A complaint from a would-be buyer who said a real estate agent snapped up his dream home should never have been made public before it had been properly dealt with, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand says.
By Susan Edmunds
Queenstown buyer Pete Deuart took his complaint to the media as well as the Real Estate Agents Authority after Wayne Cafe, a Ray White agent, bought the $385,000 property, listed with another Ray White real estate agent, Gavin Castles.
He told local paper Mountain Scene: "There hasn't been a house like that probably for sale in Queenstown for about 10 years. When you're looking every day you know when something comes up like that.”
But REINZ regional director Liz Nidd said there was nothing wrong with the transaction. “These people are having their reputations tarnished throughout the country and I believe they have done everything so squeakily clean.”
She said it was not uncommon for purchasers to come forward and say they would have paid more for a particular property.
“This guy didn’t even inspect the property. There was a hole in the kitchen floor. There was also a back-up offer from a member of the public. If he’d been looking as diligently as he claimed, he would have been on their books and would have been notified.”
She said it was unfair that Deuart took his complaint to the media at the same time as he approached the REAA. Normally, names would not be revealed unless a real estate agent was found to have done something wrong.
In this case, Nidd was confident that the complaint would be thrown out but the agents were distressed that their reputations might have already been tarnished.
“People's livelihoods are at stake. These guys have gone so far beyond the call of duty [in handling the deal].”
Nidd said the REINZ board was very concerned about the way the complaint was handled by the media. “The public won’t look out for what the result is going to be. These people have been turned on by the media already. It’s very unfair.”
Ray White chief executive Carey Smith said Mr Cafe had sold his own home six months earlier so there was "nothing untoward" about him being in the market for another.
"There is disclosure every agent needs to make ... and a form that must be completed, and [it was] completed."