A Christchurch real estate agent who gave a potential buyer the security code to a house to inspect it while she waited in a car outside has been reprimanded by the Real Estate Agents Authority and fined $1000.

Late in 2010 the vendors listed their property for sale with Holmwood Real Estate Limited, a division of Harcourts, according to the decision released by the Authority.

An inspection was arranged for December 21.

One of the owners was at a neighbour's house across the road while the inspection took place and watched real estate agent Sharon Smith and a representative of the buyer arrive at his home.


He said that while Ms Smith remained in her car, the representative punched in the access code of the security system and went into the house unaccompanied.

The vendor said the representative showed a complete lack of regard for the property while he was going through it and aggressively opened and closed curtains, resulting in a drawcord coming loose from the curtain tracks.

The vendor approached Ms Smith when the inspection was over and told her he had seen the inspection and challenged her about giving the security code to a third party.

He said he later changed the code because he felt the security of the home had been compromised.

Ms Smith gave a different version of events, saying that when she was given the door code she had no pen or paper so recorded it in the phone of a friend.

She said she stood outside while her friend put the code in and then she entered the garage with her friend and the prospective purchaser.

Once inside the house she got her friend to delete the code from his phone and the three of them inspected the property.

She said when the friend and buyer left, the vendor came across the road and abused her verbally, after which she admitted to him that it was "the wrong thing to do".


Ms Smith said she reported the incident to her manager, who who told her that what she did was wrong.

She said 22 percent of her sales commission went to the owner as compensation and it was agreed by both parties that the matter had been dealt with and the deal was a satisfactory outcome.

The Complaints Assessment Committee of the Real Estate Agents Authority found Ms Smith guilty of unsatisfactory conduct and fined her $1000 on top of compensation already paid to the vendors.

Ms Smith yesterday declined to comment on the decision.