A real estate agency’s miscommunication has resulted in a rude shock for a couple who discovered potential tenants trying to inspect their house for the new owner.
The sale of the couple’s property was not due to settle until 11 March, when they arrived at the house to see a “For lease" sign in the front yard and potential tenants waiting to inspect the property.
Barry Plant Werribee was the agency that arranged the rental inspection without notifying the current owners.
Barry Plant chief executive Mike McCarthy told Residential Property Manager the incident came down to a failure in communication at the office.
“The new purchaser was obviously keen to get a tenant in as quickly as they could,” he said.
“The salesperson communicated with the rental department saying that was the case and the property is vacant so it shouldn’t be a problem opening it.
“The problem was there was no communication with the current owner prior to settlement.”
Mr McCarthy said it was important to mention that nobody actually inspected the property.
“It was about to happen, the owner arrived as I understand it, and obviously expressed their displeasure with it, and the open was immediately shut down,” he said.
Mr McCarthy said he couldn’t see the mistake happening again in the future.
“I think in this case it was an overenthusiastic salesperson who was trying to do right by the new owner, and simply hadn’t followed the right procedure,” he said.
“They will learn from it and they will move on and it won’t happen again.”
The woman in the couple, who requested to be known only as Faye, told radio station 3AW that the incident did nothing to help the reputation of the real estate industry.
"It's things like this that make you lose trust in the real estate industry," she said.
"They organised an inspection of the property, but I'm the owner and I knew nothing about it. If they had called me I probably would have said yes.”
Mr McCarthy said the director of the office had contacted the owners to apologise.
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