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Young couple who lost their $75,000 house deposit after bank screw-up finally buy a house

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An engaged couple who lost their $75,000 house deposit they had saved since they were teenagers to ‘greedy’ sellers have finally purchased their own home. 

Mark Trau, 30, and Maddie Goyder, 27, made headlines last year when their bank was a day late in meeting the 30-day settlement for their $965,000 dream property, causing them to lose their 10 per cent deposit.

The four-bedroom house at Jindalee in Brisbane’s west was sold hours later by the retired owners to a different buyer for an extra $64,000, netting them an additional $140,000 in total. 

The couple were left with neither a house or their deposit, which a shattered Ms  Goyder described as ‘like being robbed’, until their bank Westpac admitted their mistake. 

Mark Trau and his fiance Maddie Goyder (pictured) lost their $75,000 after a manual failure from their bank

Mark Trau and his fiance Maddie Goyder (pictured) lost their $75,000 after a manual failure from their bank

A controversial property rule that has left thousands of Australians out of pocket is set to be changed in sweeping new legislation (pictured: the house the couple missed out on)

A controversial property rule that has left thousands of Australians out of pocket is set to be changed in sweeping new legislation (pictured: the house the couple missed out on) 

‘We threw everything at this. The bank was the one thing that stopped it from happening on the day,’ Mr Trau previously said.

Westpac paid back the couple their $75,000 as well as an additional $25,000 to help them find a new home to buy and $5,000 each for the stress they had been put under. 

The return of their money has now allowed them to finally purchase a house. 

With prices soaring thanks to the property market bubble, Brisbane was unfortunately proving too expensive – even just six months on – and the couple had to look elsewhere. 

They eventually found a house in Buderim on the Sunshine Coast just over an hour’s drive north and while it doesn’t have a pool they are just minutes from the beach. 

‘We’re loving it, it seems a little bit surreal. Guess the wild ride worked out for us in the end,’ Mr Trau told news.com.au this week.

The sellers of the Brisbane house (pictured) sold to another buyer hours later for an extra $65,000 and kept the young couple's deposit

The sellers of the Brisbane house (pictured) sold to another buyer hours later for an extra $65,000 and kept the young couple’s deposit

‘We ended up settling in a place for $940,000 and Westpac helped a bit with a better fixed rate because they had jumped up since the Brisbane house,’ he said.

He added the pair were also finalising plans to get married later this year saying it was ‘all coming together’ for them.

The furore over their case has also resulted in a change to property laws in Queensland. 

While other states and territories allow a two-week grace period if settlement falls through, the Sunshine State – which prides itself on super fast property transactions – previously did not. 

This leaves buyers open to losing tens of thousands of dollars through circumstances which are often not their fault. 

But from January 20, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland changed the rule to prevent similar situations for other would-be buyers.  

The rule won’t disappear entirely – they will have five extra days to settle the property before the contract can be cancelled and the deposit kept.

The buyer or seller in the transaction must apply for an extension in writing before 4pm of the cut-off day, and the seller is forced to accept.

They can apply for multiple extensions but it must not extend past five days from the set settlement date. 

Mark Trau (pictured with Ms Goyder) said it'worked out in the end' with the pair buying a property of their own on the Sunshine Coast near the beach

Mark Trau (pictured with Ms Goyder) said it ‘worked out in the end’ with the pair buying a property of their own on the Sunshine Coast near the beach 

The REIQ said the change came about after reports of significant delays in property transactions by banks, largely due to Covid. 

‘Because of the volume of transactions that’s happening and because of Covid-19, banks are often causing delays,’ chief executive Antonia Mercorella previously said.

‘What we’ve been seeing is that banks are often not ready. Obviously we recognise that is outside the control of either party.’

She said the seller cannot reject the extension request from the buyer. 

‘It is a contractual right, you can’t say no,’ Ms Mercorella said. 

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