract. Now saying “do not contact me any more”. Consumer Affairs are taking ages, agent still withholding money, last time was very aggressive and rude.
    Already tried to scam me by selling the property under order (never disclosed) and now I am struggling to return money back.
    Please, help

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