Very Sus Real Estate Deal

Hi, I have a question because I believe our dear neighbor has been done very wrong by a local agency and I’d like to know for future reference if this is legal. She’s a pension-age lady who had shared her home with her sister for a time and then decided to sell after the sister had moved on.

This is what happened.-

She rang a realty who came out to have a look at her home. Later that same night, they rang to ask if they could being someone by the next day. They did and she said she sold it to them. I only found out about this afterwards. The next part is what’s troubling.

The day after, the realty came and put up a “for sale” sign. The next day they came back and put a “sold” sticker on it. I thought this was very odd? Essentially, this property was never put on the market at all.

I went over to ask her what had happened and what she sold it for, thinking they must have offered a very good price. No, she was convinced that a price which she could have gotten in 2019 was a good price! This area is on fire right now and very sought after– regardless the condition. For instance, one just around the corner, which needs torn down, just sold for what she was offered for a nice home (and in a better location, across from a park). I feel this realty has either sold this to friends or something similar. This woman could have EASILY gotten at least $100k more than she took! Because this property was never put on the market, she lost that money. Does this sound right to you?

*Please move to proper forum if this is incorrect.

Comments

  • +9

    Real estate agents are pigs. This doesn't surprise me.

    • +7

      Pigs are beautiful, intelligent animals that mean no harm to anybody.

      Calling REAs pigs is a massive insult to pigs.

      • +1

        Pigs will eat people in certain circumstances, so maybe the comparison is not so wrong.

  • +6

    You need to get a valuation, they took advantage of an old lady. Report it to the real estate institute

    • Who negged this? reason?

      • Real estate agent. Reason self explanatory

  • +4

    Hard to know without more details. For example, if she wanted a quick sale so she could move forward with another property she liked, or if she didn't want open inspections for several weeks and strangers trampling through her house, or if she saved on marketing costs because of the speed of the sale. It sounds like an off-market sale, which is legal; buyers have expressed interest about properties in the area and the agent has people ready to make offers. They are not necessarily a related party. But yes - any off-market sale risks lower price. But has the above advantages too.

    Depends on the state, but most states require agents to disclose potential conflicts of interest (direct interest, such as buying for themselves, or indirect interests such as related party (friend, family member) purchase). They would typically need to disclose to the client, and obtain written consent to proceed. Even then, it is still a requirement for the agent to operate in the best interests of their client without knowingly misleading or deceiving any parties to the transaction.

    If there's been a breach and it's worthy of a complaint by the seller, they can raise the complaint with the fair trading office in their state.

  • +4

    I’m sure our neighbours got done the same way and REA gave a shady hookup to an acquaintance.

    Land worth easily over 2mill got sold for 1.2 (wtf) then put back on the market within months, subdivided as 4 x 700,000 parcels. Big oof.

    While I’m sure there’s honest REAs out there it’s far and few between as the markets got increasingly less space for honesty and integrity.

  • +2

    Find out the Agent's details and make a complaint to REIV.

    • +3

      I tried to complain to the REIV once about an issue with an agent. I was promptly told the REIV is an organisation that represents the realtors interests - not the publics.
      I should complain to consumer affairs.

      • +1

        WTF?
        Then go all out p A CURRENT AFFAIR : )

  • Hard to know without more details.

    this

  • Have you spoken to her? Is there any cooling off period for sellers? If there is I would hope she didn't waive that right.

    I would speak to her again and ask if she is aware of the value of her property and if she isn't happy you should recommend someone she can talk to about it. If there is a cooling off period for sellers (unsure?), she'd best get onto it ASAP.

    • I doubt there is any cooling off for the sellers. Even otherwise looks like 3 days would have passed. Other alternative is to plead capacity either on account of mental capacity, or drug (medication related impairment) to enter into a contract. But, for this ideally some close relative needs to work with a doctor to get it done. Having said that it is quiet possible, if the price is still too good, the mere mention of the CoS being challenged on account of capacity might result in higher offer from the buyers.
      Although, you are being a great neighbour trying to look the interest of your neighbour. However, there is only so much you can do. The vendor and her family needs to be involved to take this further.

  • +10

    I have a similar story.

    Old couple on my street. Old man goes for walks every afternoon. Goes missing on Christmas Eve, police found him dead on Christmas Day (not suspicious but I want to keep this vague).

    His widow can't stay by herself so a year or two later the family decides to sell and move her into care. They sell through a well known real estate agent in my suburb who has a younger "partner" agent - they often have their photo together on the for-sale signs.

    I go to the open home and enquire about making an offer. Main agent refuses to take my offer saying the owner will not sell below X. Imagine my surprise when the house is sold a week later for $70k less than my "offer"… to the younger partner of the agent.

    The guy literally lives there right now… on my street. How this is not illegal I will never know.

    • +1

      Similar happened to me. Tried to buy a property and offered 10% over market value, told my offer was declined, the next day I was told that it was no longer for sale, find out it sold for nearly 25% less than my offer.

      It was on the edge of a small town and rumour at the pub was that the agents in-laws bought it as a weekend hobby farm.

  • +2

    Realtor probably sold it to a "relative" for a quick flip

    • that was my first thought

  • Seen this a number of times where a REA says they can sell the property quickly and is is way below market rates.

    ALWAYS go onto Domain and realestate and get prices for places. Also ANZ have a free property report that takes a few hours to be sent through.

  • +1

    https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/contact-us/resolve-your-prob...

    If you are a property buyer, seller or a landlord, you can use this online form to make a formal complaint about a Victorian estate agent.

    https://www.complaintline.com.au/real-estate-agent.html

    Complaints and advice

    If you are seeking advice, or wish to make a complaint, please contact the relevant state office:

    Real Estate Institute of Australian Capital Territory, ph: 0499 881 168
    ACT: Access Canberra, ph: 13 22 81
    NSW: Office of Fair Trading,  ph: 133 220
    Real Estate Institute of Northern Territory, ph: (08) 8981 8905
    NT: Consumer Affairs, ph: 1800 019 319
    Real Estate Institute of Queensland, ph:  1300 697 347
    QLD: Fair Trading, ph: 13 74 68
    Real Estate Institute of South Australia, ph: (08) 8366 4300
    SA: Consumer and Business Services, ph: 131 882
    Real Estate Institute of Tasmania, ph: (03) 6223 4769
    TAS: Consumer, Building and Occupational Services, ph: 1300 65 44 99
    VIC:  Consumer Affairs, ph: 1300 55 81 81
    Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, ph: (08) 9380 8222
    WA: Consumer Protection, ph: 1300 136 237
    
  • +2

    Unfortunately this happens all the time. Depending on your state she could make a formal complaint.

    Different states have different oblogations for REAs to fulfil before selling a property including providing current CMAs and abiding by a code of conduct.

    If the property is not unconditional then she should hire a decent property lawyer and crash the sale. A basic legal notice to the agency will ensure they encourage the buyer to move on.

  • +1

    She should have a solicitor and not sign it until the solicitor has checked the contract, and put in a stipulation of market value eg (subject to valuation), She needs legal advice, and warn her she is being ripped off. They are trying to male a fast buck off her

  • +1

    Report it to Neil Jenman (https://jenman.com.au/about-us/), then name and shame the agency please.

  • Thanks for the replies, folks. I did speak to her and she has been made to feel her offer was okay (though part of it is likely that the place wasn't kept tidy and I get the impression she's a bit embarrassed/ashamed about it). It wouldn't surprise me if the realtors tsk-tsked all the while knowing that her home was worth a LOT more than what she accepted.
    No, she didn't "need" to sell immediately. She had been up north visiting old friends and when she returned, had decided to sell and move back. She said she was surprised at how much the houses had gone up in price there. I said, yes, here, too! But at this point, she has a closing date and has started her plans.

    Btw, that sign came down the day after they stuck a sold sticker on it. I think they must have just done it for a photo— grrr.

    I just cannot believe that this nice woman, a war vet, who would organize AU Day observance for our street, did it all right and these (profanity) vipers swept in and screwed her!

    I'm still angry, but I didn't want to make her feel worse. :(

    • when I attempted to buy a strata car park my solicitor was very thorough, he advised me to purchase a strata report, which revealed upcoming extra levies. A solicitor should not have agreed to a contract without market valuation

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