30 June 2017

Compliance & Contracts

From listing through to settlement, Tom Horrocks makes sure that we do our absolute best to protect the legal interests of both buyers and sellers.


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Ray White Damerell Group is one of the few real estate firms in the country that employs a full-time lawyer, dedicated to advising and educating our licensed salespeople and vendors about compliance.

Compliance is a huge and often complex part of the residential sales journey and having an expert on board, who can professionally disclose any potential legal issues to purchasers, whilst strategising to obtain the best price for the vendor, gives us a huge advantage over our competitors.

Tom Horrocks joined the Damerell Group in 2017 and his business acumen and legal expertise now ensures our team of salespeople are setting the industry benchmark for what both vendors and purchasers can expect from our licensed salespeople. Tom’s services come at no extra cost to the vendor as he’s part and parcel of the Ray White Damerell Group sales package.

Tom will be with your salesperson at every stage of your journey, from listing through to settlement, making sure that we do our absolute best to abide by the law and also get the best price for your property.

Every home listed with Ray White Damerell Group gets a site visit from Tom to ensure that what is recorded on paper, in terms of the law, is an accurate representation of the property. This includes checking on works that have been carried out, as shown on the LIM, and advise on how to deal with any anomalies prior to going to market. This is a service unique to Ray White Damerell Group and is one of the many points of difference we offer over other real estate firms.

Tom also provides an extra layer of legal protection and service over and above that received from your solicitor. Your solicitor’s primary responsibility is to protect you, their client, no matter the adverse effects on the sale of your property. Tom helps our salespeople to balance that responsibility with our requirement to get our clients the best price for their property. He does this by drafting specific clauses that are inserted into the sale-and-purchase agreement, prior to being sent out to your solicitor for their approval.

In the event of a solicitor adding a clause that Tom feels is heavy-handed or potentially detrimental to the sale, he will contact your solicitor and negotiate an outcome everyone can be happy with. Although he’s always available to assist with the legal requirements of marketing your home, Tom is clear to point out that he cannot act as your legal representative, as that would be a conflict of interest.

At the end of your campaign, Tom will be present for the auction at the Sapphire Rooms, Ponsonby Central, to answer any last-minute questions or queries from either yourself, your salesperson or even a potential purchaser.

Post auction and once an agreement has been entered into, he reviews the documentation to make sure all the signatures are in the right place and that there are no clauses that are confusing. He will also liaise with the solicitors for the respective parties so that there is clear communication.

Even though he’s largely in the background, Tom will be there throughout the entire sales process backing up the salesperson and you, the vendor, with his legal expertise. Selling houses is very stressful and having a legal expert like Tom to identify any potential issues and deal with them before the campaign begins is all part of the service offered by Ray White Damerell Group.

Selling houses is very stressful and having a legal expert like Tom to identify any potential issues and deal with them before the campaign begins is all part of the service offered by Ray White Damerell Group.

The Rules Around Disclosure

Vendors and purchasers, alike, need to understand the requirements imposed upon licensed salespeople by rule 10.7 of the Real Estate Agents Act (Professional Conduct & Client Care Rules) 2012.

We are required to disclose any issues that are known to us. We are not required to go looking for hidden issues. However, if there is anything about the property that would make us suspect that there could be a hidden issue, the law is very clear what we have to do. There are only two options open to us: The first, which we predominantly utilise, is to disclose to potential purchasers that there may be an issue and recommend that they do whatever they need to do to have peace of mind in the purchase. The second option is to have the vendor provide evidence to us, from an independent professional, that there is no issue.

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