'Sloppy' agent messes up house deal

A real estate agent who gave a first-home buyer incorrect information has been found guilty of "sloppy and unprofessional" conduct.

The Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal found Ram Vinodh, of Don Ha Real Estate, guilty of unsatisfactory conduct.

The decision relates to Mr Vinodh's actions in 2010 when he was selling 10 Andover Way, Manukau.

The tribunal found he provided false information about the property's address, which led to buyer Michael Hawes believing he was buying the house next door.

In May 2010, Mr Vinodh arranged to meet Mr Hawes at 12 Andover Way for a viewing. That was the number on the letterbox and on the fence.

He was told the CV was $450,000 and the list price $479,000.

However, the property he viewed was actually 10 Andover Way - the house was incorrectly labelled.

Later that month, Mr Hawes made an offer to buy the property for $430,000, but while the agreement for sale and purchase contained the address of 12 Andover Way, the legal description was for number 10.

The sale price was conditionally agreed at $435,000, but when he received the LIM report, Mr Hawes discovered the names of the owners on the title were not the same as the vendors on the sale and purchase agreement.

It was revealed that the post boxes for numbers 10 and 12 had been incorrectly placed and that the current valuation for 10 Andover Way (the property he wanted to buy) was $420,000, not $450,000, said the finding.

Mr Hawes realised the mistake and said he did not want to proceed, but his lawyer told him he was bound to complete the purchase.

Giving evidence through a Hindi interpreter - because he wanted to be sure he fully understood the questions - Mr Vinodh said the only incorrect information on the agreement was the street address number, which was wrongly recorded by himself accidentally.

The tribunal found it "undeniable" that Mr Vinodh had put the wrong address on the sale and purchase agreement and he was found guilty of unsatisfactory conduct.

"Clearly Mr Hawes thought he was purchasing 12 Andover Way and was [likely] to have been (and was) unaware of the fact that the legal description was not for 12 ..."

The tribunal dismissed two other charges against Mr Vinodh of reckless conduct or wilful misconduct.

A penalty has not been decided.

The tribunal suggested Mr Vinodh complete an English test to show he is at the required standard.

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