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Actress could have saved $800k

By Brendan Wong
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Engaging the services of an expert property buyer can provide investors with an extra level of protection when it comes to a sale, according to one buyer’s agent.

Responding to Smart Property Investment's sister publication, Real Estate Business, on a story about Australian actress Toni Collette losing her case over failing to settle a property, Michael Whitrow from RealTeam Property Group said a buyer’s agent could have protected the couple.

“Had they engaged a buyer’s agent, this couple would have gained the advantage of professional advice and assistance in selecting the house, and negotiating the price and terms of the contract to buy it,” he said.

Ms Collette and her husband Dave Galafassi had signed a contract in 2011 to buy a Paddington terrace from Industrie clothing founders, Nick and Susan Kelly, for $6.35 million. They later backed out on the day it was to be sold.

The Kellys managed to sell their property for $5.5 million, but took Ms Collette to court for the loss.

The Supreme Court ruled in their favour and ordered the award-winning actress to pay $814,000.

Mr Whitrow said buyer’s agents could help buyers to be aware of all the known possibilities, exit strategies and contingency responses by the time the contract was entered into.

“I go to a lot of trouble to sort out everything first because otherwise we’re just running around spinning our wheels,” he said.

“Part of what I do is see to it that until the purchaser is fully informed and understands what they’ve been told and has made a decision with as much information as could be provided, we’re not committing to the contract."

Mr Whitrow said he would spend time interviewing his clients, asking detailed questions such as their current and future goals in life and reasons why they wanted a house.

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