Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Real estate agent guilty of unsatisfactory conduct

Photo / File
Photo / File

A real estate agent has been found guilty of unsatisfactory conduct over the proposed sale of a client's property.

Ying Winson He of Queen Street Realty was contacted by the seller in May, 2012 to discuss helping to sell his property.

Mr He said the seller had told him he wanted $250,000 in his hand after commission, the Complaints Assessment Committee said in a released decision.

The agent said he did not give the seller an appraisal of the property because the man knew the price he wanted and an appraisal would not have made a difference.

Mr He said he told the complainant how much commission would be charged by Queen Street Realty, however this was not written on the listing authority, the committee said.

The complainant told the committee that he did not realise he had signed a sole agency agreement and that Mr He had never advised him at any point about the conditions attached to the listing agreement.

Mr He had a number of inquires for the property but he was unable to finalise a sale, the committee said.

On June 21, 2012 the seller told Mr He he wanted to remove the property from Queen Street Realty's listings and asked him to send him the paper work regarding the listing, acknowledging that Queen Street Realty was no longer selling the property.

Mr He told the seller he could cancel the listing, but there was a risk the seller would have to pay commission to the company as well as a commission to whatever agency sold the property, if it was sold within the 90 days of the existing contract.

The seller then had his lawyer write to Mr He cancelling the listing.

The new agency the property was listed with wrote to Mr He to advise that the seller would not be required to pay two commissions and if a dispute arose, the new agency would meet that cost.

The committee found the agency agreement signed by the complainant was clearly headed "Queen Street Realty Sole Agency Agreement", so it dismissed the complaint that he was not told he was dealing with a sole agency.

There was conflicting evidence over whether the buyer was given a copy of the sole agency agreement at the time it was signed, but it was agreed a copy was given to the seller a month later when he wanted to cancel the agreement.

However, it found a written appraisal of the property was not done when he was obliged under the Real Estate Agents Act to provide one.

Mr He also failed to supply in a writing how much commission the seller would need to pay, the committee said.

The agent also knew the sole agency agreement had been "validly cancelled" and by not accepting that, had forced the seller to seek legal advice, it said.

"The committee has determined...that is has been proved, on the balance of probabilities, that Ying Winson He has engaged in unsatisfactory conduct."

There would be a separate hearing on what disciplinary action would be imposed on Mr He.

- APNZ

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