Agent listed house without consent

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 13:14 18/07/2013

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A Ray White real estate agent has been fined $1000 for unsatisfactory conduct after she marketed a $1.3 million St Heliers home without a valid listing.

The Real Estate Complainants Assessment Committee found that Lindi Chemaly, who works for Megan Jaffe's Ray White Remuera franchise, listed a home with a current rateable value of $1.3m without consent from the complainant who owned the house with her husband.

Chemaly initially said she was unaware she needed the complainant's signature to sell the property.

However, she has since admitted to being aware of that requirement.

The committee found in the real estate agent's favour in respect to two other aspects of the complaint about the house sale.

The complainant, an Auckland woman, and her husband, whose names have not been made public, paid $1.115m through Ray White in 2009 for the property with sea views.

After a marital dispute, the complainant's husband contacted Chemaly to discuss the possibly of selling the house.

He signed a listing agreement drafted by Chemaly and arranged to advertise the property.

However, the wife emailed Chemaly telling her not to offer or quote the property for sale until she received confirmation from her lawyer.

In June 2010 Chemaly contacted the complainant's husband to find out if a decision had been reached about the property sale.

The complainant's husband arranged for a prospective buyer Chemaly had found to view the house while the complainant was in Europe celebrating her birthday.

The interested party made a first offer of $1.04m which was rejected by the complainant.

A second offer of $1.108m was made which was eventually accepted.

The complainant said the house was sold below its value, and she felt pressured into signing the agreement by a contract clause that gave her two days to make up her mind.

The complainant maintained the clause was added after the buyer signed the agreement, but before it was presented to her.

However, the committee ruled that the complainant took time to consider both offers from the buyer.

"There is no evidence to show that the licensee exerted any undue pressure on the complainant to make a decision."

The committee also said the sale price of $1.108m did not point to a "negligent underselling" of the property given the short time that elapsed between sales and the relatively quiet state of the market in 2010.

The complainant is appealing the decision to the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal but no date has yet been set.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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