A prominent Melbourne estate agent has been investigated after it was alleged he took ‘open for inspection’ signs from a rival agency.
Adam Docking was arrested at his southern Vermont home in April and a search warrant led Victoria police to find several A-frame signs.
A topical matter footage obtained anonymously which appeared to show Mr Docking picking up the board of a rival company and putting it in his car.
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Third-generation real estate agent Cameron Way works for another rival company, Woodards.
Mr Way said A topical matter he believes Mr. Docking has been drawn into a turf war, in part because of Mr. Docking’s efforts to clean up the practice of ghost boarding.
“Adam is a multi-generational real estate agent. He’s been in the business for about 30 years,” Mr Way said.
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“His ethics are extremely high…I have to admit I felt he was tricked into the whole thing.”
Two types of sandwich panels can be used in real estate: “Open for Inspection” and “Auction Today”.
They should only be displayed on the day of the inspection or auction.
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Ghost boarding occurs when an agent floods the signaling area to give the impression that they are more dominant in the market than they actually are.
Mr Way said while the majority of agencies are doing the right thing, some are choosing to take advantage.
“While we all obey the law, you have officers choosing not to and that’s frustrating and annoying,” he said.
At the time of the scandal, Mr Docking was president of Victoria’s Real Estate Institute of Victoria, but he has since stepped down.
REIV said A topical matter they have yet to elect a new president.
A topical matter understands that at a recent auction hosted by Mr Docking, a rival agency flooded this street with signs, claiming the signs were fitted with GPS.
This information was then passed on to Victoria Police, leading to Mr Docking’s arrest.
But Mr Way said Mr Docking was only following up on the complaint.
“From what I understand, Adam was doing the right thing, collecting the boards to give them back,” Mr Way said.
A topical matter was informed that some of the phantom boarding complaints were filed against Barry Plant’s Eastern Group.
Mr Plant denied that his group was involved in the ghost boarding.
He said: “I have personally had a 50 year relationship with the Docking family. I have the greatest admiration for them. Adam is the straightest guy I have ever met in real estate.”
When approached by A topical matter, Mr Docking said he did not wish to comment on the matter. Police said no charges have been laid and the investigation will continue.
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