Dodgy real estate deals hurt buyers, sellers
The Broadcasting Standards Authority has determined that this story was unfair to Amy Wildman, one of the agents featured. On August 10th 2015, TV3's Story programme broadcast an item about property prices in Auckland which included an investigation of one of the factors that might be helping to elevate those prices, specifically real estate agents doing deals with developers which mean some houses are not going to auction. As part of that investigation, we used hidden camera footage of a conversation with Amy Wildman, who was working for Ray White in Mangere Bridge. The Broadcasting Standards Authority has determined that the broadcast was unfair to Ms Wildman and breached the fairness standard under the free-to-air television code of broadcasting practice.The Authority's decision can be found here. We are also supplying the full transcript of the hidden camera conversation with Ms Wildman and a statement from her which we received after the story had aired. We apologise for the distress caused to Ms Wildman and we are happy to make the additional information available to the public.
We've heard how hard it's getting for young Kiwis to buy houses in the current property market, and we've heard it's because Chinese foreign investors are driving up prices.
But is there something else going on? We heard some real estate agents are helping investors and traders get the houses first, so we investigated.
On a regular Tuesday we sent a regular looking guy – our actor, John – into the first real estate agency on our list. We had no idea what we would hear. John posed as a property investor.
The agent he met was Amy Wildman from Ray White in Mangere Bridge. John told her if she helped him find a good place to renovate and sell again quickly, he'd sell it back through her – she could sell the house twice and get the sales commission twice.
John then asked if she could help him catch the property before it went to auction, so he could buy it for less.
Ms Wildman seemingly agreed to help our 'investor' buy properties for less than they may actually be worth. If that did happen, it could be breaking the law.
What she did was not okay because she works for the house seller, and under the law she should be helping them get the best price. She'd be giving our guy the chance to snap up houses before all the other home buyers could even see them. That doesn't seem fair either.
But Ms Wildman is not a rogue agent; we think this may be more widespread.
We sent actors into other agencies because we heard it was happening, and only two of the four agents our actor visited turned us down.
Watch the video for the full Story report.
On Monday 10 August TV3’s Story aired an item about real estate agents utilising an actor posing as a property trader. During this item TV3 covertly filmed the actor talking with Amy Wildman who was working as a trainee Sales Assistant at Ray White’s Mangere Bridge branch. We believe TV3’s Story has taken the actor’s conversation with Ms Wildman completely out of context and believe this stance is supported by contents of the full transcript of the conversation provided by presenter Heather du Plessis-Allan. Ms Wildman strongly refutes and takes exception to any suggestion that she was potentially in breach of the Real Estate Institute’s Code of Conduct, or intended to carry out any deal that was not in the best interests of the vendor. Ms Wildman believes this was an orchestrated attempt to entrap her into agreeing with the actor’s desire to undercut an auction process, and the use of a brief segment of the full conversation was then edited to suit Heather du Plessis-Allen’s comment “…it sounds like Amy Wildman has just agreed to help our investor buy properties for less than they’re actually worth…”. The full transcript clearly outlines a very disjointed conversation that ranged from specific properties to general property market trends. It is also clear the Ms Wildman was very enthusiastic – as would any budding real estate agent be at potentially having willing cash buyers wanting to purchase multiple properties from them. We would challenge TV3 Story to place the full unedited transcript of the conversation on its website and provide viewers with an opportunity to see for themselves the full conversation that took place.
ACTOR I’m assuming you work here?
AGENT Yes I do.
ACTOR Hey look, I just want to look at some properties, more so in the Mangere/ Otahu area, Amy. Amy, John, nice to meet you, how are ya?
ACTOR But just more so in the Mangere, Otahu area, just looking for do-ups.
We just sold one
ACTOR oh you’re kidding
Which was in Nelson St.
ACTOR They’re going eh?
ACTOR I’ve had a look at a few places and they’re just disappearing.
That went for five eighty but it was on like a big section
ACTOR How big was the section?
Cut little weatherboard place, I’ll show you I’ve got a little card thing.
ACTOR Oh yeah cool
Oh this one! Here!
ACTOR Ah. Wow look at that. Yeah, that’s, that’s…
ACTOR Well that’s what I’m looking for.
ACTOR My situation is I’ve come back from overseas, um, cashed up, I just want to buy something but I know what’s happening in the…
Yeah yeah yeah.
ACTOR I’m obviously from here…
Yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR Spent a lot of time overseas, and I’m just wanting to come home and get into the market but I think the best way to do it is to come in, get do ups
Oh right here
ACTOR well that’s what I’m looking
Like a place on the waterfront, no Mangere Bridge because a place on the waterfront went for two million, but if you get the right place here…
ACTOR yeah but I’m looking at really wanting to do sort of do ups. Not so much for me to live in
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR I’m really looking at places to sort of get in, buy it, flick it
See cos all the young people
Are like moving here and
ACTOR that’s flattering Amy
But they are like they’re all like, I’m mean, I’m old, I’m llike see these young people I’m like ohhh but like so what have we got this week? There’s a place in Sullivan.
So that’s home and income
You could do that up. That’s um, because this area, see I would like even Otahuhu is almost becoming too expensive for what you’re gonna get, but here there are little pockets.
ACTOR what did this go for?
ACTOR Three bedroom
ACTOR Five eighty?
Yeah. So let’s have a look at the back. Um, yeah so that was actually
I know but that’s
So that was quite a good deal. I was like oh it didn’t go for six something? Like I thought it was gonna go for six something.
ACTOR Ok, well I’m…
Cos that will be sub-dividable too eventually
ACTOR I didn’t, like, in terms of cash buyers is that a help now
Nah cos it’s auction.
ACTOR really? Eveytjing goes to acution
Everything is auction
ACTOR how can I catch it before it gets to auction?
ACTOR what I wanna do is I wanna get, that, I wanna do it up
ACTOR And I wanna flick it.
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR But what I wanna do is I wanna buy three or four
ACTOR do you, in terms of those types of houses, do you have three or four more of them?
Let me just right down all this
So my brain doesn’t explode
ACTOR Sorry you’ve obviously you know caught you in the gym so you’re still in, there’s still the endorphins flowing.
ACTOR oh really?
[in audible] I wish we do but we don’t. John, what’s your last name?
ACTOR Reid. R-E-I-D.
Just trying to think about what we’ve, cos see we had that, would’ve been perfect down there, there was one on the corner.
[inaudible] road. Absolute dog inside. But
Oh this one. Uh, oh this one is a beauty!
Could be so cool.
ACTOR the bigger the section, the better. Personally, I would, oh yeah that, that’s great
And see I thought
ACTOR how big is it?
It was gonna go for more. Um, 640 went for 900.
ACTOR that’s 845 square metres, that’s what I’m sort of looking at. It’s the 8, 8 plus
See there is one up here church road, uh 54
And that is going to auction this weekend. We reckon it’s going to be a million but it is, it’s got this like um it’s got like an under house typ e of thing that
Has not been developed at all so you could actually make it into home
Income, it’s really cool.
I could arrange for you to see it if you want it.
ACTOR that would be cool.
Ok let me, what’s your email so I can email you some stuff
ACTOR I’ll give you my mobile number cos I’ve just, like I say, I’ve just come back, I’m just setting myself up back here now
Ok. Hang on. Let me get, I’ll just get my phone. I’ll just see what else we’ve got coming up. Oh, there’s one in pipitea road, [inaudible] you do still sometimes get a bargain you do.
But like you’ve just gotta, like that’s the good thing, you’ve just gotta always keep looking and that’s what happens to people they stop looking. They start and then
ACTOR this is gone hasn’t it?
ACTOR but this is still here?
No that’s gone
ACTOR oh that’s gone as well
ACTOR ok. It’s good to get a gauge. I’ve gone to a couple of other real estate agents just to see what’s out there um
Obviously, not in their gym clothes
ACTOR no obviously weren’t in their gym gear
But why not. And what did they say?
ACTOR same thing it was sort of in terms of the area, the same prices but the thing is the dirt’s coming with the house as well, what I’m after
ACTOR but I’m really after, if I can get into a house, get it before it goes to auction. I wanna get in there, buy it, flick it, paint it up, do a quick overhaul and a month later get rid of it.
How much would you wanna spend up to?
ACTOR oh like I say 500 cash but I don’t want to stretch it too much further in terms of that
Yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR but like you say cash doesn’t seem to help out does it?
ACTOR in auction. I wanna know if there’s any other options outside of auctioning. You know, if I can get the house beforehand?
Sometimes, like we had a place in Manurewa
ACTOR the only way is if you went to the people who are selling it wouldn’t it?
ACTOR and you go here, here’s a cash deal
Or sometimes they come to us
ACTOR take the money and let me do your house up
Especially like um Samoan families, they don’t want, you know they’re like, we want to sell our house but we don’t want everyone to know because then everyone comes around and they want money
So they’re like you need to call some people, we have one open home, everyone does a multi offer and that’s it
So we sometimes have those, uh
ACTOR Ok so that’s, yeah I understand that.
So something like this and this one’s just down the road, um, see a big section you could even put a minor dwelling on there
ACTOR yup, yeah that’s something eh
And so it’s like being staged, it’s like classic
But it’s been staged to look quite good but what I think’s interesting is that
ACTOR oh yeah
Like it’s a whole basement
ACTOR yeah. Yup.
Which you can actually develop.
ACTOR yeah the type of thing. Yeah the area excites me it’s in terms of the size of the area. I don’t, like I say it’s certainly not an emotional attachment that I want
Yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR I’m not looking at it to move in with my wife and kids, it’s not like that. It’s just
ACTOR get in, paint it and then make some margins because I’m thinking the way the market’s at the moment
Don’t care how bad it is?
ACTOR nah really don’t care cos at the end of the day I’ve got people
We have some…
ACTOR I’ve got friends who are good builders
Yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR and they can actually get in there and rip it to bits
Yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR and put a new a face on it within a month you know
ACTOR so that’s what I want. Because they’ve got the skill sets and I’ve seen what they’re doing in their own properties
ACTOR and they’re doing the same thing I’m thinking well hell, why wouldn’t you?
Yeah yeah it’s just if you’ve got the money
ACTOR well that’s the thing and they’ve said well mate you’ve come back from overseas you’re a cash buyer why not?
Yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR use it smartly. I’m thinking well if I can make those gains faster
ACTOR but it’s a matter of catching it before it goes to auction
ACTOR and is that, is that an option? How does that happen you know?
It just might like some people like some people aren’t interested and they are like we just wanna, it’s like we’ve got these people at the moment and they bought a place – not that you’d be interested – but it’s in New Lynn, bought it two months ago, obviously like they’re engaged but the engagement’s off
So they just want it sold
Like it’s like price, there’s a price on it, they just wanna get out
And every day that goes on like his price is coming down
So you know that would be the situation where you would be like look I’ve got a buyer, they’ll give you 500 cash today, you don’t have to go through open homes, you don’t have to do anything
It can be taken off your hands
ACTOR right. You said you’ve got one going, it’s going to be going to sale soon right next week?
That’s that one, that’s that big one
ACTOR so that’s that one. And what do you reckon that’s going to go for?
I reckon that’s going to go for a million though
ACTOR and they’ll get it eh?
Oh yeah. Absolutely.
ACTOR I’m looking at buying more rather than one
Yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR like I say I’d rather buy three or four than one or two um I don’t wanna sort of put them all into one basket you know what I mean so I need to try in terms of…
I do have [inaudible]
ACTOR even though that’s going for a million
Yeah I know hwat you mean. Oh, there is… no…
ACTOR it’s still appealing. It’s still very appealing. Cos what’s the size of the dirt?
Uh like 870 I think..
But see like the problem is like I know exactly the kind of one you want but like sometimes what people do is they try and do that like half do-up
Which is like
ACTOR but see I’m not yeah that’s the thing
ACTOR But I’ve got a team of guys that are good
ACTOR they’re doing it anyway
Yeah yeah yeah so that’s…
ACTOR I wouldn’t do it. I don’t know one end of the hammer from the other
Yeah. So it’s kind of like yeah you want that before they try and do that because people don’t see value in that
ACTOR yeah that’s right
Ok so how many bedrooms?
ACTOR at least 3
ACTOR you know what? I’m looking for family homes that they can
ACTOR yup yup
Um… land, 500 plus um… garage, carport? Doesn’t matter?
ACTOR really, well at the end of the day, everyone wants they are selling points aren’t they?
ACTOR but in terms of aesthetics, I think we can look after the aesthetics side of things and I’m quite happy for something that’s really run down to be fair. Like honestly the things that the guys are doing
ACTOR to these types of places now, just incredible.
Well, this place, it’s so cool but you can tell like it’s amazing
ACTOR oh right
ACTOR it’s already done
I know but they’ve rushed it
ACTOR oh really?
Like you go round, like I walked in to do the open home and there was like the door knob was on the ground and I was like oh man
ACTOR oh God
And then people were like ‘I mean it looks really good but have they hurried it a bit?’ like you can see the smears of like yeah you know
So it is like and people love that you’re you’re on the right track
ACTOR right ok
Like people love that
ACTOR and that’s pretty much, we would do that to that
Yeah yeah yeah totally
ACTOR but that’s… and I don’t… that’s what I mean, I don’t want to do too much, I don’t want to go overboard
ACTOR we just wanna
Ok leave it with me
ACTOR well look, like I say I’ve just got back
Yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR cos in terms of my email addresses and stuff
Yup send me one
ACTOR my stuff’s still offshore so um I’ll, what I’ll do is I’ll flick you an email anyway
ACTOR I’ll just set up a private account here and then flick you an email but otherwise if you find something in the time
Yeah yeah definitely
ACTOR please give me a call, there’s my number there and then we can go from there but um just yeah like I say, Mangere, sort of, Otahu is, the properties here must be going like hotcakes wouldn’t they?
Oh yeah it’s ridiculous. I mean, nothing ever passes in that’s for sure
ACTOR good time to be a real estate agent yeah?
Yeah but you know, like it's hard work because everyone thinks that you're a shyster. Cos half of them are! That's the problem
Oh yeah! There are some sleazy agents.
And they give everyone, like that’s the problem, what happens is you know like the typical thing is that a vendor, so I work with the Jareds and we have this process so you come in, say I wanna sell my house, wanna get the most out of it you know, so we do this like ok three weeks open homes and then it’s going to be an auction or whatever and you, no matter what offer you get, you’re gonna still go to auction because that’s going to be the most you’re gonna get like, so say you said ok I’ll give you, it’s a 500 thousand dollar, I’ll give you 600 and the vendor’s like oh ok and then we say to the vendors ok if that’s what you really wanna do then let’s take that offer and put it to auction tomorrow, and we’ll get everyone in and if the worst, if yours is the best price you’ll get that but if there’s more, we’ll do that, whereas another vendor would be like ‘oh yeah how much do you?’
‘how much do you want? Ok we’ll just do that’ and then they think ok I’ve cut out auction fees, I’ve cut out marketing, I’ve cut out time cos you know we do the call backs and then we do the da da you know we’re kind of old fashioned.
ACTOR right, well, in that respect Amy, how about in this case if I bought the property through you?
Oh yeah. You could sell it through me
ACTOR Did it and then obviously once we’ve done it up and we put in back through you
ACTOR But what I need to do is I need to catch it before it goes to auction.
Yeah yeah totally
ACTOR If it goes to auction I’m screwed.
ACTOR Because I know I’m going to be paying a million dollars for a house I want to pay eight hundred thousand max for
ACTOR Is that possible
ACTOR because I’d rather come back, get it through you, redo it and then
ACTOR come back and go here look here’s this house
Yeah like cos we do yeah like we probably most agents in a year do like 10 houses, but like so we are doing 8 this week yeah so we do like quantity
Because we’ve got the process so like
ACTOR but I’m saying you could sell this house twice in two months
Yeah exactly so that’s what I mean so like we have 8 different scenarios every week. We have one there one there one there
Last week we had a guy and he was like he owed so much money, his wife had a caveat on the house he was like he was just get rid of it
I don’t want the marketing, I don’t want an auction, just get rid of it. So we do have that all the time and we always have like do you know property tutors?
ACTOR yes yes
They’re so weird
ACTOR I have a friend who’s actually been to ah, those too
ACTOR I haven’t been
They’re always like ‘do you think you can help us?’. No, no cos it’s weird.
You know like [inaudible]
ACTOR no no a mate of mine’s been, yeah just didn’t rate it so…
Yeah nah so no I will definitely, that’s you know, if we can build a relationship that’s better but
ACTOR that’s what we’re doing cos imagine if we can move four houses through you
ACTOR if we can move four houses through you I’d rather deal with one agent than blingin’ you know going to blinging different
ACTOR parts of Auckland
ACTOR cos you have properties right up in blingin’ New Lynn as well
Oh yeah we have everything
But there are three of us cos there are three, like, us three work toghether as a time
ACTOR right, ok
ACTOR see I was looking at properties in Ellerslie, the margins are just, the gains aren’t the same, nowhere near
ACTOR I just sort of thought, then I started looking around here and starting noticing that differences were huge. In terms of biuying one of those, being able to do it up but it has to be caught before it goes to auction
I thought Papakura hasn’t expanded yet
ACTOR Papakura as well
Yeah Manurewa is ridiculous and it’s not
ACTOR do you have a branch out there?
No. oh in Papakura?
No but I live out there
ACTOR oh do you?
Yeah so I’m always you know, eye on the, so we’ve got one that, we’ve got one that
ACTOR could you, could you put things out, on the market out there?
We’ve got one that we haven’t listed yet that is a house and it’s also a section
So section has nothing on it
House, so they divided, sub-divided
They are investors, just want it sold
Like would take 850 for both
And you know
ACTOR I think we need to have a coffee
ACTOR in terms of sections I’m quite happy to look at bits of dirt too
ACTOR and I was, in terms of bits of dirt
ACTOR it doesn’t matter obviously the size is the first thing but where it is is probably more important
Yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR and quite happy to look at those without even sighting it
ACTOR I’m just wanting to buy bits of dirt
ACTOR or houses that need to be done up
Yeah. And this place has got this little house and it needs to be done up it’s a piece of crap
But it’s it’s a cool kind of little house. It’s actually the house in front of my house
ACTOR so in the perfect world
ACTOR If I was to buy that through you
ACTOR And then we whip through it and clean it up
Yeah and then we did it and you…
ACTOR And then later on we talk to you about commissions for doing the next one?
Yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR For flicking it the second time?
So you need to send me your email
So I can send you
ACTOR yup cool
The details of this house because yeah because
They would love me if I said hey
I’ve got a, and you don’t have to and it can be done tomorrow
ACTOR well I used to live in Drury so I know how much the difference is between the two
ACTOR but I know how much it has the potential to go off in Papakura
And but you also know in Papakura that there’s a good street, bad street
ACTOR yeah yeah yeah
And and that’s becoming less like even Dominion Road, like ugh, but it’s actually like that places there are going for like 600 you know cos these people bought their section and house because they were trying to do a put a childcare, like they do childcare centres
So they bought it and then the council was like ‘no’ you know when they’d spent like $120,000 trying to get the consent to build the childcare
ACTOR oh God
And then the council like ‘no no no no no’ and then so they’re like ‘oh my God, let’s just subdivide it and just sell them’
ACTOR Yeah yeah
And so I just rang them up because I live behind them and was like ‘oh you know, what are you doing with that section’ he’s like ‘oh just want it sold’
ACTOR that’s what I’m after
ACTOR but that kind of thing in terms of it’s just a bit of dirt but you know if we can get into you know before it hits the blingin’ internet
ACTOR that’s gold to me
ACTOR same with these things. If they’ve already got a picture and a pamphlet it’s too late
ACTOR you know cos it’s already got under the nose, the noses of too many people
ACTOR so for me it’s not what I want and like I said
It’s not gonna suit and this place is like, well I live behind it
So you know because it’s nice it’s got trees in front of it
Um it’s it’s on Great South Road but like a nice part
So you know it’s right near the schools but not on that side of Rosehill
ACTOR yeah yeah that side of Rosehill!
And I don’t think that they’re quite on…
ACTOR Settlement Road way you mean sort of down?
ACTOR Dominion Road?
Yeah no between you know where Beach Road is?
Beach Road, Settlement Road
And like the way to Drury
ACTOR yeah course
It’s like on this way
ACTOR I gotcha
Yeah on, Opaheke side
ACTOR Opaheke side, that’s the nice side
Yeah yeah yeah yeah so um so yeah you could definitely like and they, and I don’t think they’re too like they don’t really know the prices that much so they’d just kind of like ‘oh that would be great, I mean if you got us 850 for both we’d be so happy’.
ACTOR and that’s the thing, for me, like I say I thought coming home cash would be king, it’s not such the case anymore when things are going to auction
ACTOR cos people will pay stupid money
ACTOR I wanna get my cash to do my work for me
ACTOR before it hits the blingin’
ACTOR the blingin’, what do you call it
ACTOR the gavel
Yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR you know, once it goes that far it’s
Nah it’s over
ACTOR it’s out of my reach
Oh yeah it’s ridiculous
ACTOR well I’m not gonna make the gains that I want anyway
There was a place on Forbes Road in Favona on the weekend
ACTOR oh yes saw it out the front
So you know Favona? Oh…
ACTOR that’s what brought me in here
Do you know where it is in Favona?
ACTOR I know where Forbes is
You know where Progressive is?
And you know that street?
It’s like, oh God I had to take a video of it
ACTOR oh God
And I had to send it to my partner cos I was like oh my God you know, like, it’s ridiculous, oh where is it? Oh yes, is that it, no oh this one here. Oh so this is the street right
Cute little house
ACTOR oh hell
Oh state houses!
ACTOR oh, oh geez
ACTOR oh, tut tut tut tut
So that, CV 330, 676!
ACTOR at auction? Oh my God, let me guess
ACTOR that guy there bought it?
That’s the one!
ACTOR did he buy it?!
ACTOR haha yeah!
He was like, there were two people
ACTOR oh my God
And he was like, they were like ‘670’ he was like, and then this guy was like ‘671’ and this guy, the Asian guy was like ‘hmmm 672’ like he was just like ‘don’t waste my time’
ACTOR yup yup
Cos he was just gonna buy it
ACTOR yeah they’ll just keep going and just keep going until you give up
I was just like don’t do that
ACTOR and that’s the thing. I was looking at auctions and I came back last time and I was like ‘I’m not going to go through this process’ but yeah but now I’m back permanently and I wanna look at my options
ACTOR and I thought this is a smarter way to do it because I’ve got friends that are already doing it and they say
ACTOR but they’ve got the building skills, I don’t
ACTOR so happy with that. Awesome. Look lovely to meet you Amy
ACTOR thank you very much for that
ACTOR nice to meet you take care
Yeah just let me know
ACTOR yeah yeah
And I can arrange to, I’ll send you all those details, I haven’t told anyone else about it
ACTOR that’s cool. That is cool. That goes next week does it?
No it doesn’t go any week
I haven’t done it, like, because it’s still got, like, I mean cos I live there, behind them, but
As I see like
I see like the process, I see oh they’ve still got to put down the skipment and they’ve still got to put that but you can just tell that like I’m like ‘should I go over and do it’ because you know they have to call someone to do it
And then ta da ta da ta da ta da so they’ve still, they’re still like a little ways off
Like they’re kinda trying do the inside
ACTOR but if you go and go hey we’ve got someone who’s got cash
Oh yeah like, yeah, like they’re trying to strip the wall and I’m just like oh man
ACTOR mmm. How big is that dirt again? The one behind you?
Ah so they’re so I think each section is like 500 yeah
ACTOR ok ok yeah that’s that’s yeah
ACTOR you’re on to it
Yeah so I haven’t done anything with them yet
Cos one of the guys has gone overseas and so I said ‘look I will try and find someone who can just take it off your hands’
But and like I’ve got a property tutors guy he’s like ‘oh you know can you?’ and I’m like ‘oh I just think you’re weird’
ACTOR if you can get some lead on that can you give me, give me a call?
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
ACTOR give me a call and just let me know and then I’ll come and catch up with you then and we’ll talk more about it then
Send me an email so I can send you the details of it at least
ACTOR awesome sounds good
ACTOR lovely thanks Amy. Take care.
Ok thanks John!