1 Jun 2014

Agent censured for pressuring widow

1:12 pm on 1 June 2014

An Auckland real estate agent has been censured for pressuring an elderly widow to sell her home.

Mark Birdling, of Bayleys Real Estate, has been ordered to pay $2000, and the agency has been fined $1500.

The complaint relates to the auction of an elderly woman's Auckland house in March 2012.

The Real Estate Agents Authority found the seller became distressed and agitated, and the auction was halted.

The woman was taken to a room to calm down and the auction resumed but the property was passed in after bidding failed to reach the reserve of $540,000.

Mr Birdling then presented the woman with an offer of $451,000 and advised her to sign it.

He claims not to have seen the elderly woman's distress.

But the authority said it must have been clear the auction had been stopped and Mr Birdling pressured the woman into signing the offer.

Mr Birdling and Bayleys are appealing against the decision.