A Real Estate Disciplinary Tribunal case brought by a couple who developed multi-million dollar properties on the North Shore, has been thrown out of court, because the case did not meet the threshold for unsatisfactory conduct.

Kenneth and Doreen Cooke built two homes in Milford in early 2007, at the height of the property boom, which were sold in a forced sale just two years later as the property market went into freefall.

The couple argue the Barfoot & Thompson real estate agent did not honour his undertaking to obtain the best possible price for the homes and that the value reached for the property was "simply plucked out of the air' and far less than the property's capital valuation.

The Cookes originally listed the property, which contained the two houses, for sale at $2.595 million in late 2007. Two years later the property was sold for far less than the original listing price.


The couple said they had suffered significant financial setback as a result of the forced sale and claimed the agent told prospective purchasers the likely sale price for the property was in the low $1 millions, when in fact a recent valuation put the capital value of the property at $1.75 million.

The tribunal said it sympathised with the Cookes for the position they found themselves in, and while there may have been a lack of care by Barfoot and Thompson in not considering the new CV, the complaint did not reach the threshold for unsatisfactory conduct.

"There was no doubt that they were sadly caught by having undertaken their development at a time when the market began to fall rapidly at a time of global recession."