Marlene* was armed by the HHPF
with the knowledge and confidence to terminate an unfair selling
agreement. She describes her experience with a real estate
agency as a "nightmare" from which she felt "helpless"
She said she initially resisted signing up to sell her home
but the agent kept visiting and eventually caught her on a
day when she was distressed over her mother’s illness.
Marlene said: "He was like a vulture. All I could think
about was Mum and he swarmed in for the kill. I guess I finally
succumbed just so that he wouldn’t visit again tomorrow."
The agent recommended auction and set an auction date. She
discovered, belatedly, that the listing contract continued
for two months after the auction date.
"He hadn’t made me aware of the extra months...
While I was initialling every page he was busy asking me questions,
questions that needed replies, ensuring that I didn’t
get any time to read each page. A sly and cunning technique."
After attending an Inside Secrets of Real Estate
seminar, Marlene got in touch with Craig Lean of the HHPF.
He encouraged her to go to the agent’s office and demand
a termination of the contract.
After being left waiting for over an hour, she handed the
agent a letter which officially terminated the company’s
agency; declared that she would not pay any commission, marketing
or advertising costs; and demanded a formal release from the
Marlene insisted she would not leave the office without his
signature on the release letter. "If it took all day,
all week, I wasn’t budging," she says.
The agent resisted, demanding to know "Who put you up
to this?" and complaining: "I’m losing a commission
Eventually he relented and signed. Marlene insisted he date
the signature. She then demanded that he bring out the master
copy of the contract and formally cancel it.
*Fictitious names are used for privacy