Misrepresentation Guideline

Brian Cannan: Hi, I'm Brian Cannan and today I have Andrew Coulson with me from Think Real Estate. Hello, Andrew.

Andrew Coulson: Hi Brian.

Brian: We're going to talk about Misrepresentation Guidelines.

Andrew: Yes, the misrepresentation guidelines are a set of guidelines from Fair Trading that talk about what we need to disclose, when we can remain silent, and more importantly, things around what they call material facts.

Brian: So what do you have to disclose, Andrew?

Andrew: If you're aware of any faults with the property such as termites or a building fault, or perhaps some work that had been done to the property without council approval, you would need to disclose those facts.

Brian: And if someone asks you a question that you didn't know the answer to?

Andrew: Well, you would be obliged to try and seek the answer from the owner.

Brian: But they may not know.

Andrew: They may not know. So you'll need to make some enquiries. And also, they could also consult with their solicitor or their own advice in regards to that. So you need to make some enquiries.

Brian: So if you don't know you can't tell them.

Andrew: That's correct. That's the main thing that you're not making false representations.

Brian: Yes, we had an agent that was auctioning a property and in the second inspection, the next door neighbor came in and asked them how the murder/suicide house was going? And the agent said they know nothing about that. And the agent rang us and said, Do I have to disclose that? And we said, we you've got to checked the information first, you just can't go out and disclose it if it's not true. So they went and checked with the vendor and checked, and it was true, and the vendor hadn't disclosed it. So from then on they were disclosing it to all buyers as a matter of fact, the solicitor was very good, he put it into contract. So if you know it, you have to disclose it, correct?

Andrew: Correct. When would you need to disclose that?

Brian: As soon as possible, or to an interested party, you don't have to tell everyone, but you could also put it in the contract that made it very easy for them. But once someone said, I'm interested in making an offer, you need to make sure they understand about the material fact.

Andrew: So when they, you don't need to stand at the front door and disclose material facts, but you would indicate those when they show interest in the property.

Brian: You don't need to put into advertising either, once again when they indicate they're interested in the property.

Andrew: Okay, thanks.