Buyer Beware

$1m damages awarded against estate agent

A High Court judge has awarded more than $1m in damages against a real estate agent who engaged in misleading conduct during the sale of a kiwifruit orchard.

Colin and Ross Stevenson took a claim against agent Stan Robb and his company, PGG Wrightson Real Estate, over the handling of the sale of their 66-hectare orchard near Te Puke in 2010.

The orchard sold for $3.8m to a syndicate including well-known industry figures – but the Stevensons claimed Robb failed to advise them there was a third party willing to pay more. Justice Woolford awarded damages of $1.1m against Robb and Wrightsons and ordered they pay interest back to December, 2010. – amounting to $150 a day. He also awarded costs to the Stevensons.

The orchard, sold in November, 2012, was the first substantial orchard to come on the market in the area following the devastating impact of the PSA disease. The Stevensons hoped to get $5m.


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