Agents must do due diligence too

due diligence

A court case in Singapore this week has found a real estate firm failed to undertake proper due diligence when marketing an overseas property development.

Investors who sued the agency for the S$ 210,000 (THB 5.07 million) they lost through the property investment will now get their money back.

The court found the real estate agency, Faber Property, was negligent when marketing the property in New Zealand, and it failed to ensure the developer has secure title to the land.

Whilst this provides no clarity of what might happen if a similar scenario were to happen in Thailand, it does underline the importance of due diligence, even by real estate agencies.

The Singapore-based developer behind the Albany Heights Vilas project (pictured above) outside Auckland was eventually declared insolvent, but not before it has taken “substantial sums” from property investors in Singapore and New Zealand.

District Judge Lee Li Choon found that the real estate agency had not taken steps to verify that the developer or its owners had the: “… purported experience and good track record”.

She ordered the company to pay the sum sought by the couple, together with legal costs.

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