Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Real Estate - Rogues Or Well Meaning Fools?

I have just finished talking to a purchaser client who has received her termite inspection report.  The report indicates that she must spend thousands of dollars for pest treatment because of the presence of termites.

Of course, the client asked about her rights and I had to give her the same bad news I regularly give to clients in her position - the real estate agent is either a rogue or a well-meaning fool, and the client has to suffer the consequences either way.

What I mean by this is that the client trusted the real estate agent (I know, I'm always telling clients not to trust real estate agents, but they do anyway) to draft a special condition which would allow her to end the contract if there was a "pest problem".

The real estate agent readily obliged, using the standard special condition (yes, I know that's an oxymoron) distributed by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) to its members.

Given that real estate agents are not lawyers, and are therefore prohibited from providing legal advice and drafting contract conditions (putting the obvious conflict of interests aside for one moment), any real estate agent who purports to be assisting a purchaser by inserting the standard condition into the purchaser's formal offer is either a rogue (doing it deliberately with the knowledge that the purchaser is being cheated) or a well-meaning fool (who doesn't understand the meaning of the condition being used).

Purchasers please take note!  Do not, under any circumstances, allow a real estate agent to advise you on the preparation of your offer.  Always obtain legal advice from your own lawyer first.  Even better, take advantage of our pre-purchase legal advice and stay safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment