Agent fined for professional sabotage of competitor

by 27 Jul 2015
A real estate agent in Saskatchewan who called one of her competitors “almost goofy” has been fined $2,000, according to a legal document on

“The seller had indicated to (the agent) that she was unhappy with several of the registrants working in Weyburn, Sask., and that this is why she wanted a registrant from Regina,” the decision reads. The agent “had helped the seller’s then-boyfriend buy a property in Regina, Saskatchewan, for $454,000 in April of 2012.

In an email sent only to the seller on July 30, 2012, the agent told the seller that “these Weyburn agents are definitely a breed of their own… you cannot stray from their fixed way of thinking if you are an agent in that town.”

It get worse.

In that same email, she writes “just meeting face to face he looks like a real liar and crook.”

Shirley MacFarlane was charged for violating Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission bylaws with her comments, which saw her refer to another agent as a “fish flopping around”, and has 30 days to pay.

MacFarlane pleaded guilty to the charge, according to the decision by the commission, which decided to punish her for giving the industry a bad name with her behaviour. Because the commission considers emails public, MacFarlane was charged under the Real Estate Act.

The agent’s contrition appears to have minimized penalties.

"MacFarlane has similarly been co-operative and seems genuinely embarrassed by the situation," the decision reads. “That MacFarlane derided several registrants is not a sufficiently aggravating factor to warrant suspension or cancellation.”

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