A “mobile” real estate agent who signed up the job to sell a Marburg home in August 2014 has won commission on its sale more than 12  months later through another agency.

commissionNguyen and Myle Dat appointed A1 Independent Real Estate’s Deborah Gregory to sell their Queen St property at $325k under an open listing.

Buyers Proctor and Sharkey made contact with Gregory on the first Sunday in July the following year and inspected the Dats’ residence with her that same day.

“After no action on the property for over a year,” Gregory put a $250k offer on their behalf to which the sellers countered at $270k plus commission.

A few days later, the sellers recruited Harcourts to the project and reduced the ask to $279k. This was welcome news to the Proctor pair who – after inspecting the residence once more with Gregory – decided they could afford to bring down their offer to (an unacceptable) $240k.

Gregory continued to deal with them about other properties.

On 9 October she called Sharkey to tell him about a new property on the market only to be told the couple had already signed up for the Dat property in September after dropping into an open house while driving around.

Despite being told by the pair they had previously made an offer on the property, the agent on duty put their new $250k offer to the Dats who accepted.

Naturally enough, Deborah Gregory took umbrage. When it was clear to her that there was no other option, she filed proceedings in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a ruling that she had a commission entitlement.

Senior member Peta Stilgoe noted the buyers bought at the same price they previously offered through Gregory and the sellers appointed Harcourts only after brought her prospects through.

Pondering who was the architect of the deal, she observed “it was possible two agents could be effective cause of the sale; one through the introduction of the buyer and one through the closing”.

“The only intervening event between Ms Gregory’s introduction and the sale was Harcourts’ open house,” she ruled. “Ms Gregory’s sign was still on display outside the property.”

Clearly, Ms Gregory had been an “effective cause of the sale” and was entitled to her commission.

Judge Stilgoe also remarked that while the seller was entitled to appoint multiple agents on open listings, “Harcourts should have provided the Dats with a written statement that they may have to pay commission twice”.

Dat & Anor v Gregory t/as A1 Independent Real Estate [2016] QCATA 036 Senior Member Stilgoe OAM published 06/06/2016


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