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VIC Rejected Offer On or Above Listed Price - Liability Under Australian Consumer Law?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by BradG, 2 May 2015.

  1. BradG

    BradG Member

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    Hello,

    We are currently selling a house and a few days ago we rejected an offer that was at our internet price. Several days previous we rejected an offer from the same buyer (lower Price) at that stage we decided that due to the stress this was causing to Wife and Kids that we would sell another property first, Rent (in the area we are moving too) and then sell our residence, basically we would sign a sale after moved out. This was advised to the real estate agents and since our rental was being managed by another agent we signed an authority to sell Rental (with Agent B).

    A few days later, real estate agent came back with another offer (still below Internet Price) but not with any of the other agreed timings and wanted us to sign just for 90 Day settlement, this was rejected same as before. This was late in the day and we advised agent not to seek out further Offers until we sat down following day to discuss our position again. However against this Agent went and received another offer at Internet price that night and arrived unexpectedly at our door approx 7pm. Agent was pushing for us to sign as it was a good price that he didn’t expect and we won’t get another like it (normal sales talk) This was stressful to my wife as she was feeling pressured so we agreed to discuss again following day.

    We once again rejected this offer the following day (same reason) and after discussions Agent would not agree to continue listing the property with those conditions and since was only 2 days to end of authority they would remove anyway. Even though we still wanted the house listed we agreed to remove the house and pay Marketing Fees and possibly relist again when more appropriate, we wanted to still list property during this time but we could not reach an agreement.

    Are we liable under Australian Consumer Law for rejecting this offer to either Buyer or Agent ( sales commission)? I am concerned if we are at risk this will just be our side of the story vs. theirs, the only proof I have is that we signed a Authority to sell Rental after the first offer and before final offer. All of the above took place over 5 days from First Offer to removing listing from Agent.
     
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Brad,

    Just to clarify, you did not sell the house and you rejected an offer at the asking price (which you previously agreed to)? You are currently asking if you need to pay the real estate fees for their work?

    What does your agent agreement say?
     
  3. BradG

    BradG Member

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    Tracey,

    It was the listed Internet Price which we had reduced since signing the Authority (40k Less than listed on Authority). We didn't actually agree to sign at this price however it was the price listed on the internet (Is that by default an agreement to sign?) This was also after we advised Agent we were not going to sign until we sold the Rental and moved out and advised not to go back to buyer until we discussed our position again with them the following day.

    Agent has said nothing apart from having to pay the agreed Marketing Fees however has not sent the invoice out yet, the only reason I'm asking is that someone mentioned to me you cant reject those offers without consequence so now I'm concerned as I wasn't aware.

    Brad
     
  4. BradG

    BradG Member

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    Can't edit, let me add some more details as I didn't answer your question.

    It is standard exclusive authority agreement form in Victoria and I cant find anything in it about Fee's (apart from Marketing approx $1000) or Commissions on reaching asking price but no sale. No the house didn't sell and they wouldn't list the house with the change in our conditions, which I think they should of discussed with us in the beginning before continuing to obtain offers.
     
  5. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi BradG,

    The exclusive authority form just means you are not engaging any other real estate agents to sell on your behalf. You can still sell, despite the exclusive authority. If you terminate the agreement, the exclusive authority will no longer be in force and you can approach another agent to represent you. You can argue that the agents were not fulfilling what they promised under the contract (e.g. because they were not action your instructions, or because they were offering poor service) and therefore, breached the contract entitling you to terminate at not extra penalty.

    As for the marketing fees, it depends on the agreement you sign with the estate agent. Have a read of that agreement (the one with exclusive authority in it). If this agreement does not mention marketing fees, then did the estate agent inform you that you would be paying for marketing fees at point of sale (when you signed the contract)? If not, it appears to be a surprise (i.e. undisclosed) cost and you may not need to pay it as you did not agree to it. Therefore, check your agreement.
     

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