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18 February 2016


A sale is a sale and business is business.

When I decided to sell my property I listed with the Private Sale Company as their fees were small compared with a major real estate company. My brother had just sold his property with them and was very happy.

Andrew Gray and Duncan McGregor came to my house where we discussed price, advertising, signage and fees. I was told I could either pay an upfront fee of $1200 or a fee of $2400 on successful completion of sale.

The upfront fee was out of the question for me as I had no funds available.

They explained to me that should I decide to take the property off the market, then all I needed to do was ring them and they would come and remove the sign, and if I decided to re-list there would be a $40 fee to put the property back on the Internet.

After several ads, which I paid for, there was little or no interest in my house; we then tried an open home which attracted 4 or 5 people, but they were not serious buyers.

I decided to take my property off the market and I advised Andrew Gray.

Around a month later my mother rang and said that her and my father had decided to purchase my property. They were doing it purely for me so I could move and they had to borrow to buy it and also use all the money they had in their bank account which left them financially strapped.

When the Private Sale Company still had not been to remove the for sale sign I rang them again to ask that it be removed. Andrew Gray asked me if I had sold the property and when I replied yes my parents are going to buy it, he seemed pleased.

A few days later the sign was removed and an account for $2,400 was placed in my letterbox.

I immediately rang him to ask why. He became very aggressive and said, “Well you signed the listing agreement which gives us the right to claim our fee if the property is sold. This agreement is valid for 12 months.”

They have forwarded their account to a collection agency and I have also received a magistrates court claim.

I do not have the funds available to pay this fee. I feel I have been taken advantage of by the Private Sale Company. The listing agreement was not explained to me fully.

Any agreement that any seller signs, whether with a real estate agent or a private sale company, will always be heavily biased in favour of the company.

These agreements are designed to protect companies not consumers.

This is why sellers should NEVER sign agreements placed under their noses. Never sign anything without reading it thoroughly and understanding it completely.

Best of all, sellers should design their own agreements and insist that agents or private sale companies sign the sellers’ agreements.


Footnote: A few weeks ago, we spoke with Andrew Gray of the Private Sale Company about this case. Although he did not say that he would not be taking legal action, we are surprised that he has decided to do so.

But, the house did sell, albeit it to mum and dad.

And, well, a sale is a sale and business is business – at least that’s how it so often works in the real estate world.

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