The Upland Rd property is worth approximately $ 5 million. Photo / Ray White
Sensitive issues such as unexplained deaths must be disclosed to potential home buyers, according to New Zealand real estate groups.
Yesterday, the Auckland home where health patron Pauline Hanna was found dead under unexplained circumstances in April was put up for sale by real estate firm Ray White.
New Zealand Real Estate Institute Managing Director (Reinz) Jen Baird said that while it was not mandatory to post sensitive information on the list, it should be disclosed to potential buyers interested in doing so. an offer.
She said the agent had already confirmed that no open houses would be arranged for the property and that the death would be disclosed to anyone who made an appointment for a visit.
“Under the Estate Agents Act, there is no need to post sensitive information or tell anyone viewing the property that, for example, an unexplained death has occurred on the property,” he said. Baird said.
“However, agents must notify buyers who have expressed an interest in submitting an offer on the property.”
Reinz’s agency code of practice also stipulated that all members of Reinz agencies must act “in an open, ethical and honest manner in their dealings with all parties,” Baird said.
Disclosure of a sensitive issue would be influenced by factors such as how long ago the event occurred, whether the event had some degree of notoriety, the potential impact on the price and the likely reaction of consumers. potential buyers.
She added that there was no obligation to disclose natural deaths that occurred on a property.
REA Chief Regulatory Services Josh Doherty said a sensitive matter could not be disclosed without the provider’s consent and should be treated with “care and sensitivity.”
“One of the most difficult decisions a real estate professional can face is whether or not to disclose a sensitive issue that is not about the physical condition of the property,” he said.
“If the seller has given consent, sensitive matters should be disclosed to potential buyers who have expressed an interest in bidding on the property.”
In cases where the real estate agent believed that a problem should be disclosed but the seller did not, “they cannot release the information,” Doherty said.
However, they could withdraw from the case altogether.
“In this situation, the licensee should discuss the problem with their real estate agency and consider stopping acting for the seller.
“They can also seek legal advice if they are concerned that their client’s instructions could potentially cause them to violate their professional obligations.”
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom Remuera home was listed on Thursday and is expected to be worth nearly $ 5 million. It was last sold for $ 1.025 million in November 2002.
This is the house that Pauline Hanna, 63, shared with her 30-year-old husband, Philip Polkinghorne, and where she was found dead on Easter Monday this year.
Police and forensic teams were on the property for at least 10 days after the sudden death and were seen talking to neighbors.
Police confirmed today that there has been no update on the investigation, and Hanna’s death remains a mystery.
It is not uncommon for a property to change hands as a result of strange or grim circumstances.
A family moved into a house in Te Atatu, Auckland, after what was known as the “Care Day Murder” took place there in October 2016.
And in Panmure, in east Auckland, the Bhakti Center – a Hare Krishna temple, restaurant, and reception center – sits on the site of the former Mount Wellington Panmure RSA, where the triple murder and attempted murder of Susan Couch by William Bell took place in 2001.
Realtor Ray White also told the Herald in 2018 that he was surprised by the number of people who wanted to buy a Waikato farm that was put up for sale in 2014, the house where Harvey and Jeanette Crewe were killed in 1970.