I always get a few weird “material fact” questions. Just to remind the uninitiated, an agent is required to disclose “all material facts” to purchasers and landlords. “Material Fact” has been defined by the predecessor of NCAT as anything that is “significant and relevant to a person’s decision whether to buy”.
Weekly, Leverage gets questions about whether something is “material”. This one tops them all!
An agent had listed a house for sale in the northern districts of Sydney. The photographer was engaged and he dutifully took pictures of the premises. Unusually, the sheepish looking photographer came back to the agency and booked a private meeting with the agent. We don’t know whether he was keeping confidentiality or protecting himself from the mental asylum.
The photographer disclosed to the agent that he had just photographed a ghost. This was before digital and photoshopping. The agent looked at the photograph and found that they could see the ghostly figure of a twelve-year-old girl.
Upon checking with the vendors, the agent was told that “ghosts have always lived here. We have three resident ghosts who don’t worry us”.
These ghost photographs were sent to the United States and the photographer won an award for the best ghost photograph.
The agent who didn’t believe in ghosts, was at her happiest when the property sold. She said after all the open houses, she would run to her car in fear of meeting the ghost. Why are people who don’t believe in ghosts so frightened?
Well, is this a material fact that needs to be disclosed? Moreover, what agent is courageous enough to disclose it?