Lane Nichols is a senior NZ Herald reporter

Auckland house sold three times in one day

The Real Estate  Agents Authority is investigating the frenzied series of transactions surrounding the sale of the Hepburn Rd cottage. Picture / Greg Bowker
The Real Estate Agents Authority is investigating the frenzied series of transactions surrounding the sale of the Hepburn Rd cottage. Picture / Greg Bowker

A tiny two-bedroom West Auckland cottage sold three times on the same day with speculators cashing in on nearly $80,000 profit in less than 24 hours.

The Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) is investigating the frenzied series of transactions and the original seller has lodged a formal complaint.

The property, at 168 Hepburn Rd in Glendene, was listed for sale by Justine McCall in April last year after her mother, who had lived in the house for a decade, passed away.

McCall enlisted then Ray White agent Aaron Drever, who worked for the firm's Kelston-based Pure Realty franchise.

Documents supplied to the Weekend Herald show he appraised the property at between $380,000 and $440,000. McCall eventually accepted a $450,000 offer from property investment company Sirroco Ltd on April 24, 2015. Settlement was to occur on July 7 of that year.

Property records analysed by CoreLogic show Sirroco relisted the property with Drever two weeks later on May 7, and signed a sale and purchase agreement to on-sell the cottage to The Property Lifestyle Ltd on May 20 for $515,000.

Settlement occurred on the same date of July 7 - when Sirroco made an instant $65,000 profit - less commission - without ever taking possession of the house.

Just two days after agreeing to buy the 60sq m cottage, The Property Lifestyle Ltd on-sold the house to Magill Family Property Ltd for $529,000, with settlement again occurring on July 7.

The sale was conducted privately, giving the company a $14,000 profit.

The three sales all settled on July 7 with the property effectively jumping in value by $79,000 in the space of a single day.

Magill Family Property Ltd is understood to have renovated the house before selling it to first home buyers Nicola Rothwell, 28, and Mathew Powell, 32, in April this year for $549,000.

McCall was stunned to learn her mother's old home had been sold three times in the space of a day without any improvement work being carried out.

Justine McCall who sold her mum's Hepburn Rd house through real estate agent Aaron Drever after her mum died. Photo / Supplied
Justine McCall who sold her mum's Hepburn Rd house through real estate agent Aaron Drever after her mum died. Photo / Supplied

She said her lawyer had warned her against the deal and she now believed she had under-sold her house.

The sale process had been a hugely stressful time, as she was making funeral arrangements and travelling between Auckland and her Queenstown home, she said.

"It was horrific.

"I should have known better. If I was in a better mental state I just wouldn't have done it," she said.

"For me it wasn't so much the money. It would have been great to have another $65,000, but it was just really feeling ripped off and felling like a piece of shit."

McCall said she had now laid a complaint against Drever with the REAA.

In a statement, Drever defended his actions and said there was nothing unusual about the transactions.

McCall was experienced at selling homes, and the sale and purchase agreement highlighted the fact the property had not been exposed to the market and that it was a "do-up", he said.

While the three sales settled on the same day, the purchase agreements were signed over a period of weeks.

"A house selling several times in a month is hardly unusual in Auckland."

While Sirroco relisted the property with Drever, it was on-sold through a colleague as he was overseas.

He added that Ray White had approved all paperwork associated with first two sales and his conduct was both appropriate and fully within the law.

Finally, Drever said he had received no notification of either the complaint or REAA investigation.

Last month he admitted his ninth disciplinary breach in connection with the sale of three West Auckland homes - one of them also involving Sirroco Ltd.

He faces the possible cancellation of his licence at a penalty hearing next month.
Ray White declined to comment as the matter was before the REAA.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 04 Dec 2016 02:49:50 Processing Time: 544ms