Local fuming but agents say deal kosher

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A leading Queenstown realtor has beaten the open market in buying a house listed by his firm – but says everything’s squeaky clean. 

The “squeaky clean” assurance by Ray White Frankton owner Wayne Cafe is cold comfort to househunting Pete 
Deuart – who missed out on the property and has filed a complaint with Government regulatory body the Real Estate Agents Authority. 

“After three months of looking, we finally found a good deal but were beaten by the real estate agents,” Deuart says. 

“I feel as though a young family in Queenstown will never get the chance of a good deal because the agents snap up the good buys.” 

Cafe isn’t phased: “I’ve done everything by the letter. No fear whatsoever.” 

Strict rules govern such a related-party transaction and he’s followed them, Cafe says. 

The scrap’s over a three-bedroom home at 5 Kiely Lane near Gorge Road – listed by Ray White Queenstown at $385,000. 

The day after Ray White sales agent Gavin Castles secured the Kiely Lane listing, he took Ray White reps including Cafe on a familiarisation visit. 

Kiely Lane first appeared on Ray White’s website and on Trade Me that same afternoon – by noon next day, Cafe had conditionally bought it. 

Castles says he took Cafe’s initial offer of $365,000 to his vendors, advising them to bump Cafe up to the $385,000 asking price and sign the deal – which they did. 

By the time Deuart spotted a Kiely Lane ad and phoned Castles three days later, the agent had also signed up another conditional agreement – again at $385,000 – in case Cafe’s deal fell over. 

Castles told Deuart don’t waste your time or mine – you’re too late. 

However, Deuart wasn’t giving up and subsequently phoned Castles offering $390,000. 

Deuart hadn’t seen inside Kiely Lane but had looked from outside and tells Mountain Scene he’d have gone to $400,000. 

Castles says Deuart doesn’t understand – he could offer a million dollars but he’d still be third in line behind Cafe’s and the other contract. 

Castles knew the place would sell pronto – his Kiely Lane ad said: “Call me now, this home is going to sell fast!” – and he wanted to auction it but his vendors weren’t keen, he says. 

Castles will front-foot Deuart’s REAA complaint: “Everything was done to the letter of the law.” 

Cafe points out Castles advised the vendors to bump him up by $20,000 to meet the asking price and emphatically denies queue-jumping with inside knowledge. 

Cafe adds he’s known the vendors for decades and learned from them two weeks beforehand that Kiely Lane was going on the market via Castles and Ray White. 

Cafe says he let the vendors know he’d be interested in buying it, stressing he also told them he had to step right back and let due process take place. 

“It may appear to the general public that I’ve jumped the queue but I’ve stood back and exercised every professional caution and dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’.” 

Cafe admits he had a time advantage over the market as a whole but says any buyers listed on Ray White’s database had the same advantage. 

Kiely Lane is no quick flick, Cafe says: “It’s a future home for one or both of our children.” 

Cafe admits his Frankton agency gets a cut of Ray White Queenstown’s $16,625 commission on Kiely Lane – he won’t reveal how much. 

The vendor says she’s very happy with everything Ray White’s done. 

Frustrated househunter Deuart remains unhappy: 

“It’s totally not a good look for the real estate industry,” he fumes.