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When Real Estate Agents Attack!

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Auckland, New Zealand real estate agents Hulan (Wendy) Feng of City Sales and Soon (Fiona) Lee of LJ Hooker Ponsonby "came to blows over the sale of a two-bed, two-bath, 194 square-foot apartment in a fight that left both with minor injuries -- and a fine," according to Anne Gibson of the New Zealand Herald.

Lee's bio on the LJ Hooker website tells potential clients that "she will always aim to achieve the best possible result for you." And she apparently will, judging by what Ms. Lee claims went down in apartment 76 Albert Street's apartment 20F.

"She was jumping up and down. She swore at me, the F word, she punched me on the chest and on the right side," Lee told the Herald. "I could not protect myself. She kept fighting on me. It was really unfair."

A view worth fighting for...

Here's how the Thrilla in...the Inner Auckland neighborhood went down, as per a Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal, which found both agents "guilty of disgraceful conduct and fined them $600 each":

"Ms Lee was at 76 Albert St showing a potential buyer around apartment 20F. Ms Feng arrived at the property and words were exchanged to the effect that Ms Feng considered the apartment to have been sold and that Ms Lee should therefore not be showing it.

"A physical confrontation between the defendants ensued. Each of the defendants alleged she was assaulted by the other but it is not necessary for the tribunal to make any findings about that because both defendants through counsel admitted they were engaged as alleged in a physical fight."

After Feng complained to the Real Estate Agents Authority, a complaints assessment committee escalated the case, kicking it upstairs up to the tribunal.

After knocking down the $1000 fine each woman was ordered to pay to $600, as they were "not guilty of fraud or dishonesty," the tribunal said, "We accept it was a short-lived loss of control which became more serious as it was in the presence of others."

Feng now appears to want to move on with her life, saying "The thing is, I don't want to go over it again because there's not much point for her and me and I've forgiven her. She's a single mother ... and I didn't understand that before. This is last year's thing. I want it over."

But Real Estate Agents Authority CEO Keith Manch isn't quite as relaxed about the incident.

"This is clearly not acceptable in a service profession," he said. "It is OK if you are a boxer. This is the first I've seen of it and it seems rather extraordinary. Real estate transactions are emotional for buyers, sellers and agents but they need to hold themselves together and there are avenues for dealing with disputes."

In a statement that would likely have made national headlines in the United States, a spokesman for the Real Estate Agents Authority said of the recent spate of physical assaults between brokers, "I think it tends to be the females more than the males going for each other."
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