Dodgy real estate agent

From: Adam Randall


Hello
I think I like this forum setup more than the old one (takes a while to get used to though).
Anyway I would like some advise or insight as to some strange events my girlfriend went through over the last couple of weeks with regards to purchasing a house.
She is eligible for the $7000 FHBG , and decided to go through homestart finance (the only finance she could get with the size of her deposit). She found a house she liked and put an offer in which was accepted. We were told that there would still be tenants in the house after settlement as there was a 12 month lease that still had 1 month to run after settlement, and that the managing/sales agency (Ray White) would continue to manage the property until the tenants moved out.
This is when the complications arose. Homestart refuses to finance a house even if tenants are in the house for any period of time. They required from the agent a letter of vacant possession, which the agent was going to write even though tenants were still going to be in the house at settlement(pretty sure that's illegal). Anyway my girlfriend was still going to go through with this(and manage it herself as ray white could not manage it after sending a letter of vacant possession to homestart). I advised her that if she was going to go through with it, that it was of the upmost importance she holds onto the bond ($600)so that at least she has some sort of security, which I thought would be no problem as the bond is held with the residential tenancy tribunal, and after ringing them they said the convayencer will include change of ownership and transfer of the bond into my girlfriends name(tribunal still holds the bond). Sounds pretty straightforward, except the realestate sales agent refused to allow this to happen, saying she will release the bond to the tenants (bearing in mind there is still a month to run on the lease). This would have left my girlfriend with no security, as a result of this agents refusal to budge on this issue the sale of this 80+ thousand dollar house fell through.
My question to everyone is why would a real estate agent who stands to make a decent commission out of this (guaranteed)house sale allow it to fall through over what really is a technicality, and something she should really have no interest in.
I will give you the example of this agents professionalism (lack of). After my girlfriend was continually stuffed around by her, I went along for some support and ask a few questions of my own. She could not answer one of my questions, also she rang my girlfriend the following day, asking that I not be present for any further dealings with the house as I was "threatening" to her. The fact was I was polite, and the only way I can possibly imagine that I was threatening to her was to her credibility.
Anyway my girlfriend gave up on this house, and is now looking around for another house.
After this episode I would be very hesitant to deal with Ray White (Salisbury) ever again, all because of this one agents actions. I am very tempted to write a letter to the owners of the property to see if they were aware how close they were to having there house off the market, and also sending a letter to the owner of that ray white franchise explaining exactly why the sale fell through.
Any comments or theories would be appreciated.
Regards Adam
 
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Reply: 1
From: Pierre .


You didn't mention which state you were in - Salisbury - is that SA?

In NSW, a Residential Tenancy Agreement can be terminated on the sale of property with 30 days notice in writing from the vendor to the tenants. Given most settlement periods are greater than 30 days, this time is sufficient to give the 'vacant posession' Homepath and your girlfriend required. Assuming SA Residential Tenancy Laws are similar to NSW, this should have meant that it had nothing at all to do with the RE Agent or managing agent, and you could have simply ignored them. This was a matter for your girlfriend's solicitor. The solicitor should have advised her of this.

You need to clarify the RTAct(SA) bits with someone from SA.

She may well be able to get back into the deal if I am right.
 
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Reply: 1.1
From: Kristine .


Dear Adam

The 'technicality' you mention is a legal requirement.

Perhaps the agent did not want to be charged with false & misleading practise, even perjury, even tho she 'stood to receive a commission'.

Perhaps your girlfriend should be thankful for all the confusion, as the penalties for commercial fraud are quite hefty, 'even for a technicality'.

Food for thought?

Kristine
 
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