SAT slaps agent over Warnbro sale

Consumer Protection took disciplinary action against Dane Stephen Rawlings over the sale of the property in November 2012.

The authority found he had breached the Code of Conduct for Agents and Sales Representatives and late last month the Tribunal fined Mr Rawlings $1500 and $2000 on two separate charges and ordered him to pay $1000 in costs.

The Tribunal heard that while acting as a sales representative for a Warnbro property, Mr Rawlings received two offers of $4`10,000 and $400,000, both subject to finance. The higher offer was not presented to the seller of the property.

The Tribunal said that if the offer had been presented to, and accepted, by the seller, Mr Rawlings may have had to share the commission of the property with an agent representing the people who made the offer.

Mr Rawlings told the party its offer of $410,000 was rejected in favour of a full price cash offer, which was false.

He only presented the seller with the lower offer, which was later accepted, resulting in him receiving the full sales commission.

The Tribunal took into account that failing to communicate the higher offer to the seller was a serious matter and that kind of misconduct undermined the property sale process and public trust in the real estate industry.

Mr Rawlings made assurances to the Tribunal that he would improve his practices.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said real estate agents and sales representatives must always act in the best interest of their clients.

‘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.