It was a reality TV ending that seemed almost too good to be true: amid a global pandemic and talk of falling house prices, Block couple Jimmy and Tam somehow scooped a record-breaking $1.066m win when their luxurious property sold at auction.
Their saviour: a mysterious young woman named Emese Fajk, who snapped up the couple’s house for an eye-watering $4.256 million amid competition from established bidders.
But one month on from that auction, Jimmy and Tam’s million-dollar profit is nowhere to be seen, with the news that Fajk was unable to complete the sale.
A story aired on A Current Affair on Tuesday claimed that Fajk – dubbed a “mystery blonde” by presenter Shelley Craft during the auction – had presented receipts of bank transfers falsely indicating that the money for the property had been paid.
“Settlement was yesterday and there’s been no positive outcome from it … it’s something no one ever saw coming. We’ve pretty much been conned,” Jimmy said during an emotional interview with A Current Affair.
“She actually cried with us. It was like we knew her as a friend … it’s almost like she’s tarnished our experience,” said Tam.
Host Scott Cam described the outcome as “disappointing”: “We trusted her to have that sort of coin.”
But Fajk hit back via social media after the story aired last night, blaming an “incompetent lawyer” for the sale falling through.
“‘I provided everything I was asked. Yet absolutely none of it was considered or used. I reached out, I tried to make this a conversation and nothing,” Fajk wrote.
“Despite all this, I’m working on fixing the issue that I was part of as I was too lenient and trusting. I have a new firm behind me and I reached out to those who are behind the technical part of settlement and we are working this out.
“No one bothered to talk to me while this was in the making for a month.”
Fajk went into further detail about what had gone wrong in a video posted to her Instagram account.
“Mistake number two – going with (the conveyancer’s) super slow process, where I had to chase things up constantly,” she said.
“I didn’t get really important pieces of info until they were overdue. Whenever I had a question or an issue it took days to get an answer. Everything just took too long and I didn’t know the process myself.”
Despite the shocking turn of events, Jimmy and Tam remain the season’s winners, keeping the $100,000 prize money they were awarded for scoring the best auction result. But if they want to see any more money from their stint on The Block, they must first sell their house to another buyer – and hope it goes for a premium price again second time around.
“Everyone at The Block and Nine are very disappointed for Jimmy and Tam that the sale of their home was not completed as scheduled today. The process of the auction, sale and follow-up was conducted in full regard of the appropriate regulations for property auctions in Victoria and monitored by the Victoria Department of Consumer Affairs,” said a Nine spokesperson.
“Nine have confirmed Jimmy and Tam remain the winners of The Block 2020 as they would have secured the win on the previous bid from noted philanthropist Danny Wallis. We will now work with them and their agents to finalise a sale as soon as possible and we are confident of a positive result for this unique property.”
Little is known about Fajk, a cyber security specialist who moved to Australia from New York a year ago. Publicly available business listings show that Hungarian-born Fajk, 28, had also worked in London before New York.
Jimmy and Tam had gushed after the auction about having sold the house to a buyer who had such an “emotional connection” to the property.
“It was amazing, because Emes has an emotional connection to the house, and to be able to pass the house onto someone who loves it as much as we do is far beyond what we expected,” Jimmy told news.com.au after the auction.
“She’s watched The Block from the start; she loves it. She said to us that she felt like she was going on this journey with us. You could just tell that she adores this house; she’s so emotionally connected to it. For us, who built this house and put our heart and soul into it, there’s nothing more gratifying than knowing your house went to the right person,” said Tam.
That initial connection may yet turn into a legal battle – Realestate.com.au reports that in an event such as this, in which a property has to be resold, the vendor is entitled to sue if there’s any shortfall compared to the original purchase price.