• Agent labelled deceitful after buying HNZ properties she was personally marketing then on-selling them for huge profits.
• Real estate watchdog says Marion-Rose Jarman misled HNZ about the properties' value and deceived subsequent purchasers.
• She has been stripped of her licence and fined $7500 for the "appalling breach of trust".
A real estate agent has been stripped of her licence and labelled deceitful for purchasing Housing NZ properties she was personally marketing then flicking them on for massive profits.
A tribunal ruled that Marion-Rose Jarman misled HNZ as to the value of the two Huntly properties then deceived the subsequent purchasers as to the amount they needed to offer. Her agency made double commission on both sales.
"She has shown such an appalling breach of trust, deceitfulness, failure of professional standards, and contempt for the requirements of the law, that she must never again be involved in the real estate industry," the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal has ruled.
Ms Jarman, who was working for Century 21's Countrywide Real Estate at the time, has lost her licence and been fined $7500 after pleading guilty to two misconduct charges laid by Real Estate Agents Authority investigators.
Century 21 national manager Geoff Barnett labelled the incident "terrible behaviour".
"The agent was instantly dismissed at the time," he told the Herald. "Let's not also forget that it was our branch manager who reported her for misconduct in the first place. This was one individual and our company was right on to her."
The tribunal decision says Ms Jarman twice purchased HNZ properties she was marketing without a signed agency agreement or adequate appraisal, then quickly on-sold them without disclosing in writing to the purchasers that she would benefit financially from the transactions.
She bought one of the properties, 7 Chisholm St in Huntly, in July 2011 for $60,000 but resold it 25 days later to Megan Turrall for $108,000 -- a $48,000 profit. Ms Jarman had been marketing the property for HNZ and Century 21 received a commission on both sales.
Though Century 21 provided HNZ with an appraisal for the property of $65,000-$70,000, it was not supported by comparable sales data.
The second property, 9 Smith Ave in Huntly, was listed for sale through Ms Jarman for $90,000 in July 2011. On July 25, 2011, Ms Jarman agreed to sell the property to Roland Naylor for $120,000, though she had not yet signed an agreement to buy it herself.
Four days later, on July 29, Ms Jarman agreed to purchase the property from HNZ for $80,000 -- $10,000 below the listing price and $40,000 below the Naylor offer. Ms Jarman was the listed salesperson and Century 21 charged commission on both sales.
The decision says HNZ never gave written consent to Ms Jarman acquiring the property, as required under the Real Estate Agents Act, although an unsigned and undated consent form was provided by Century 21.
Mr Naylor later told investigators he believed he was buying the house from HNZ or Century 21, not from Ms Jarman personally.
"Ms Jarman again failed to provide written disclosure that she would benefit financially from that on-sale transaction," the decision says.
In pleading guilty to the charges, Ms Jarman accepted she had "wilfully or recklessly" breached a raft of provisions under the act designed to protect consumers, avoid serious conflicts of interest, and not bring her profession into disrepute.
"Clearly the defendant has failed to meet the standards of integrity, probity, and trustworthiness expected of a real estate agent discharging fiduciary and fair dealing duties," the decision states.
The prosecutor said the most serious aspect of the case was the "professional implications" relating to the profit generated by Ms Jarman on-selling both properties.
The Smith Ave deal in particular was a "blatant breach of fiduciary duty".
"In effect, she diverted the extra $40,000 the Naylors were willing to pay from her client to herself. It was also a breach of the duty to act fairly and in good faith towards the Naylors to step in between them and the vendor in the way Ms Jarman did.
On the Chisholm St deal, she made a $48,000 profit in less than a month with no active marketing campaign or renovation work.
"There is an available inference that Ms Jarman either offered HNZ a price she knew was too low and could easily be bettered on the open market, or that the price negotiated with Ms Turrall was unfairly inflated."
Ms Jarman's lawyer told the tribunal Countrywide Real Estate was found guilty of unsatisfactory conduct in 2013, fined and censured in connection with the transactions, having signed off on the sales and receiving commissions.
He said Ms Jarman accepted she had become complacent and not followed correct procedures because of the number of properties she had listed for HNZ.
She is currently receiving a sickness benefit and unable to work.