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VIC Real Estate Agents - Exclusive Sale Authority?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Kieran Brophy, 16 February 2015.

  1. Kieran Brophy

    Kieran Brophy Member

    16 February 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hello, I have a friend who is selling her house due to divorce. The Real Estate Agent selling the property was one that her ex husband knows and forced her to use. She has never been advised of the valuation of the property and was never really told what to expect in terms of offers. She signed the Sale Authority and was told to put down $1,000,000 as vendor price even though the agent knew full well she wanted more. She was called into the real estate agents office on Saturday night approx 5.30-6pm as the agent didn't want to discuss offer over the phone as an assistant was handling the sale. She was given an offer of $900,080 and refused the offer. She was then bullied by the assistant and told that she cannot refuse an offer up to $1,000,000 as she signed the authority and therefore if she does she still has to pay commission to them regardless if the sale goes through.
    The agents were well aware that both parties wanted more than $1,000,000.
    I have also been trying to find the advertisement of the property for sale and it is not on any website other than the Real Estate agent selling the place.
    AS a result of this bullying she has ended up in hospital with a hemorrhage from recent surgery within the hour of dealing with these people.

    My questions are:
    1) Can we get out of this authority as a result of these bullying tactics and undo stress.
    2) Do they have to have told her the valuation of the property.
    3) How does the advertising they have to advertising on etc.
    4) As they told her what to put in the Vendor Price is this leagal?

  2. Sophea

    Sophea Guest

    Hi Kieran,

    (1) As to your first question, the appointment document that you signed with the estate agent should state when the agreement ends. If it does not state this, section 54 of the Estate Agents Act 1980 provides that it will automatically terminate 30 days after an auction or 60 days after the agreement is signed. You may be able to terminate the contract prior to that if the estate agent is somehow in breach of their obligations under that agreement.

    (2) s47A(1) of the Estate Agents Act 1980 states that before you sign a contract appointing the estate agent to act on your behalf they must provide you with their estimate of the selling price of the real estate and put that in writing in the appointment contract. It can be a single amount or a range. There is a penalty if they fail to do this. Also the estimate must be an amount the agent believes on teh basis of his or her experience, skill and knowledge that a willing but not anxious buyer would pay for the property. Nothing requires that the seller adopt this estimate as their reserve price.

    (3) I'm not 100% sure but I don't believe there is any requirements as to how they are supposed to advertise. Obviously advertising extensively is in their best interests too.

    (4) Telling you what to agree to in a contract may be construed as duress or undue influence depending on the circumstances which can result in the contract being overturned, especially if your husband was there pressuring you as well. Without all the facts its hard to say.

    Real Estate agents in Victoria are also governed by :
    In addition, they have professional conduct obligations which you can read about here: Professional conduct and obligations – estate agents - Consumer Affairs Victoria
  3. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

    24 December 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hi Kieran,

    Further to Sophia's advice, I suggest you contact Estate Agents Resolution Service (EARS), a division of Consumer Affairs Victoria to either enquire or lodge a complaint. It is also worth looking at the "Estates Agents - Professional Conduct" pages to figure out what professional conduct requirements your estate agent (or their assistant) breached (if any). If this doesn't help, your next avenue would be the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal if you seek any compensation or loss from this incident.

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