A Harcourts real estate agent, who contacted house-sellers who had exclusively listed with a rival agency, has been censured.

The agent with the exclusively listed properties complained about Marie Kahukura of Queenstown Real Estate (Cromwell), trading as Harcourts.

The Real Estate Agents Authority has just issued its decision in which it says her conduct was unsatisfactory.

In her defence, Kahukura said she did not know one of the properties was a sole agency listing because there was no signage showing that.

The rival agent, who was not named, complained that she contacted his clients telling them "I have a buyer wanting to look through your property, who should I contact".

The authority said it might not be clear a property was being marketed under a sole agency.

But where there were a number of instances indicating a pattern of behaviour, this would be regarded as conduct being unacceptable, the authority decided.