Real estate agent fined, censured over commission; decision appealed

Dunedin real estate agent Tim Barnett has been censured and fined by the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) - a decision which is under appeal - over commission on a more than $700,000 commercial building.

The decision, released last week, found ''unsatisfactory conduct'' against Mr Barnett. He was fined $2000 and required to undergo further training.

Mr Barnett, of Tim Barnett Realty, declined to comment when contacted because the decision was under appeal.

It would ''not be appropriate to comment'', he said.

The REAA found Mr Barnett had breached a number of rules: that no agency agreement was completed, the client was not provided with an appraisal and Mr Barnett did not display the REAA rules on his website.

The REAA said Mr Barnett had agreed to sell a commercial building in mid 2006, for $1 million plus GST, but no agency agreement or comparative market analysis was completed for the vendor.

In June 2007, Mr Barnett presented an offer of $800,00, plus GST, with a verbal agreement for a $10,000 commission, plus GST, but the offer was rejected.

In January 2011, Mr Barnett presented an offer for $711,00, plus GST, with no discussion on commission, but the offer was rejected.

In August 2011, Mr Barnett presented an offer of $712,000, plus GST, with no discussion on commission.

That offer was accepted and commission of $11,000, plus GST, was deducted.

Mr Barnett told the REAA he believed he had proposed the further $1000 commission, when a second offer was presented, but admitted the additional commission was never put in writing.

The complainant was successful in getting a separate Disputes Tribunal decision in his favour, getting back $1000.

The complaint had wanted a ''public interest'' investigation by the REAA into Mr Barnett's business affairs.

However, the REAA said that with no evidence, other than the REAA's own unsatisfactory conduct finding, and no previous complaints against Mr Barnett, it was declining any investigation.

simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

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