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Real estate agents and professional misconduct, Part 2

Allegations of professional misconduct can ultimately lead to devastating consequences. Those holding professional licenses risk suspension, fines, a record of misconduct or the loss of their license. From health professionals and financial sector employees to legal professionals and real estate agents, countless professionals run the risk of career-ending consequences.

Earlier, we discussed real estate agents and how aggressive sales tactics might ultimately be construed as fraud and misconduct. We were specifically looking at how professional misconduct on the buyer’s side of the real estate transaction could occur. We will now look at the seller’s side of the transaction.

  • Fabricating staggered bids: In an effort to minimize the psychological trauma associated with accepting a lower offer on a property, the real estate agent might fabricate bids with staggered pricing. A common example is presenting a bid that is $100,000 below asking. That bid is rejected immediately by the seller. Next, the agent will present a bid that is $75,000 below asking. It, also, is rejected after some consideration. Finally, when an offer that comes in $50,000 below asking, the seller might accept to finally be done with the process. However, ultimately, the staggered bids were a complete fiction created to soften the blow of the actual bid.
  • The pick-up: This is a client-building tactic. An agent might be seen as unethical if he or she agrees to list an over-priced home only in an effort to gain new clients through showing the property.
  • Failing to encourage multiple offers: It is not uncommon for real estate agents to agree to accept an offer and then stop actively marketing the property. Unfortunately, many deals fall through due to financing problems. Without other interested buyers, sellers might have to start over from square one.
  • Poaching clients: A serious misconduct allegation can be centered around a real estate agent who is attempting to double their commission. By discouraging general buyers, the realtor can potentially act as both the seller’s agent as well as the buyer’s agent.

Unfortunately, realtors across Canada are frequently convicted of licensing infractions. While facing devastating penalties that could be career-ending, it is crucial that you select a criminal defence lawyer with the experience necessary to build a strong case in your favour.

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