Western Australian agent fined $3,500 for not presenting highest offer to vendor

Western Australian agent fined $3,500 for not presenting highest offer to vendor
Western Australian agent fined $3,500 for not presenting highest offer to vendor

A Western Australian agent has been fined $3,500 by Consumer Protection after failing to present the highest offer for a Warnbo, Perth property to the vendor.

As the sales representative for a property in Warnbro in November 2012, Dane Stephen Rawlings received two offers on the property. One was $410,000, the other for $400,000, both subject to finance. He did not present the highest offer to the seller.

If the seller had accepted the higher price it would have resulted in Rawlings sharing the commission with the sales representative for the prospective buyers who made the offer on a ‘conjunctional’ basis.

The lower offer would see him receiving the full sales commission. He presented the $400,000 offer to the seller, which was accepted.

Rawlings told the sales representative that the higher offer was rejected as the other offer was a full price cash offer. This was not correct.

Consumer Protection took action against Rawlings after an investigation into the sale. It was found he had breached the Code of Conduct for Agents and Sales Representatives.

Real estate agents and sales representatives should always be acting in the best interest of their clients, said Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Anne Driscoll.

“Honesty and integrity is at the heart of the Code of Conduct and those in the real estate industry who do not adhere to the rules may be subject to disciplinary action and ultimately could lose their licence to operate,” she said.

Rawlings faced two charges, fined $1,500 and $2,000 on each on 30 July 2014. He was also ordered to pay costs of $1,000.

That he did not communicate the higher offer to the seller was considered a serious matter by the State Administrative Tribunal. They noted that it involved concealment that was very difficult to detect, undermines the sales process as well as undermines the trust the public has in the real estate industry.

Rawlings assured that in future he would improve his practice by being present at every viewing to meet with potential buyers and agents – particularly for conjunctional arrangements. He would take precise diary entries and notes in regards to phone calls and meetings, and he would be more accountable in forwarding offers to the seller and principal.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

Consumer Affairs Western Australia

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