Celebrity Buyer Sues New Zealand Real Estate Agent on Luxury Home Deal

By @diplomatist10 on
Buildings at a government housing development in Caracas Venezuela Reuters/Stringer

Elizabeth Barbalich, director of green beauty brand Antipode has sued her real estate agent demanding compensation, for duping her in a house deal that made her pay excess price to the sellers for a luxury house, reported stuff.co.nz.

According to the claims made by Barbalich, she had to cough up an extra $250,000 by trusting the word of her real estate agent Nicholas Reeve. The firm Reeve and Leaders is facing a $250,000 claim for misleading a buyer.

Barbalich is battling the matter in the court to recover the excess price she paid. But the agent claims that he never misled her into paying more for the upmarket Wellington property.

Misled by Agent

According to the information supplied to the court, Barbalich paid $2.78 million in February 2013 for the Mallam St. Karori property. For this she charged Reeve of having misled her about the interest of other bidders in the house and made her increase the offer by $250,000. Now she is asking for $250,000 as compensation.

Deposing before the court Barbalich said she and her investor husband Zoran valued the house and factored in the rating value of $2.35 million and made an offer of $2.53 million.

But hardly an hour before the tenders were to close on Feb 28 she met the agent Reeve to complete the tender document. That time Reeve told her two more offers have come for the house. Barabalich said the news brought her under huge pressure and she increased the offer to $2.7milion.

Later in the day, she was informed by Reeve that the sellers had countersigned the offer at $3million. But Reeve told her that the sellers were ready to negotiate with her, as another offer was there, and it had become a case of now or never.

Brabalich said she had to make a quick decision on the spot and offered another $80,000 hoping to clinch the deal.

Agent refutes misinformation

Explaining his side, real estate agent Nicholas Reeve told the court that Barbalich cooked up a story that two more offers were floating for the house. It might have been a way to convince her husband as to why she paid $2.78 million. Reeve also alleged that Barblich interpreted things incorrectly when he mentioned that two other tender documents were distributed for the property. 

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