A Bayleys real estate agent tried to have a bank falsify documents to cover up problems over a sale, once he found out a state authority had been asked to investigate a complaint against him.

Robert Wallace of Vining Realty Group, trading as Bayleys, was found by the Real Estate Agents Authority to have attempted to get documentation backdated to cover up his activities.

Once the Bayleys agent knew about a complaint to the Government authority, he tried to get papers changed, the authority said in its decision.

Read the full decision here.

"Mr Wallace tried to cover up the fact that the appropriate authorities were not in place once he was made aware that a complaint was to be made to the Real Estate Agents Authority by asking Mr H at the Bank A to backdate the documentation. The Complaints Assessment Committee considers this behaviour to be unacceptable," the authority said in its written ruling.

The Bayleys agent heard about the complaint, so emailed Mr H at the bank: "I am not sure how he knows that we don't have an agency agreement. If you could please back-date the agreement to early December when you indicated in an email that we should proceed with the marketing of the property, that would be appreciated and it should cover us in any dispute with the Real Estate Institute."

The authority issued its decision against the Nelson agent after a complaint that he advertised the sale before any official contract was signed and before the vendor had a chance to approve the advertising. The complainant, who was referred to only as Mr M, also said Wallace made unprofessional comments to the Nelson newspaper, damaging his changes of getting a good price.

The vendor and his wife owned a property in Nelson and banks held first and second mortgage over it. A bank initiated the sale but not as a mortgagee sale, the authority found.

When asked, Wallace told the newspaper "it hasn't been declared as a mortgagee sale, no not yet," the authority found.

So the newspaper published an article headlined "Bank says 'sell' - (the property) agent". The article referred to the Bayleys website which said "it had to be sold quickly because the bank 'requires it'."

The authority found the Bayleys agent put the property on a number of websites without any agency agreement.

Further, Wallace made inappropriate comments. Wallace said in his defence that because of the positive response from the Bank A and the request to get started as soon as possible, he had proceeded with marketing, under the impression the property had been officially listed with Bayleys.

But the authority said the law made it clear Bayleys needed to get appropriate authorities in place and Wallace should have been rigorous.

His actions fell below the general level of competence expected.