Stumped but Not Out - Skullduggery Abounds

Welcome to this week’s ponderings….

Well I’ll be stumped. I’m flummoxed and constantly amazed at some people’s behaviours.

A fair amount of skulduggery goes on in any arena and especially where money seems to be concerned – let me hop into it.

Just yesterday I was chatting with a delightful gentleman who has been trying to get some property sold on the other side of Brisbane and has been having not such a good time of it.

Incident:
The agent never filled out the appointment correctly – no dates of limitation to the service.
The agent couldn’t close a deal for them because the buyer was not vetted properly, and things fell over due to buyer’s lack of proper disclosure.
One month after the non-dated appointment time finished, one of the agency’s in-house colleagues is interested to buy the property and makes an offer to purchase that is $10K less than the deal that they couldn’t close before.

Why $10K less? Apparently, they thought that was ok since the owner wouldn’t have to pay any commission so cheekily suggested a lower offer to compensate. (Well, someone).

Now according to the law, if the client is no worse off than they would be if the property were sold at fair market value, then the transaction could proceed.

However, when something smells bad it usually is bad and with the paperwork mishandled the way it was, along with the agreement having, in spirit, ended a month prior, I might hazard a guess that the fair market value was never properly assessed and in the least, the agent should have at least offered the same as the failed offer rather than cut the owner out of $10K for a sale that the agent obviously had mismanaged from the outset.

As I mentioned, the owner is a gentleman and I am sordidly embarrassed when charlatans take advantage of people who are gentle and obviously somewhat naïve. And it nearly always happens when owners are under pressure to get a result. Shame on them!

There is a bold warning notification and guidelines spelling out exactly what agents should be doing with regard to the appointment to act on your behalf – including a fully completed and signed document before representing you in the market.
Be sure of who you are dealing with and be sure that all documentation is in proper order.
If you are nervous about any aspect, take the paperwork to someone you can trust to check it out and/or go to your solicitor before signing.

Now to the other side – landlords being duped – not by real estate agents but the tenants themselves.

More recently we assisted a landlord who had been self-managing their property and they got themselves into a spot of bother worth noting if you know of anyone or if you yourself are considering handling your own property management.

Incident:
Landlord purchases property with tenant in place some time back and happily begins to collect rent for a good period of time – apparently all seemed good and the owner didn’t enter into regular inspections and didn’t utilise due process much at all.
Then the water bills started to roll in and they were suddenly massive.
The tenant decided to have another person living at the premises (in contravention of their lease agreement – the one that was assigned by the previous leasing/selling agency).
Then it was discovered that a pet was being housed there – also in contravention.
Then it was discovered the tenant was well behind in rent payments.
Then it was decided by the owner enough was enough and the tenant should go.

But the problem was the tenant not only didn’t want to pay for the excess water, nor pay the rent arrears, but the tenant also didn’t want to leave.
Yes, off to the small claims tribunal and fortunately the judge found in favour of the owner and ordered the tenant out. However, that’s when the delaying tactics started, and things really began to drag out.

Now the owner is forced to go to court to retrieve thousands of dollars outstanding and other bond issues while the tenant sits neatly somewhere else playing the same tricks.

I’d like to point that not all tenants behave like this in fact the majority in our experience are simply excellent and do the good and proper thing at all times, and the regular contact and management of things certainly help to keep everyone honest.

But just one or two can cost you thousands in lost rent and legal fees if due process is not followed. Recommendation?

Engage a qualified property manager. Property management fees are miniscule when compared to the stress and loss when things go awry.

Until next time, Happy Listing, Selling and getting it right and correct…

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Stumped but Not Out - Skullduggery Abounds