Toronto Real Estate Tips and Advice

Real Estate Nightmare #15

Fraud Alert

This nightmare – actually an agent going bad (worse, even in need of having their license permanently revoked) – is becoming more common as the area is inundated with new, part-time agents trying to work the system.

This nightmare was shared with me by a neighbour who works for one of the big condo builders in the GTA – there are lots of them so no worries about revealing their identity.  He gave me permission to share this – all too often occurring – scenario.

An agent came into the builder’s sales centre in regards to purchasing a unit in one of their complexes for a client. The agent unabashedly asked the salesperson if he could raise the price of the unit and the commission so that she could give her client a cash kick-back on the sale.

The salesperson, asked her to repeat herself.  She did, without hesitation.  The salesperson informed her that she was asking them to commit fraud and that what she was asking was illegal.  The agent was informed that what she had asked violates the regulations for real estate sales representatives in Ontario.  The agent did not flinch and asked again if the representative would help her to give her client some cash back at closing.  

At this point the salesperson informed the real estate sales representative that he would be reporting her to the licensing board for this behaviour.  The sales representative then left the sales centre.

This builder’s representative said that he has seen this happening more and more in recent months.  Many of his builder representative colleagues just brush it off and fail to follow through on their duty to report such behaviours as illegal and grounds for complaints.

My hope is that these unethical sales representatives have their ability to trade in real estate transactions in Canada, removed permanently.  The idealist in me thinks that this will happen but I see from other examples that there is too much leniency from the licensing bodies on these and other misrepresentations that are occurring on a daily basis.

Several that have come to my attention include occupancy dates that are misrepresented on MLS listing agreements, home sizes and layouts that are misrepresented in listing and on presentation – and pet restrictions that are not clear in listings, even when included on documentations.
This is truly a buyers beware market place and likely to get more litigious as the field becomes more diluted.  The hope is that it is made more difficult vs. less to obtain and keep a registered license to trade in real estate in Ontario. Always work with an agent that demonstrates ethics, and professional to you and towards others in the field.