Call to crack down on unethical agents

by Justin da Rosa on 01 Mar 2017
Following a CBC Marketplace investigation about unethical real estate practices, one association is stricter punishment for those who violate the agent code of ethics.

In a letter to the CEO of the Real Estate Council of Ontario, the Ontario Real Estate Association shared its support for the regulator’s investigation into unethical real estate practices following a CBC hidden camera investigation.

However, it’s calling for stricter punishment.

“OREA strongly condemns the actions of any real estate professional who knowingly behaves in an unethical manner in violation of REBBA and its Code of Ethics,” the letter, signed by OREA President Ray Ferris and CEO Tim Hudak, says. “It is our contention that a stronger system to punish this bad behaviour is critical to ensuring that this type of behaviour not only doesn’t persist, but that those who insist on engaging in this type of behaviour be deprived of the privilege of being part of the real estate profession.”

The CBC segment, which aired in late 2016, investigated double-ended deals where agents represented both the buyer and the seller of homes on the Greater Toronto Area.

Representing both sides of the transaction allows agents to use their knowledge of both parties to give an advantage to of one of those clients.

Such deals are in contravention of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA).

“Consumer confidence in the real estate industry is critical to a stable market and a lack of consumer trust and confidence in the regulator’s enforcement of the rules could negatively affect a consumer’s decision to utilize the services of a registrant,” the letter says. “Ontario realtors and consumers rightfully have an expectation that RECO would have immediately investigated this matter and appropriately disciplined those who violated the rules thereby sending a very strong message to both registrants and the public that such behaviour shall not be tolerated.”

Related stories:
Upping the ante for education in the industry
OREA head calls for reforms in REBBA after exposé

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